Calvary Church Founder Chuck Smith Receiving Chemo

Chuck Smith
Chuck Smith

Chuck Smith is set to undergo chemotherapy next week.

Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement that has seen churches spread across the country and around the world, recently announced he’s battling lung cancer. The 84-year-old senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif.

“Chuck Smith is doing fine. I spoke with him last week and this cancer is not going to separate him from Jesus,” Mike MacInstosh, senior pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, wrote on his Facebook page. “Please pray for him as he will begin chemotherapy next week and then radiation. He's the all time great guy and would never complain, so let's bath him in prayer.”

Smith is widely known as the founder of the Jesus People Revolution in Southern California. In an interview with Assist News service, Smith told Christian journalist Dan Wooding why he decided to announce his lung cancer diagnosis at his church’s three Sunday services.

“Well you know, rumors can get going and they can get so distorted, and so I wanted them to hear it directly from me rather than from some other source where they would not maybe get the correct information. I wanted them to hear it from me and know the confidence that I have in the Lord; that He’s on the throne and He’s going to take care of it and I’m not really panicked and I’m not really worried,” Smith said. “Whatever comes, as I said to them on Sunday, the worst thing that can happen is I could die, but that’s great you know.”

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.

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