Pastor Fidel GomezAssistant Pastor (Staff)
Pastor Fidel . . .
- Was born and raised in Mexicali, Mexico, as the youngest of ten.
- Attended Rancho High School, Las Vegas, NV, and graduated in 1972.
- Ordained to the ministry in 1988.
- Married Theresa on October 20, 1973.
- Planted Calvary Chapel Sunrise in 1990 and served there as senior pastor for ten years.
- Has a nickname—“El Guapo.”
- Likes to take a “siesta” on Sunday afternoons.
- Likes to tell dumb jokes and hide behind doors to scare people.
- Tried out for the Kansas City Royals baseball team.
His favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV): "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Did you always want to be a pastor?
No, my dream was to play Major League Baseball. I played shortstop. After high school, I had a tryout with the Kansas City Royals and even got called back a couple of times, but it wasn’t meant to be. I could play defense well enough, but I couldn’t hit the long ball. When my dream of a baseball career fizzled out, I went to work for my brother, pouring concrete.
What made you decide to come to South Florida to help start Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale?
God confirmed it so much through His Word and in so many other ways that it was undeniable that we were called to come. We thought that it would only be for six months, so we didn’t sell our house in Las Vegas. We just rented it. We thought that we would come, tell everyone that we were a Calvary Chapel, there would be a thousand people the next week, and then we could go home. That’s what we saw happen in California and Nevada, but in those days, very few people here in South Florida knew about Calvary Chapel. Needless to say, it didn’t happen that way.
After being an integral part of the growth of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, what was your response when God called you in July of 1990 to begin a church in Sunrise?
It was joyous and painful at the same time. It was joyous because I was venturing out in faith, believing that the Lord had called me to do what I had seen so many pastors do—start a church. It was painful because I was leaving my church home, although I was only going to the city of Sunrise. I had learned and grown so much at Calvary. And on top of that, the Lord was blessing CCFL tremendously.
As you look back, do you see God’s hand in your decision to plant Calvary Sunrise?
Absolutely! There were many that came to know the Lord during those years. Many people stepped up to the spiritual plate and allowed the Lord to use them in many special ways as they volunteered. Much of the spiritual growth of my children took place at Calvary Chapel Sunrise as they matured through their youth group years. The Lord also used that time to develop me as a Bible teacher and to teach me to have the heart of a shepherd for His people.
In July of 2000, God called you to serve Him again at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. How would you define your current role here?
My primary role, and something that brings me great joy, is to support the vision and mission of Calvary Chapel to make disciples. Every day brings the chance to do that in a variety of ways.
What have you learned from your successes? Your challenges?
Success to me is to fulfill what God has called me to do. I have learned that the Lord will always be faithful to complete the work that He has started in your life, and He has certainly been that for me.
I’ve learned the same thing in my challenges that I’ve learned in my successes: God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
What do you want people to understand about God?
First and foremost, that God loves them and that He is quick to forgive sin when you ask Him with a sincere heart. I want people to know that for God, nothing is impossible. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you know or don’t know, whether you are highly educated or barely made it through high school, the bridge between where you are and where you can be is God and nothing else. It is not your ability that matters, but God’s ability and your willingness to surrender to that. In 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV) it says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” I want people to be encouraged that, despite our mistakes and inconsistencies, He can do amazing things in our lives. If you have a willing heart, God can take that and do miracles with it. I’m living proof of this.