When Dale Goncalves was a freshman in high school, a good friend of his had a dramatic life change that caught Dale’s attention.
His friend unexpectedly turned away from a stronghold of drug abuse and turned toward God. Soon after, this same friend began to invite Dale to his church and youth group in Sacramento. While Dale couldn’t deny the radical transformation he witnessed in his friend’s life, he was a little leery of attending a youth group, particularly one having to do with church.
It took a number of invitations but eventually Dale went with his friend to the church youth group and was pleasantly surprised. He found the group of young people exceptionally down to earth. They met regularly in a nearby home, ate pizza, played pool, and talked about God in such away as if God was not only interested but involved in their lives in a real and personal way. They made it seem as if God really cared about them, was with them and wanted to help them, which was a foreign concept for Dale.
“I grew up with the idea that God was like a stern grandfather figure who would watch you from heaven in order to catch you doing something wrong and then He would figure out different ways to punish you for the wrongs you did” he says.
Listening to his peers talk about God in a way he had never heard before, got Dale thinking. If God was who they were saying He was and cared as much as they implied, then Dale wanted to make sure he would go through life together with the God they spoke of.
He began praying, reading his Bible and attending church regularly. It didn’t take long for Dale to understand what the kids in that youth group were talking about. God really was real, He really did care and He wanted to be involved in Dale’s daily life in a very personal way.
Committing his heart to Jesus brought about such a positive change in Dale’s personal life that by the time he was in college he knew without question that he wanted to do something with his life that would make a positive impact on the lives of others, thus the call to full time ministry.
In 2009 Dale and his wife Colleen, whom he had met in the church youth group as a teen, moved to Manteca and connected with a couple they knew from their days in the youth group. The couple invited them to Calvary Community Church located at 815 W Lathrop Road, and after visiting a few other churches in the area, they soon realized that not only was God leading them to Calvary as their home church but that the community of Manteca was where God wanted Dale to have that positive impact on the lives of others that he so desired.
Ordained as a pastor, Dale began serving in different capacities at Calvary Community Church and eventually became the overseer of the Care & Connection ministry which is geared toward helping people in the community emotionally, physically and spiritually. Whether it’s counseling couples who are preparing for marriage, assisting those who may be in some kind of transition or crisis, a hospital visitation or offering encouragement and support in some other way, Care & Connection is how Pastor Dale is having impact with not only church members but people in general.
To learn more about Care & Connection Ministry and other ministries at Calvary Community church call (209) 239 1345 or visit www.calvarymanteca.org.