Pastor Chuck Smith on Sunday shocked his congregation when he revealed he has been battling lung cancer. Smith, 84, is senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Although he has never smoked, Smith told the church he will have a biopsy on Tuesday and surgery the following week, according to CBN. Smith is widely known as the founder of the Jesus People Revolution in Southern California.
"Please pray for Pastor Chuck Smith, Sr.! Today it was announced cancer has been found in his lung; there is uncertainty as to the extent. We are expecting to know more regarding prognosis and treatment after Tuesday. Please pass on this request of prayer for him, Kay, and the rest of the family,” Calvary Chapel wrote on its Facebook page.
The post elicited more than 500 responses and went viral across Facebook with nearly 400 shares in less than 24 hours. Twitter is also ablaze with prayer requests for Smith, as well as quotes from his sermons.
According to Assist News Service, Smith’s son-in-law, Brian Broderson, and other pastors at the megachurch, anointed Smith with oil and prayed for his healing after the church service.
Smith opened the doors to Calvary Church in 1965. The first service had only 25 people. Today, nearly 10,000 people attend the Costa Mesa church weekly and Calvary Churches have spread across the United States and around the world.
“Pastor Chuck’s contribution to the charismatic evangelical Christian community has been incredible,” David McGee, senior pastor of The Bridge Fellowship in Kernsersville, NC, told Charisma News.
“His teachings and leadership in the balance of the use of the Holy Spirit’s supernatural gifts and solid biblical teaching has been invaluable. His prolific birthing of spiritual sons, of which I am one of many, has forever changed the landscape of America Christianity.”