Bio, Blog, Story


Jay McCarl is an author, pastor, chaplain, theologian, historian, artist and Holy Land tour leader. He has served in ministry since 1973 and founded Calvary Georgetown Divide in 1991, where he still pastors full time. His distinctive teaching style reaches people around the world through personal appearances and an array of media outlets, specializing in eschatology, ancient Near Eastern logic and semantics, the Book of Revelation and chaplaincy crisis response. In 1998 he began Biblical Dinners Ministries, featuring unique presentations on the Last Supper, Biblical Weddings and more. Jay is also one of a few remaining real-world adventurers with over 25 years of experience exploring ancient Near Eastern ruins and writings. He has researched dozens of sites where Biblical events have taken place and future ones are prophesied to occur. Jay has, as he says, “the best job in the world—making the Bible simple.”

Jay has Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Chaplaincy Ministry and was a Chaplain with Placer County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy for 30 years. He has been married for more than forty years and has four grown children.


So, here I am: pastor of Calvary Georgetown Divide serving folks in the Sierra backwoods. I speak a lot, do Biblical Dinners, Galilean Weddings, teach, preach and more, in amazing places for wonderful people. I’m an author, Law Enforcement Chaplain, Israel tour leader and speaker, teacher, artist, musician, husband and dad. And though it goes without saying, this is my personal blog—the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of CGD, PCLEC or anyone but me. There you go.


I despised all things God, Jesus and religion—a 10-year old atheist. My Darwinian indoctrination in grade school had done its work. Then the God-who-wasn’t-there showed up in the form of a classmate wearing a snappy Boy Scout-ish uniform. Whatever organization it was, I wanted in and my friend arranged a ride to the meeting. It was at a church.

The ‘scouts’ were actually ‘Royal Rangers’ and the church was Pentecostal (to put it mildly). My skin crawled. A man with a flattop haircut greeted me warmly, then turned to the boys and said a terrible thing. “Let’s pray.” And they did—twenty young men stood up and began to wriggle and speak in tongues. Horrified. Someone finally said “amen” and they got down to business—and to my dismay, it was fun—so fun, in fact, that I returned the next week—and the next. And that was when Mr. Flat-top knelt in front of me and asked, “Would you like receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” I inexplicably answered, “Why not?” and prayed. The Atheist died.

Two years later my family moved to Southern California. What followed was four years of ugly: violent bullies, coerced academic mediocrity (good grades made one a target), few friends and no Christians. It wasn’t long before I relapsed into serious doubts about God, reasoning that if God existed He didn’t care about people (condition of the world, Vietnam, et al)—or perhaps He just wasn’t there at all—that humanity was consigned to meaningless extinction. So I prayed—and it wasn’t a nice prayer. “God, if you’re there, you’d better prove it, or tomorrow night I’ll leave you forever.” I meant it with resolve.

To my surprise, God showed up again the next morning at gym class in the form of two social rejects.

“You need to come to Campus Life tonight,” they insisted. “No,” I said, “I’m busy.” They insisted and offered me a ride. I was out of excuses. Again (and to my dismay) the meeting was fun and I didn’t want to have fun. Then the leader, a former NFL linebacker, began a peculiar discussion. The subject was hope—not a syrupy, superficial placebo for a troubled world, but a piercing declaration that life held no lasting hope unless it came from Jesus. I was stunned—and prayed again. “OK, God, I’m listening.”

Life changed and High School became filled with the unexpected: evangelism, discipleship, forgiving bullies and being mentored by men like Ray Schmautz, the young John McArthur, Dennis Agajanian and Ben Patterson. After graduation I joined Campus Life staff and pursued college degrees in fine arts and astronomy. Those were the days of the Jesus Movement, and I attended Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and got involved in their many ministries.

To maintain my habit (food) I became a sail-maker until going full-time with YFC. In 1979 I married Kathee Alexander and we relocated to the Napa Valley to assist at a big church that self-destructed two years later. Following a brief sojourn in San Diego I took a position at Calvary Chapel in Auburn, CA, and two years later we planted a church near Cool, CA, where I’ve pastored ever since. Cool. Really.

The subsequent years have been my most exhilarating, exhausting and fulfilling—I’m breathless and blessed. Above all, my love for Jesus still grows—He’s still everything to me. He forgave my sins and taught me to forgive, chased me down when I ran and took me down when I got cocky. He cared when I didn’t, stayed faithful when I wasn’t and loved me when I hated. I am His forever.

Maybe He’s chasing you, too. Let Him catch up—He won’t hurt you. He saves.

As a friend wrote once wrote,

“You’re on the ride of your life,
Only God knows where you’re headed;
Sit down, hold tight,
You’ll go places you never imagined;
Through the ups and downs, twists and turns,
Trust me,
It’ll be quite a ride…”

It has. Thanks for checking in.


16 thoughts on “Bio, Blog, Story”

  1. Hi Jay, my name is Miguel. I met you back in 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya. I was part of a small missions team from Calvary Chapel Golden Springs. We were invited to a small church in Nairobi where you gave a talk about the last supper. I never forgot it because it blessed my soul. My buddy and I often greet each other as you described in your talk. I was wondering if you have any resources or perhaps a video of that sermon that I can purchase or find online?

    God bless you,



    1. Hello Miguel,

      Blessings on you, brother! Great to hear from you and thank you for your encouraging words. If you send me your shipping address, I will send you the video and my books, yours to keep. The one entitled “Broken Bread” is all about the Last Supper. May the Lord bless you in all you do as you serve Him.



