Chuck Smith 1927-2013

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Uncle Chuck

“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 1-Chuck & Kayblessing.

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.

1-chuck smith sr

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    25 comments on “Chuck Smith 1927-2013

    1. Pingback: Chuck Smith Has Passed Away | Phoenix Preacher

    2. What a great model of faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t think we can really understand the countless number of lives that have been touched, not only through Chuck personally, but the churches that were planted because of his leadership. It’s staggering.

    3. Chuck, thanks for sharing! It’s wonderful to know these details, and that he was peaceful right up to his passing. Blessings and comfort to all the family.

    4. What an amazing man Chuck has been, and what a legacy he has left! His impact will always be upon me. He buried my father back in ’75, and a few years later he dedicated my son to the Lord, when my son was only a few weeks old. He gave me, and so many other musicians in the church, a chance, but with a long leash. Without him, there would have been no Maranatha! Music. How many young, immature musicians and bands did he give platform to? How many people did he he lead to Christ? How many disciples did he make? There are too many to number.
      God be with his family and those in sorrow, comfort, and celebration of his homecoming.

    5. Papa Chuck was a major impact on my life and the salvation of all my children… He will be greatly missed, our loss heaven’s gain… Love and prayers to all his family…

    6. I was never priveliged to know or work with Pastor Chuck Smith. But I certianly bebfitted along with countless others from his Kingdom work. Rest in peace, Pastor Chuck and enjoy your reward, sir!

      I LOVE this vignette from my dear friend Richard Souther!
      darrell a. harris

      (from Richard Souther)

      RIP: Pastor Chuck Smith
      The real deal.
      I have this wonderful recollection of 2nd Chapter playing a Saturday night Calvary Chapel concert and I saw Pastor Chuck behind the curtain on his knees praying. The audience never knew he was there that night. That has always stayed with me. A great man of God.

    7. One of his favorite songs… “Some glad morning when this life is ‘or, I’ll fly away…” It is hard to calculate the impact of Pastor Chuck upon Christianity and this world. Historians will debate that. I do know that impact upon me was transforming. I continue to be amazed at the variety of denominations that have pastors redeemed at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or one of its daughter churches. Pastor Chuck used to say, “I’d rather burn out than rust out.” I don’t know if “burn out” really fits here, but what does fit, is he filled his life from conversion to life transition with ministry having preached his way at his pulpit and answered Bible questions live on the radio as far as he could go. He really loved teaching the Word.

    8. Getting news of this now in Spain . . . indeed Chuck was a father to us from the beginning. At our first venture “back” after a long prodigal son life (1969), he provided a welcoming/accepting experience. Later, our ministering in Guatemala, he was visiting speaker and further deepened all, even dedicating our baby, another thing he was so warm with. We are grateful for his faithfulness and teaching and influence over the years. A very bright spirit in God.

    9. Pastor Chuck was a spiritual rock for me. I have travelled through many ministries, denominations, groups, and churches. There was always something new going on in the Christian family with tantilizing programs, insights, outreaches, and such. In the cacaphony of voices, I could always depend on Pastor Chuck to be bedrock, never changing, never exploring some newfangeled doctrine or supposed revelation. He was my friend, my teacher, my spiritual north star always pointing me to Jesus as He is clearly represented in the Bible. Whenever I needed a word of encouragment, Chuck always made time, even when I would just drop in. Now in the glory of heaven and seeing Jesus face to face, I know Chuck’s joy is complete. The heavenly party must be awesome beyond belief. I can’t wait to join him in the celebration. Meanwhile, we carry on in faith a little bolder, a little more committed, a little more joyous for having known this great and humble servant of the Lord.

    10. Thank you for sharing this very touching scene of the home going of your uncle Chuck! I have admired him for years, especially how in a simple but wise way he could inspire leaders and draw unbelievers into the family of God! May God be with your whole family as you adjust to the loss of a giant among us! –Lee

    11. My wife, Sandra and I have been blessed by the ministry of Chuck and Calvary Chapel, since the early 1970′s when we came across the music of Maranatha Music, and the cassette recordings of Chuck’s bible teaching.

      Over the decades, he has been a wonderful example of the Christian life based on the rock of biblical foundations along with freedom of spiritual expression. Long may his teaching continue through the lives of those he has taught and influenced.

      Nigel Coltman
      Eastbourne, England

    12. Dear Chuck – I am so sorry for your loss of your dear Uncle Chuck. He was not only the leader of Jesus movement but a leader in all your lives. He has moved to his glorious residence with The Lord and that is joyous celebration. Yet there are loved ones left behind who will miss him so deeply. Holding you all in prayer as you celebrate Uncle Chuck’s life and the saving message of Jesus.

    13. While on the “Maranatha Tour” back in 1973 I had the privilege of meeting a man in Yuba City California named Chuck Fromm. I was the driver and ‘roadie’ who was in charge of getting everyone from place to place safely.

