Pastor Wendell Smith Dies

With family by his side, Pastor Wendell Smith, founding pastor of The City Church in Kirkland, Washington, died on Dec. 19 after a six-year battle with cancer. He was 60.

Smith and his wife, Gini, founded the 7,000-member church in 1992 and has since seen the multisite church expand to six different locations throughout the Seattle area. Smith authored several books and oversaw an international network of churches.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, and in 2009 named his son Judah senior pastor of The City Church. The younger Smith fondly remembers his father's legacy in a statement.

"Thank you for your continued prayers as our family continues the race that [our father] started," Judah said. "He began in faith and we will finish in faith."

Wendell Smith is survived by his wife, Gini; his daughter and son-in-law, Benny and Wendy Perez; his son and daughter-in-law, Judah and Chelsea Smith; and six grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held at the Kirkland campus on Jan. 7.

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