Calvary Chapel Founder, Pastor Chuck Smith Dead At 86

Calvary Chapel Founder, Pastor Chuck Smith Dead At 86

October 3, 2013 11:09 AM
Chuck Smith (courtesy Facebook)

Chuck Smith (courtesy Facebook)

COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — Orange County pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, died Thursday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 86.

KNX 1070′s Vytas Safronikas reports Smith died in his sleep at 3 a.m. Thursday morning, according to Pastor Steve Mathum at the nondenominational Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

  • Smith, who served as senior pastor at Calvary Chapel for more than four decades, was considered one of the most influential pastors in much of evangelical Christianity, and was known for his unorthodox outreach to young people that helped fuel the “Jesus movement” of the 1970s.

Since starting what began as a 25-person Costa Mesa congregation in 1965, Smith is credited with a movement that ultimately planted over 1,600 churches worldwide as part of the Calvary Chapel fellowship.

Smith announced that he was battling lung cancer in January 2012, but the prognosis at that time was unclear.

In addition to his senior pastor duties, Smith also served as co-host of “Pastors’ Perspective”, a daily radio call-in show with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pastor Brian Brodersen and Don Stewart.

Raul Reis, who pastors Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in Diamond Bar, said he came to Christ through Smith.

“As we learned the word of God, Chuck became my pastor,” Reis said. “It was just a real blessing to see that he really loved the people…it doesn’t matter who it was, he continued to love people, so he will be greatly missed.”

Cheryl Brodersen, Smith’s daughter and wife of Brian Brodersen, said on Twitter, “My dad is now everything he wanted to be and where he always wanted to be!”

Chuck Smith was one of the greatest forces for reach young people for Christ in American history.  His unswerving commitment to preaching the Bible was an invaluable force in holding back error at a time when the threat of false doctrine was a systemic threat to the Body of Christ.  His legacy of 1,600 Calvary Chapels will guarantee that his influence will be felt until Jesus comes.

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5 thoughts on “Calvary Chapel Founder, Pastor Chuck Smith Dead At 86

  1. I came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through Pastor Chuck and his teaching. Countless people have been saved, because Chuck was faithful in preaching the
    Good News. His daughter Cheryl said it perfectly. “My dad is now everything he wanted to be and where he always wanted to be!”

  2. Thank you brothar Murillo for passing the news. I was saved at 10 yrs old through North Parck Calvary Chapel about 1974 in Pastor Mike MacIntosh’s ministry. He was from Pastor Chucks first group of licensed ministers. I did a full circle of backsliding from 14-24 then returning to Jesus in 1989 in Virginia at a Bible school and returning back to Calvary Chapel which by then was renamed Horizon Christian Fellowship San Diego pastored still by Mike MacIntosh. I must say, three ministries have had the greatest effect in my walk. And those are Calvary, my Bible school and your ministry ever since 1994 when I first learned of your ministry. God bless you brother.

  3. PASTOR CHUCK WAS MY PASTOR SINCE CALVARY CHAPEL WAS A TENT IN THE EARLY ’70’S…I FELLOWSHIPPED THERE OFF AND ON WHILE I WENT TO BIBLE SCHOOL AT NEARBY MELODYLAND IN THE ’70’S AND THEN BACK AND FORTH TO CALVARY CHAPEL..I USE TO SEE BROTHER MARIO AT MELODYLAND WITH RALPH WILKERSON…BUT LATER JUST “STAYED” WITH THE TEACHING OF PASTOR CHUCK..I FINALLY SAW CHUCK A WEEK AGO SUNDAY…HIS LAST TIME IN THE PULPIT..AGAINST ALL DOCTOR’S ORDERS..HE WEAKLY GAVE 3 SERVICES WITH OXYGEN TUBES IN HIS NOSE..HE WANTED TO BE WITH THE “CHURCH” OF GOD AND BE A PART OF THE SERVICE..HE LOVED OTHERS SO MUCH..IT MEANT EVERYTHING TO HIM…IN SPITE OF HIS PAIN AND HARDSHIP…IT WAS HIS “LAST”..GOD BLESSED US WITH THIS MAN..PASTOR CHUCK SMITH SR….WE LOVE YOU…

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