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Chuck Smith, the evangelical pastor whose outreach to hippies in the 1960s helped transform worship styles in American Christianity and fueled the rise of the Calvary Chapel movement, died Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, after a battle with lung cancer. He ...

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Displaying 1–27 of 27 comments

audrey ruth

October 10, 2013  12:21pm

When I was very young, both in age and as a believer, Pastor Chuck's radio ministry was powerfully used by God to bless and strengthen me. I also learned discernment through his teachings. Once when he was doing expository preaching through the book of Daniel - a teaching style completely new to me - I skipped lunch breaks at work to sit in my car and read through Daniel with him. I was attending a great, Bible-preaching church too, but his teaching through the book of Daniel transformed my life in a powerful way. From then on I had a thirst for God's Word which led to a whole new way of life. His Maranatha! Music blessed me too. I had grown up with very staid church music, though some of the classic hymns of the faith continue to bless me today. As a young person I didn't care for Southern Gospel/country style music. The early contemporary Christian music ministered to me very powerfully, drawing me ever closer to the Lord. Its Biblical lyrics were powerful.

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Nick Watts

October 08, 2013  4:20pm

When I was in college, confused & looking for truth due to having been raised in a severely violent alcoholic home, I "stumbled upon" Pastor Chuck's daily program, "The Word for Today," on the local Christian radio station. From that point on, I rarely missed it. Driven by unconditional love, simple expository preaching, and humble commentary, Pastor Chuck's daily messages were used by the Holy Spirit to help me grow deep in Christ. Now, at 50 years of age, I have been in full-time ministry for 30 years. I simply cannot express my gratitude enough for the role Pastor Chuck played in my spiritual growth as a disciple of the risen Christ. Living in Texas, I did get to attend Calvary Chapel once in Costa Mesa and hear Pastor Chuck preach back in the Fall of 2000. It was an amazing moment - a Sunday night - and the place was packed. Pastor Chuck, my son, a committed believer, died recently. He was only 19. Perhaps the two of you have now met. I hope so. :)

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October 06, 2013  6:54pm

Dearest Pastor Chuck ~ Even though you are in Heaven now, I just want to say Thank You. Thank you so much. I was deep in sin down in Southern California in the early days of Calvary Chapel and heard those two words over and over until one day I remember thinking that if I heard the words Calvary Chapel one more time, I was going to lose my mind. Next thing I knew, a kid named Ben picked me up hitch hiking (something everybody did back then but now wouldn’t dare!) and he witnessed to me, led me through the Sinner’s Prayer and I actually went straight into one of the houses belonging to CC at the time. “Land of Love and Miracles” to be exact. Got grounded in the Word of God and the rest is history. I’ve pretty much always been on fire for the Lord ! Non-stop….just like you. Patti LaBelle perhaps said it best of how she sees things when a loved one dies….”Oh, they’re upstairs at a party. I’m going up in a bit.”

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jennifer lilly

October 04, 2013  9:03pm

Pastor Chuck will be sorely missed! Thank u Lord for his ministry and all the lives he has touched over the years! Can't wait to meet him in heaven!!!

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Catherine Martinez

October 04, 2013  3:08pm

I thank God for Pastor Chuck Smith. For years I was trying to find a church that loved God and loved people. I found one this last year at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. The Sunday bulletins show a picture of Pastor Chuck's smiling face and proclaims that a Christian is to walk in agape love. Pastor Chuck can say that because he did it. At the end of every service he sang a blessing to us. How touching to a broken heart like mine! And I hope his ministry goes on walking in the agape love he showed. God's comfort to his wife Kay and all his family at this time of mourning; He is the God of all comfort.

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:46pm

I cannot say enough about Pastor Chuck and Calvary Chapel. On two occasions, Calvary Chapel saved my life. The church was different than anything I had ever experienced. We studied the bible, from one end to the other and discovered the meaning of God Word then and how it applied to us now. Young children, teenagers, young adults were everywhere. Their energy and love for God so apparent. The music played by the young people was awesome. New at the time, it is now the music topping the Christian and pop charts with band like 3rd Day and Kenny Chesney and Plum. Never before has a church captivated the young generation, the generations providing hope our future.

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:45pm

In 2000, I was going through a horrible divorce in San Diego. A friend invited me to Calvary Mira Mesa and I met Pastor Mike Mackintosh. His words to me, and those he spoke on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, changed me forever. After moving to Brandon, Florida, I attended Brandon Calvary Chapel. There the words of Pastor Marc Orozco continued to strengthen my spiritual growth and my fellowship with Jesus Christ. I truly cherished my Sundays and always left the service feeling that some of the words spoken by Pastor Marc, were meant especially for me. In 2009, the worst possible tragedy a father can experience, came into my life, Pastor Marc was there for me. His words, his comfort, his unyielding and steadfast faith in God was what I needed to stay alive. More importantly, this wonderful man, a gift from God and moved by the Holy Spirit, also saved the life of my only daughter.

