“If you’ve heard Chuck Smith died don’t believe it. He’s moved out of a worn tent into a glorious mansion,” Pastor Brian Brodersen, son-in-law of Pastor Chuck and new head pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, posted to Twitter.
“So grateful for the ministry of Pastor Chuck Smith, tremendously gifted pastor, Bible teacher & friend of Israel,” stated Joel C. Rosenberg, New York Times bestselling author and communications advisor.
Pastor Chuck was instrumental in leading the Jesus Movement of the late 60s and early 70s. Chuck welcomed the youth of the hippie movement as they genuinely sought a relationship with God. When some in the church suggested these ‘dirty-footed’ kids not soil the carpets, Chuck’s simple response was he would tear out the carpets and pews and replace them with folding chairs before turning anyone away. He wasn’t about to let carpets be any hindrance to loving any who sought Christ. His ministry at a little chapel called Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa California would grow from a small struggling church in 1965 to a worldwide movement for Jesus Christ.
Today Calvary Chapel ministries reach to the far corners of the earth. The lives of so many have been touched by this man’s life. Early in the Christian life of Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship and Harvest Crusades, Pastor Chuck greatly encouraged Greg to continue to develop his God-given gift for evangelism. Today Pastor Greg, like so many others can look back and reflect on what a profound work can be accomplished simply through humbly encouraging someone to step out with faith when he/she believes God is asking him/her to act.
Chuck often referred to the faithful influence of his mother in reading Bible verses to him particularly in his young years. Many carry this example in their minds as a reminder of their ability to pour into their children and raise them up in the way of God. Think of the difference Chuck’s mom made simply by reading Bible verses with her son. Parents, you have great power to breathe love and life into your children, to build them up or tear them down.
Though Pastor Chuck’s accomplishments were many, he did not flash them around as his identity. Rather, he remained a humble servant of Christ, a quality we sure could use a lot more of in these days of big egos and a pandemic emphasis on self-importance. He credited Christ for every good work in his life.
Pastor Tom Blumberg of Calvary Chapel Northwest in Bellingham, WA, reflected on Pastor Chuck, “He honored the word of God. He demonstrated to us how to live by faith. He was always very graceful and joyful with his countenance and with his words. He encouraged leadership through the leading of the Holy Spirit, not depend upon man but to depend upon God. He never made excuses nor did he except others excuses. He never sought for personal glory or fame. His leadership over the Calvary Chapel movement has literally affected the world, because he understood what it was to be a humble servant of Jesus Christ. He literally expanded the kingdom of God by releasing men into the ministry, he never held on, he led with open hand and open heart. I listened to his last radio broadcast on Tuesday, on Pastors Perspective. He demonstrated to us, how to be faithful to the very end. The ministry was never about him, it was always about Jesus.”
You can read more about Pastor Chuck’s life and ministry in the books Why Grace Changes Everything and Harvest. The memorial website Pastorchucksmith.com features a bit of Chuck’s story, a video documentary of his life, pictures from his life and opportunity to share and read postings of others reflecting on ‘Papa’ Chuck Smith. A video of Pastor Chuck singing can be seen here: Chuck Smith – The Love of God. Pastor Chuck Smith‘s memorial service will be held Sunday, October 27 5p-8p at the Honda Center in Anahiem, CA.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of Hosts.” – Zechariah 4:6 is quoted at the bottom of Pastorchucksmith.com.