“So shall we ever be with the lord.”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:17
From: Chuck Fromm, publisher of Worship Leader
Along with millions of others today—as my cousin Chuck Smith Jr expressed—we are “surrendering everything to God’s infinite love and wisdom,” as we consider the passing of Charles W. Smith—for me, and my family, our Uncle Chuck.
“Pastor Chuck” is how millions knew him; those closer to him in the Jesus Movement even more affectionately referred to him as “Papa Chuck.” He was the father to so many and of so many things that literally transformed the Church landscape worldwide.
Yesterday, in the early evening, my wife and I traveled to meet with Uncle Chuck at his home. We spent about an hour sharing family memories and ministry. It was all so encouraging. Before we left, I took by uncle’s hand as we circled his chair and sang a blessing.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace
And give you peace
As we joined voices with other family members, Uncle Chuck sang a few words himself blessing us as we were blessing him. It was amazing. It was also restful and peaceful. Such a wonderful gift of God in his last hours: a blessing and a song.
This morning at 3:20, he passed serenely in his sleep and took up permanent residence in his eternal home. He leaves us with a legacy of grace; the founder of Calvary Chapel, who brought a new song to a new generation through the music of the Jesus Movement. And even more important, he introduced multitudes to the redeeming grace of the Heavenly Father’s love. God be praised.