      Jimmy Kempner was in charge of officiating at the Maranatha concerts at each stop. We started at the parking lot of CCCM and made a circuit up to central CA and back.

      Jimmy took me into an office of the city manager of Yuba City while there and introduced me to Chuck Frommm. Being of a prophetic nature I perceived that the man was in “Heart~Break~Hotel.” Having lodged in that particular hotel a time or two myself I felt really sad for the man, I could feel his deep pain.

      We talked about his uncle Chuck. It was there that I first learned how human Chuck Smith could be as Mr. Fromm told us the story of Smith’s sunken boat on lake Arrowhead and how Smith had to rewire his boat after recovery. Smith loved a bargain and made sure that he purchased the most economical wire that he could, even if it was only a nickle cheaper he would drive all over the place to get that nickel savings…LOL. I got to hear some great stories about Smith that day, all good.

      I was totally impressed with Fromm, I could see that he was a good man with a great future ahead of him. I have never seen Fromm after that initial meeting with him in Yuba City. Over the years I have heard his name pop up now and then, always in the context of a man of God.

    14. A Spiritual Grandpa to me- I’m sure heaven is resounding with Pastor Chuck’s remark: “What a JOY!” as he looks into his beloved Savior’s face! Thank you, Jesus, for placing this man in my life and my husband’s life and a host of tens of millions of others. Comfort his family and friends as we wait to meet him there- before your throne– shouting: “What a JOY!”

    15. Summer of 69 two years from being in Vietnam. Disenchanted from the drug culture and aimlessly living out life at the beach. I became part of the Jesus movement in Southern California. Born again and the journey began.Remembering Pastor Chuck and his family.Love, joy and hope began in that little country church at the edge of town. Nobody personified that more than Pastor Chuck. See you soon. Maranatha!

    16. I was so saddened when I heard we had lost a giant bible teacher. His teaching tapes were instrumental to me back in the 80′s when I was so hungry for the Word and was really seeking help and strength from the Lord for raising my 2 kids by myself. Pastor Chuck had that ‘special soothing and peaceful voice’ that just spoke to my heart and drew me closel to The Lord. My prayers for comfort to his lovely family, ministry, and friends.

      I would love to order teaching cd’s from his web site if they have them available.

      Thank you Lord Jesus for Pastor Chuck’s life and his love and dedicated for teaching people about You…. Bless his family and I look forward to seeing him in heaven and hearing his voice again.

    17. It’s only through divine inspiration, and obedience to that call, that a man impacts his culture the way Pastor Chuck did. And his influence will continue, leaving us forever changed. Praise the Lord.

    18. Thank you Papa Chuck, for your love of our Lord & Savior, & reaching out & blessing all our lives forever. I was 15 yrs old the first time I worshiped in the large white tent, before the Calvary Chapel was built, I enjoyed the Sat night concerts, where my high school friends played in the band, Mustard Seed Faith & friends sang for Maranatha Music. Those days shaped & blessed my life forever. Thank you for your love & dedication to share God’s word & love. I so enjoyed Mimi, sharing stories of your childhood, & your life dedicated to the Lord <3 What a legacy for generations. Enjoy the Splendor of Heaven. We will continue to be blessed by your son Chuck Jr., another soul shaper, Thank You Jesus <3 till we meet again, standing on God's Promises. May God surround your family with favor comfort & blessings <3

    19. Pastor JIm Thomas

      Status Update

      By Chuck Fromm

      Thanks Pastor Jim, very well said.
      I cannot even begin to put into words the indelible impact Pastor Chuck had on me. I met and talked with him just a few times at the Calvary Chapel East Coast Pastor’s Conferences and was always inspired by his love for God, his passion for the Word, and his kindness toward each person that he talked with at those conferences. His generous and infectious smile, those tender and searching eyes, that warm, deep and resonating voice. Pastor Chuck simply glowed with the grace of God.
      Chuck’s verse-by-verse approach to Bible teaching has inspired thousands of pastors, myself included, to “simply teach the Word simply.” Over the years, I’ve listened to hundreds of his Bible studies and while I may not have always interpreted or applied a biblical passage in exactly the same way he did, there is NO DOUBT about the fact that Chuck taught me to love God, love His Word, love my neighbors enough to share the Gospel with them, and to joyfully anticipate the return of Jesus. Words cannot fully describe my respect and love for him. Papa Chuck will be missed.
      For many of us, there will be tears with gratitude for now. But we are the fellowship of hopeful mourners. The day will come when there will be explosive and unquenchable joy, when at last we are reunited with all the saints who have gone before us, including Pastor Chuck, and we will gather as a choir of those who can finally and fully worship our Adorable Redeemer, Jesus Christ!

      Grace and peace,
      Jim Thomas, pastor
      The Village Chapel
      Nashville, TN

    20. I can’t even imagine what our world would be like without this one man. I know that my spiritual journey would be very, very different. Thank you Father God, for giving us Chuck Smith and all that followed because of his influence. Such a gift……

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