News by email Donate


UK News

Calvary Chapel founder dies

Leading US evangelical pastor and Bible teacher Chuck Smith has died after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

The 86 year-old passed away early this morning in Southern California.  He was the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, where he had been since 1965, and the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement.

Diagnosed in 2011, Pastor Smith continued to preach and even delivered three sermons last Sunday morning at his huge church.

Charles Ward "Chuck" Smith has been called "one of the most influential Christian pastors in Southern California" who is known for training other prominent ministers including Skip Heitzig, Mike MacIntosh, and Greg Laurie. At its beginning, Calvary Chapel operated as a cross-cultural missions organisation that bridged the "generation gap" as it existed during the Vietnam War period.

It was a hub of the "Jesus People" phenomenon that existed at that time and was featured in Time Magazine for its success among "hippies" and young people. Calvary Chapel introduced a less formal and contemporary approach in its worship and public meetings by doing outreaches on the beach and baptisms in the Pacific Ocean. Much of Contemporary Christian Music has its roots in Calvary Chapel worship music. Premier's Inspirational Breakfast presenter John Pantry and his wife attended Calvary Chapel in the late seventies and knew Pastor Smith well. 

He says he was a revolutionary Christian in America, and a "fabulous Bible teacher" who preached the Bible verse by verse:

It was on News Year's Day 2012 that Pastor Smith announced to his congregation at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, during a service that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. 

Chuck Smith is the author and co-author of several books and also preached on his daily radio ministry show The Word for Today which airs on Premier weekdays at 5am. 

He leaves behind his wife Kay and four children.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email