Evangelist Greg Laurie wrote in a blog post about how his life was impacted by the late pastor Chuck Smith, who passed away Thursday at age 86 after a long battle with lung cancer.
“Rarely does a man come along that impacts a generation, but Chuck Smith was that man. He certainly impacted my life,” Laurie writes.
Smith began pastoring at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif., in 1965 and was known for his less formal and contemporary approach to worship and church services. His ministry continued to grow until his death. In 2012, after he announced to his congregation he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, Smith established a 21-member leadership council to oversee the Calvary Chapel Association, a fellowship of more than 1,600 congregations in the U.S. and worldwide.
Laurie says Smith’s service to the Lord brings to mind the apostle Paul’s words to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
“Chuck is now in heaven, and he will certainly hear the Lord say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. ... Now enter the joy of the Lord!' (Matt.25:23),” Laurie adds.
“There is much more I will say in the days ahead," Laurie says, "but for now let's remember to pray for Chuck's family and his congregation, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa.”
Shawn A. Akers contributed to this report.