Pastor Chuck Smith, founder and pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, reportedly suffered "a very mild stroke" yesterday morning. According to the Orange County Register, spokeswoman Laura Jackson said, "He's recovering well. The doctors want him to have a chance to rest. That's all the family wants to say right now." Smith is 82 years old.
I first attended CCCM during the Jesus People movement of the 1970s, which Pastor Chuck is widely credited with fostering, and returned to the church in 2008. During the intervening 35 years, Calvary Chapel grew into an international fellowship of more than 1,000 evangelical churches, Bible colleges, and radio stations.
Smith is a beloved, iconic, enormously influential figure whose ministry continues to focus on expository preaching of the Scripture as it did when he established Calvary Chapel in 1965. On Sunday evenings, he still teaches a study of the Bible verse by verse and in October 2009 started Genesis anew after completing Revelation for the umpteenth time, in addition to leading weekly Sunday morning worship services. He has tirelessly inspired and supported generations of ministers, including Greg Laurie, Raul Ries, Mike Macintosh, Pancho Juarez and Skip Heitzig, among countless others. But there is only one Pastor Chuck.
Here is Pastor Chuck Smith delivering a recent sermon on the topic "Are You Ready to Meet God?"