By Dan Wooding
The congregation at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, were stunned today (Sunday, January 01, 2012) when Pastor Chuck Smith, its senior pastor, announced during his Sunday morning services that he has lung cancer and will have a biopsy on Tuesday and surgery the following week.
Chuck Smith, now in his eighties and the father of the Jesus People Revolution in Southern California, said that he has never smoked in his life.
At at the end of the third service that was broadcast on KWVE 107.9 FM, his son-in-law, Brian Brodersen, joined with other pastors at the huge church and anointed him with oil and prayed for his healing.
Karl Corcoran, evangelism pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, posted on Facebook, “Update: Pastor Chuck Smith having surgery this month for lung cancer after a series of tests this week. Estimated recovery time is 3 weeks.”
In response to the posting, Kathy Buckley Keys said, “We were stunned with the news of Pastor Chuck. His ways are higher than ours and He is able to keep that which is committed to Him so we commit Pastor Chuck and all that is related to him, family, doctors and treatments to the Great Physician who knows Pastor Chuck intimately and ask for His guidance, favor, love and support through this time.”
Shortly after the announcement, the KWVE Facebook page was flooded with goodwill messages for Chuck Smith.
Joni Barger wrote, “I’m praying for a miracle. I’m an avid listener to the radio program. Pastor Chuck I’ve learned so much from you. God is with you Sir.”
Kim Krabbenhoft-Ancora posted, “Oh I am so sad…tears…we will be lift him up in prayer…but as said above, Pastor Chuck of all people will use this to bring Glory to The Lord!!!”
Adrianna Kneefel added, “We love you Pastor Chuck…the Lord uses your life daily to feed thousands of His sheep. Praying that much fruit would come out of this and that the the sickness would be removed in Jesus name…we speak words of life! Lord let your servant live and continue to bring the Word. Chuck is a bright light in a dark age…Lord let his light shine!”
Rachel Fret said, “I was floored when I heard the news this morning. Praying for Papa Chuck and his family. .. my husband had an aunt who died of lung cancer a few years ago. She never smoked in her whole life. Doctors assumed that it was due to where she was living…Redlands, Ca…air pollution. Don’t know but yeah, we found out then that it’s not a cancer caused by smoking.”
And Cassandra Voight Estes posted, “Praying… Please Lord keep Chuck with us so that others might hear your precious word. You have blessed Chuck all these years. I know he will not waste his cancer and you will use it for you glory.”
In a previous tribute to Chuck Smith, ANS correspondent, Brian Nixon, who for several years co-hosted Pastors Perspective with Chuck Smith, wrote: “Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement and one of the key figureheads of the Jesus Movement, has touched the hearts and lives of countless of people in his six decades of ministry.
“Not to mention his influence upon the fabric of Christian culture: from the 2,000 plus Calvary Chapel churches spanning the globe to the praise-and-worship phenomena initiated in the 1960’s. His impact looms large in the halls of modern Christian history.
“Sadly, however, Pastor Chuck had a brief setback, suffering a couple of what were described as ‘mini-strokes’ at his home on December 27, 2009.
“I was blessed to have worked side-by-side with Pastor Chuck for almost eight years, covering numerous fields: education, publishing, radio, and television.
“Not only was I able to glean from his words, thoughts, answers, and actions, on a weekly basis, but I was also able to watch him in a variety of situations: answering questions on a radio program we hosted together, cooperating with him on books, brainstorming and praying with him through tough educational situations. And, most special of all, to watch his interaction with other human beings.
“Let me say that … Pastor Chuck is a true gentleman. He is a man who understands God’s grace and the need for people to experience that grace in the love of Christ.”
I ask all of our ANS readers to pray for a swift recovery for this great Man of God, that he may be able to continue his amazing ministry for many more years to come.