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:43pm

Driving home, I placed my had on her knee and told her how proud I was of her. Since she was 2 years old, every time I asked her if she knew how much her Daddy loved her, she would always spread her arms wide and say too much! But on this Sunday on the way home, she didn't. Instead, she looked into my eyes with such sincerity, Then, speaking from her heart she said "No Daddy and I probably never will". Her response surprised me, but the significance of those words would not come to me for a very long time. We drove on in silence and I began to think about the past few years. After a 3 year period of rebellion, she decided to end her lifestyle and concentrate on her future. That week been accepted into Embry Riddle University to pursue a 4 year Aeronautics degree with the intent of becoming a commercial pilot. I felt that now, with her focus on school /career and a new found relationship with our Lord and Savior, my little girl would have a a good future.

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:42pm

We spoke about the boy she was seeing and the problems they were having the rest of the way home. As we pulled into our driveway, I looked at her and said “I told her" When you meet the man who loves you as much as I do” Two days later, at 2am on Wednesday, I woke up startled. I felt as if something unexplainable was gone from deep inside me. It felt as if a wind had had moved right though my very soul and took with it a vital part. A part of me physical in one sense and spiritual in another. I was visibly shaken and knew something was terribly wrong. My daughter did not live with me but I had spoken to her at 9pm, telling her to drive home safely and closing, as I always did, with “I love you”. I made a cup of coffee and stood out in my front yard. I could feel an unseen emptiness inside of me. It was such a vital part yet, I could not see it. I looked up at heaven and asked God to please protect my little girl. Then within minutes, I saw a car coming down our street very fast. I watched as slowed then stopped, at my driveway. It was the Florida Highway Patrol. They took me to the accident scene. I saw my daughters lifeless body in the coroners van. My legs collapsed and I knelt in highway and prayed to God. “Please God, please don't let me little girl be afraid”. She had been killed by an underaged drunk driver at exactly 2:am

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:41pm

The devastation was indescribable, the pain unbearable. I began considering the way I could commit suicide, I knew that I could not and would not live to attend her funeral. Pastor Marc truly has been blessed by God. He came out of his love for me, for Alexis. He comforted me when I though that comfort was impossible, His words were from the Holy Spirit, his compassion from Jesus. They had to be. For the words he spoke were answers to silent questions I had asked of God. The compassion he provided was such, that I can only saw that it was directly from Jesus. God saved my life through Pastor Marc. Gods knew my daughter was leaving this earth. His love for Alexis and infinite grace, brought her home that night knowing, that his beloved Pastor would insure her acceptance of Jesus Christ into her life. He is a faithful loving and true God. He put us all together that day, to insure her eternal life in heaven.

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David Shumock

October 03, 2013  11:40pm

Thank you Pastor Chuck, you have touched the lives of millions and I can only imagine the smile God gave you when you returned home. Thank you Pastor Chuck, for providing us insight into the Word of God and establishing a foundation upon which many, like Pastor Marc, lovingly continue your ministry. I have written a short story about my daughter, her issues, her demons and how God directly interceded many times in her life. It's a story of a Father his daughter and the love they shared through the best and worst of times. If you would like a copy, please email me at and I send it to you.

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Don N.

October 03, 2013  11:00pm

I didn't always agree with everything Chuck said but I always respected him for his faithfulness to scripture.

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October 03, 2013  8:31pm

As a young 20-yr old college student, I and my friends trekked about 40-mi. one way 3-4 times a week to hear Pastor Churck, or Lonnie Frisbee expound on the Word of God, along with great worship music from Love Song, Country Faith, Debbie Kerner, and others. I remember the original Calvary Chapel (now Maranatha Village) which was built for only 250 or so people being packed out wall-to-wall with people, along with young people filling up every inch of floor space on the shag carpet. Young Jesus freaks crowded onto the platform with just about 3-ft.of space around Pastor Chuck or Lonnie Frisbee. Then, there were another 200 or so seated out on the patio looking in thru the windows and listening on outdoor speakers. Later, the patio was incorporated into the building. Every Sunday evening, Pastor Chuck would expound on 10-chapters in the Bible. He was an amazing Bible instructor because he had this incredible memory, speaking for up to 2-hours with no notes. Chuck, you will be missed

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Dean Broyles

October 03, 2013  5:27pm

I pray that Calvary pastors and other evangelical pastors faithfully emulate Chuck's courageous and uncompromising faithfulness to God and His word. He was bold enough to send "Pastors, Pulpits & Politics: The Case for Clear Biblical Moral Teaching" ( Sept122.pdf) with a cover letter he wrote to all Calvary pastors a few years ago. Christ's bride desperately needs more mighty men of God like Chuck to lead us as we are increasingly surrounded and threatened by this present darkness and ravenous wolves.

