Charismatic Pastor Wendell Smith Names Son Senior Pastor

Charismatic pastor Wendell Smith has named his son senior pastor of The City Church, the 7,000-member, multi-site congregation he founded in Kirkland, Wash.

Judah and Chelsea Smith (pictured) will begin serving as senior pastors in September. Wendell Smith, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, will serve as founding pastor of the charismatic church.

"This is an exciting time for The City Church and the right time for this transition to take place," Wendell Smith said. "Judah's leadership and preaching have greatly impacted our congregation and the thousands outside our church that follow his messages. We believe Judah and Chelsea will take us far beyond what we have seen in our first 17 years."

Late last year, cancer treatment forced Wendell Smith to significantly reduce his ministry involvement, but he said he has been able to resume many of his previous duties this year. After the leadership transition the elder Smith plans to focus on writing and overseeing The City Church's network of affiliated churches. His wife, Gini, will continue to serve as the church's executive pastor.

A frequent conference speaker, Judah Smith was pastor of City Church's youth outreach, Generation Church, which grew from one weekly service to seven in just three years. In January the younger Smith became The City Church's preaching pastor.

The City Church meets at several campuses across the Seattle area. A network of affiliated churches includes congregations in the U.S., Japan, Mexico and the Philippines.

A special installation service will be held Sept. 6.

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