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Thursday, October 3, 2013

R.I.P. Chuck Smith (June 25, 1927 - October 2, 2013)

Chuck Smith is best known as the first pastor and founder of Calvary Chapel. 
He died today after a long battle with lung cancer. My best summary of Smith: He had a simple but oh so zealous desire to take the love of God expressed in the Scriptures and communicate that across cultural lines to many whom church had given up on (starting with, yes, "those darn hippies...").

I would encourage any who would read this blog to check out Ed Stetzer's explanation in Christianity Today of Chuck Smith's impact upon evangelicalism and his reach through the Calvary Chapel movement. Those five bullet points alone are representative of who we are and who we hope to become as a church (SCC).

Chuck Smith had significant, if largely indirect, influence on mine and my parents trust and growth in Christ. I was living in Southern California in the mid/late 1990s when I trusted my life to Jesus - my parents zeal for Christ having already been born and was growing there. So many lay ministers and pastors we encountered, including my family's senior pastor, were greatly influenced by Chuck Smith. One of the churches I visited soon after trusting Christ was the one Chuck Smith founded - Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I hung around there a good bit and remember this being a critical time for me. After trusting Christ, God attracted me to His Word and was compelling me to write outlines, as a high schooler, of books of the New Testament. I didn't know any better! Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (and Chuck Smith's ministry) was the first place I recall receiving any kind of support and confirmation for such a systematic approach and verse-by-verse zeal for the Word of God.

Chuck Smith, may he rest in Peace with Him who is his Peace (Ephesians 2:14).


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