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October 03, 2013  3:39pm

R V - Ken Gulliksen later became a part of the Vineyard movement. You can find info on him in the history of that movement. or contact Anaheim Vineyard for more info. He was also the "spiritual father" who helped plant our previous church in CA so if you want info from someone who knows him, contact Davis Hill at

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October 03, 2013  2:52pm

The church will surely miss this gospel preacher. I have been trying to find information on Ken Gullickson who, I thought, was involved with Chuck Smith in the early days. Can anyone provide a link to Ken Gullickson bio? There doesn't seem to be much on the Internet. Thanks.

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Victor Bitar

October 03, 2013  1:22pm

Praise The Lord for his life and ministry. He has positively impacted the lives of millions around the world. He sure was a great example as the Servant Of Christ. May we all keep trying to live that example.

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Carol Anderson

October 03, 2013  12:53pm

I attribute Chuck's ministry to the very foundation of my faith when I came to the Lord in the midst of the Jesus Movement. I am very sad that he has passed. His voice echoes in my head and has always brought me comfort. I KNOW he is standing before the Lord and receiving MANY crowns that he is putting back at Jesus' feet. I have so many memories of him. I will cherish them as long as I live. "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"

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Paul Beck

October 03, 2013  12:47pm

An obedient preacher of the Gospel. A number of us will see him again soon. I am sorry to see this generation passing - look at the ages of Chuck Missler, John MacArthur, Charles Clough, and many other fine Soldiers of Christ. As this generation passes, we have to ask "who will step up and carry the torch?" It won't come from the Mark Driscoll's and Rob Bell's of this current generation....

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Mike Sutton

October 03, 2013  12:44pm

We were children of the Jesus Movement, the group I ran with at Samford University in the early 70's, and Pastor Chuck Smith was the father of that Movement, as he embraced the ones traditional religion wanted no part of. Pastor Chuck died today, God bless his memory. There is still nothing I like better than listening to his verse by verse Bible teaching.

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Donald Buckley

October 03, 2013  11:56am

Chuck Smith Jr., Pastor Smith's son was my pastor in a small desert town when I was in high school in the '70's. My faith was instructed by cassette tapes from Chuck Smith Sr. for many years along with rare pilgrimages to the "tent" in Costa Mesa. I finally met and spoke with Pastor Chuck Sr. while waiting for him to speak at a Chapel service while attending Azusa Pacific University. He formed the foundation of all my faith. I so deeply owe this man of God. Maranatha Music, Chuck Girard, Children of the Day, The Way, and many more refreshed me all my life as well. I passed out many Greg Laurie Living Water tracts. I am so happy that he has entered into his rest and received his very great reward. However, the earth is far poorer for his departure. I will miss him deeply. Thank you Pastor Chuck.

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Debra Lutmer

October 03, 2013  11:30am

I am rejoicing with those who rejoice and sorrow with those who sorrow. I had the priviledge, of being saved through Pastor Chuck Smith ministry in 1973. I was saved off the streets in the Mojave desert. I sat under his teaching met my husband and we both served until he went to be with the lord in 1999. I will always Love and miss Pastor Chuck and be indebted to him for his Love for all of us. Either here or in the air, get right or get left. Maranatha the Lord cometh bless it be the name of the Lord....

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Daniel Ruiz

October 03, 2013  11:17am

This is a sad day but I know Pastor Chuck is in heaven and would say not to mourn for him now. I live in Arlington, Texas and my wife and I listened to him daily. Such a humble and genuine man. Prayers to his family and close friends.

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Carl Kepner

October 03, 2013  11:10am

Prayers and thoughts go out to Pastor Chucks family. Pastor Chucks teaching of the Bible, book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse has had a profound impact on my life and how I share God's love to everyone that I come in contact with. It is a sad day for all of us but heaven is rejoicing today and Pastor Chuck I am sure is doing his favorite thing which is singing praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Glenn Belfiore

October 03, 2013  11:09am

Wow, so blessed by Chuck Smith over the years. I have so enjoyed his deep teaching ministry and his deep deep commitment to Jesus. Thank you so very much for your life and ministry. I look forward to a city whose maker is God and fellowship with all those who have gone before.

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Pam Harris

October 03, 2013  11:05am

He is amazing and was a faithful servant. He kept leading on until his final days with us. I am sad for us but happy that he is with the Lord. I pray for God's comfort for his family.

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Dean Kellio

October 03, 2013  9:33am

I had the rare opportunity to interview Pastor Chuck on KPRZ 1210 AM in San Diego, Ca. The thing I most remember about Him is not only that Jesus was the main reason for his life and ministry but Chuck's humble attitude. I think his "New Carpet Story" in the little Church Street sanctuary is one of my favorite stories! He was one of a handful of men in my life who modeled what Jesus must have been like in life. My heart goes out to his family...But we all know the words Chuck has just heard as he stands before his great God. "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into your rest.

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