I come from a broken home. My mother was divorced when I was 4 years old, and then remarried a short time later. By the time I reached fourth grade, my step-father adopted my older brother and me, so I went from being Danny Griggs to Danny Hodges in one day. I'm not sure how much this turmoil in my childhood affected me psychologically, I only know that it was not long after this that I began to rebel and live my life independently of my mother, grandmother, or any other authority figure. By middle school I was experimenting with marijuana, and before long I was trying just about any drug that came along. Near the end of my junior year of high school I was expelled from school as a result of my drug addiction. I spent the next couple of years searching for something in life that would finally satisfy me, but no amount of drugs, parties, or girlfriends worked. I was empty inside. Deep down I knew what I needed. I had learned about Jesus Christ through my mother and grandmother, but I had never received Christ as my Savior. For months I thought about giving my life to Christ, but I kept resisting. Then one evening I came home from a local bar. It was a weekday in the small town where I grew up in South Carolina, so there wasn't a whole lot happening "downtown." My mother and grandmother were watching a prime time television special with a preacher named Jack Van Impe. I didn't want them to know I was listening, so I hid around the corner in the kitchen. When the preacher gave the invitation to receive Christ, God got a hold of my heart. I went out into the front yard, knelt before God, and gave my life to Christ. From that point forward, I've never been the same!
As a recent graduate of Liberty University (formerly Liberty Baptist College) with a Bachelor's Degree in youth ministry and a desire to start a middle school ministry in a small young church, Danny joined the staff of Calvary Chapel in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1983. God had different plans and within a year Danny was asked to fill a vacancy as Senior Pastor.
From an intensified study of Scripture in that new role, Danny was personally challenged in three areas. First, he came to the conviction that the Bible teaches all spiritual gifts are available to believers today. Next he became personally motivated to begin teaching verse-by-verse, book-by-book through the entire Word of God. He was also challenged to place greater emphasis on praise and worship so that believers could openly express their adoration to God and prepare their hearts to receive His Word.
In 1987 Danny was led to join the fellowship of Calvary Chapels (a non-denominational movement founded by Pastor Chuck Smith of Costa Mesa, California in the late 60's) where he found common ground among pastors who upheld these same convictions. Since that time Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg has steadily grown under the faithful, uncompromising teaching of Pastor Danny. His genuine sense of realness, disarming transparency, and humorous down-to-earth style have become the trademarks of this expository teacher.