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Our History

Calvary Chapel of the Niagara Frontier (CCNF) first met on the last Sunday of August, 1996. Pastors Mark Siena and Gary Reed were sent out by two Calvary Chapels in the Rochester area to start a work in Buffalo NY. Our vision was (and is) pretty straight forward, to ‘simply teach the Word of God simply’. We have seen that God does honor His Word; as we have had the privilege to experience Him graciously build our church. Since our first meeting in a small conference room at the Hampton Inn, with a total of 8 people in attendance, we have grown through 2 other locations, to our fourth and current facility in Elma.

We are sure that God called us here. There are several instances which we became aware of after the fact that confirm His hand was laying the foundation for the eventual planting of CCNF…

Back in the 1970’s, there was a teenager that used to pray over the CSX railroad complex in Cheektowaga on Harlem Road near William Street, from a bridge that has since been torn down. He used to ask God to accomplish His will in Buffalo (which He has in many countless ways that no human can be fully aware of). When we moved from the Hampton Inn to our second location, the Romar building, we discovered that we were in the exact area that this young man (who is now a Calvary Chapel pastor in Indianapolis) used to look over as he prayed.

In the 1980’s, a blessed saint from Buffalo (who would become part of our congregation years later) traveled to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa to attend one of Pastor Chuck Smith’s services. She met him afterwards, and asked him to broadcast his radio teaching ministry in Buffalo. A few weeks after she got back home, Pastor Chuck was on the air. This lady’s trip either confirmed what Pastor Chuck was already planning to do, or was the catalyst behind his decision. The Lord used his broadcast to powerfully ‘plow and sow the soil’ in Buffalo through his Line by Line teaching of God’s Word.

In the middle 1990’s, a truck driver from Cheektowaga would sometimes drive to Canandaigua to make deliveries, and would stop at Calvary Chapel of the Finger Lakes to visit their book store and talk with people there. One day, as he was driving back to Buffalo, he felt led to pull his truck to the side of the thruway west of Batavia, walk out into a farmer’s field, fall on his knees, and ask the Lord to plant a Calvary Chapel in the Buffalo area. (One of the ways we know this was of the Lord was that he didn’t cause a multi-car pile up on the Thruway, nor get a ticket from a state trooper.) This brother became the church’s first elder after CCNF was planted; and he came up with our church’s name at our first official leaders meeting, held at his house.

When we came out in 1996 to plant a Bible study, we didn’t realize that a radio station, CSN (the Calvary Satellite Network, 88.1 FM at the time) was in the works. It came up on Christmas Eve of 1997. By that time, we were in our second location, the Romar building, and we discovered one day that from the window of our church ‘sanctuary’ (which was on the 2nd floor), we could see the blue CSN receiver dish which pulled in the satellite signal, and then rebroadcast it into Buffalo. The receiver dish was on a tower in the railroad complex where the teenager who is now a pastor in Indianapolis had looked as he prayed for God’s will to be done back in the 1970s. Many of the people who attend our church today first learned about us through CSN. (CSN has since been replaced by WZXV, which broadcasts from the top of the HSBC building in downtown Buffalo, on 93.3 FM, as well as many other locations.)

After purchasing a church building in Lancaster, where we remained for 10 years, we began looking to move to a bigger location. We came across a closed down restaurant/bar/party house (formerly called ‘Luder’s Log Cabin’, and the ‘Lodge’). As we considered putting in a purchase offer, a group of us stood on the back deck and prayed for God’s will to be accomplished. I found out later that there was only one guy in the prayer circle who didn’t believe that the necessary renovations would be possible. That same guy ended up becoming the project manager to oversee all the work that was done. He (and so many others) did an awesome job of renovating what is really a beautiful, classic building – a landmark in Elma. Now, a place that at one time flowed with ‘old wine’, is overflowing with ‘new wine’ of a different sort! (See Matthew 9:17)

There are many other stories we could tell – please come and visit us, and we will.

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Service Times & Directions

: Weekend Services :

Sunday Morning: 10:00 am
Sunday Evening: 6:30 pm

: Weekday Service :

Wednesday Evening: 7:00 pm
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- Prayer Meeting

Monday Evening: 7:00 pm

- Youth Group

Wednesday Evening: 7:00 pm Friday Nights (bi-monthly)

- Men's Group

Saturday Morning: 8:00 - 10:00 am

- Ladies Bible Study

Saturday Morning: 10:30 - Noon
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- Prayer and Worship Night

First Friday of each Month: 6:30 pm
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2090 Bowen Road
Elma, NY 14059
(716) 684-9065

Calvary Chapel Niagara Frontier