    2. Dear Jay,
      A friend was discussing some things written in your book “The Best Day Forever: Jesus…”. Could you tell me your experience/credentials regarding ancient Israelite practices. Where did you learn it?
      Thank you.
      William Sebastian


      1. Hello William,

        Great to hear from you and thank you for writing. Glad you have a copy of The Best Day of Forever—it’s currently out of print, but as I write it’s being reprinted under the title, “Before the Wrath” as a companion book to a new video documentary of the same name. The PR on the documentary was handled by the producers, which overstated my credentials. I am not an anthropologist or archeologist, but I have been extensively involved in the study and teaching Biblical culture, customs and semantics for the past twenty-five years and have been told by the credentialed that it is all spot-on (and for which I am both grateful and relieved). My educational pursuits were originally fine art and astronomy, and due to unforeseen life-changes I earned bachelors and masters degrees in chaplaincy ministry. My great interest in Biblical anthropology has taken me to the Middle East upwards of forty time, where I have led study tours of Biblical/archeological sites, taught the same subject matter in Israel-based colleges (including several in Latin and South America and Europe) and been both guided and affirmed by professors of Hebrew Studies from Hebrew University Jerusalem, Belfast Bible College and more. My most significant influences have been Dr. Jim Fleming (whom I have not met in person), Dr. Rachel Roubin, post-grad professor (ret.) of Hebrew studies at Hebrew University, author Gayle Erwin along with extensive contact with Bedouin Arabs in both Jordan and Israel.

        As to where I got the data, great question, long answer. Here is a link to a ‘brief’ explanation that includes the final chapter of the book and a revised bibliography: Among my favorite resources are various Bible-background commentaries (Zondervan and IVP) and the works of Kenneth E. Bailey, Dr. Jim Fleming, Henri Daniel-Rops and Prof. Robert Garland (lectures). Of course, the best course is ‘boots-on-the-ground’ and first-hand conversations with people who still practice forms of the ancient customs and use the same logic as is found in the Bible: the Bedouins. Hope this helps.



  2. Good day Jay,

    I recently heard about your ministry of biblical dinner trug Bridgewater Church, as well as my mother and brother through Classical Conversations. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the class but was lent youth broken bread book. Loving it. I’m one that has been periodically researching hebraic roots of Christianity so I love what you’re teaching. I saw the Bible question above and was curious if you’ve ever had of the one new man Bible. That’s the one I read, switched from NASB. Just curious and wanted to reach out. Have a great day!


  3. Hi Jay
    My name is Clive Bush from the UK.
    Me and my wife watched the above film last night and enjoyed it very much.
    One very disappointing admission was the lack of any quotation or direction to the constant reference to new evidence to support the narrative.
    Could you please direct me to where I can source this evidence .
    Bless you


    1. Hello Clive,
      Blessings on you and thanks you for asking about the sources. The script writer found it difficult to explain the process of discovery without bogging down the pace of the movie, so most of it was omitted. Among the most significant sources to the research were Dr. James Fleming, Kenneth E, Bailey, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Rachel Roubin (Prof. Hebrew Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Ret.), Prof. Desi Maxwell (Hebrew Studies, Belfast Bible College, Ret.), Barney Kasdan and Chaplain Jacob Cohen. Below my signature is a link to a brief explanation I wrote of the research process along with my bibliography. The companion book to the movie should be released any day, which more thoroughly assembles all the pieces. Hope this helps and thanks so much for checking in.




  4. Is there a way I could purchase a copy of your book, “The Best Day of Forever: Jesus, a Galilean Wedding and the End of the World”?

    I find it fascinating as at various times I have studied Jewish history. Although, I lay no claims to mastery.

    In Jesus Service,

    Pastor Charles A. Shopher, Sr.


    1. Hello Pastor Charles,
      Bless you brother and thanks so much for your email. The Best Day of Forever is currently out of print, but is being reprinted under the new title, Before the Wrath, as a companion book to the movie of the same name. After eight months of covid-induced manufacturing delays I’m told it should be released “around the end of the year”—so, hopefully very soon. When it arrives, it will be available through Amazon and


  5. Hey Jay. I just finished watching the movie Before the wrath. I really enjoyed it, it was an eye opener. Loved it.
    I now on a book search for your book “The Best Day of Forever, and I can’t find a copy, no where. How do I aquire a copy?


    1. Bless you Marcus and thanks so much for your email. The Best Day of Forever is currently out of print, but is being reprinted under the new title, Before the Wrath, as a companion book to the movie of the same name. After months of manufacturing delays, Brent told me he hopes it will be released “around the end of the year”—so keep praying. When it arrives, it will be available through Amazon and


      1. Thank you for your speedy response. I really appreciate the updated information. I must say, after watching the movie, it has changed my mind set about something. I was really moved after watching the movie. God is awsome, it really touched me and set me in a new direction with God. Psalms 119:18, is my prayer verse, before I read the word of God. I want to say thank you and thank God for you.


  6. Hi, Jay!
    Thank you so much for your ministry. I came here looking for your credentials and I definitely found them. I’m very interested and reading Before the Wrath but I went to and also and it is still not available. Do you have any idea when it will be available? Thanks again for all you do on behalf of the Lord and spreading His message.


    1. Hello Christiana,

      Blessings on you, and thanks you for your kind words, your gracious reminder and your patience. Unfortunately I’m still waiting for it myself, as the reprint of the book is well over a year late. It’s been about three months since I last checked, and I will check again to see what’s up. Thanks again.



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