On November 29, 1975, 3 years after accepting Jesus Christ, Raul Ries was ordained by Pastor Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. As his small home Bible study grew, it moved from his home to his Kung Fu studio; onto the Fox Theater. They then converted a Safeway Market into Calvary Chapel West Covina and eventually moved to Diamond Bar, California in 1993, becoming Calvary Chapel Golden Springs.
Although already ordained, Ries desired to study God’s Word more in-depth, so he attended APU where he received a Master of Ministry, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Religion from 1976 to 1990. He went on to receive his Doctorate of Ministry in 1992, at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Ries believed he would teach and preach until the Lord took him home. However, his ability to serve the Lord almost came to an end in February 2007. At his Wednesday evening service, Raul knew something was wrong physically but what lay ahead was unexpected. That evening, Raul experienced flashbacks for the first time since the Vietnam War.
He knew, rationally, he was in his home but the fears of war came rushing back. He lay prostrate in his home, praying and praising the Lord, as tears ran down his face. He and his wife, Sharon, thought their time in ministry was over.
His family, the body of Christ and Pastor Chuck Smith prayed for him and he felt the Holy Spirit heal him. Raul has not experienced a flashback since that fateful time in 2007, but his ministry has been enhanced by this experience.
Today, more than 35 years after his miraculous conversion, Ries is heard internationally on more than 350 radio stations and translators on his daily syndicated radio program, Somebody Loves You and his services are watched around the world at www.calvarygs.org and on HIS Channel.
In addition, he pastors a congregation of more than 14,000 people. With such a large congregation, there are many ministries focused on reaching out to our youth, the elderly or infirmed, war veterans and law enforcement agencies. Because of his work with the many branches of the armed forces, Ries has made two documentaries to minister to them and their families. The first was “A Quiet Hope,” produced in 1990 and recently he produced “Taking the Hill.”
Through conferences in the states and throughout Latin America, Raul seeks to equip the saints for the ministry. He and Sharon have been married for more than 40 years, and share the same desire to serve the Lord and see souls saved for Christ.