Just a few minutes ago I learned of the passing of Chuck Smith, a notable pastor in Southern California. Being born in that area, my father was greatly effected by his ministry. Even after we moved out East I still recall listening to his sermon on cassette tapes and occasionally on the radio. While he may not have been the most reformed kid on the block, he did strongly emphasize expository preaching and gave millions a new-found thirst for the Word of God. In his many years of ministry, he reached those that others refused to reach and still remained solidly orthodox. His impact for the gospel is unquestionable and admirable. Now he has finally seen His savior and realized the fruits of his ministry. My prayers are with his family and with the thousands of souls he touched with gospel that he leaves behind.
Chuck Smith, the pastor whose outreach to California “hippies” in the 1960s helped start the Calvary Chapel movement, died Thursday morning after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 86.
Smith was one of the first to attempt to change traditional church appearance to reach out to a changing culture, without sacrificing doctrine and expository teaching.
“His impact can be seen in every church service that has electric guitar–driven worship, hip casually dressed pastors, and 40-minute sermons consisting of verse-by-verse Bible expositions peppered with pop-culture references and counterculture slang,” Brad Christerson, a Biola University sociologist who studies charismatic churches in California, told Christianity Today.
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