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Monday, January 2, 2012

The ‘Persistence’ Of an Oncologist Discovered Pastor Chuck Smith’s Lung Cancer
His son-in-law Brian Brodersen gives some background to the shock news that Chuck Smith revealed to the church on Sunday morning about his illness

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

MURRIETA, CA (ANS) -- Brian Brodersen, the son-in-law of Pastor Chuck Smith, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, has revealed that it was the persistence of an Oncologist that finally discovered that Chuck Smith has lung cancer.

Pastor Chuck Smith

Brodersen, who also serves as associate pastor to Chuck Smith at the huge church and is the featured speaker on the Bible teaching program “Back to Basics,” gave an exclusive interview to me on behalf of the ASSIST News Service ( at the start of the annual Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Missions Conference at Murrieta, California, today (Monday, January 2, 2012.)

I began by asking Brodersen, who is married to Cheryl, the daughter of Chuck Smith -- they have four children and three grandsons -- to explain how the news of Pastor Chuck’s lung cancer had evolved.

He said, “Pastor Chuck had been going through some routine blood work and they started to notice, in the blood work, that there were some abnormalities so they probed a little bit more and made suggestions and then they said, ‘Oh no, everything’s fine.’

“This has been over a couple of months, and then they kept going back again and did some more blood work and by this time the numbers were not looking good. However, the doctors had different opinions.

“But then, an Oncologist stepped up and finally said, ‘These numbers are problematic. We need to probe further.’ So it was through this person’s insistence that he started to aggressively search out this cancer. The blood tests showed that there was cancer, but it had to be found, so that’s what they did and they found a tumor in the lower part of the right lung.”

How advanced is it?

Cheryl and Brian Brodersen
(Photo: Rachel Marie)

“They don’t know at this point and there are still quite a few tests they’re looking to run over the next few weeks,” he said. “They’re looking to compile everything that they can on it and then get together as doctors and consult with each other and then come up with a strategy to hopefully deal with it.”

He added, “They are going to do a biopsy later this week.”

I then asked Brian how he and his wife learned about the lung cancer.

“Well my wife and I knew about the situation because she has really been involved in helping him get back and forth to the doctors, so we were already in that loop,” he continued. “When he finally got the diagnosis, Pastor Chuck shared it publicly on Sunday, January first, and he did it because he felt a couple of things: He wanted the people to hear it directly from him instead of hearing it as hearsay, and he also felt that the more people that knew, the more prayer support there would be.”

How did the congregation react to the news at the three morning services that Pastor Chuck spoke at?

“You know, Dan, it wasn’t like you might think, because over the past few years Pastor Chuck had a stroke a couple of years ago and he’s also had some major surgeries,” said Brodersen. “People were obviously shaken and some were emotional, but in the main part, the people were composed and the way he presented was beautiful.

“The news about his lung cancer was part of his New Year’s message when he talked about uncertainty, and said that ‘we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we know that we can trust the Lord.’ He added that this ‘is the area where I’m going to be trusting the Lord’ and it was a pretty powerful way to end each service.”

At the end of Chuck Smith’s third sermon and the cancer announcement which was being broadcast over KWVE 107.9 FM, Brian Brodersen asked other pastors to join him on the platform, then anointed Smith with oil, laid hands on him, and then prayed for him.

So what’s the next step now? Will he be doing any more preaching?

“Not in the immediate future,” said Brodersen. “I believe that on this coming Wednesday night he’s going to be doing his prophesy update which he normally does and then after that I think he’ll be out you know for a period.”

I then asked Brian, how he will be able to work with him during this difficult period.

“Well, we’re family, so of course we will just be there to love him and that’s what we are doing,” he said. “We spend time with, him take him meals and eat dinner with him and also hang out and pray for him.”

I then asked him how Chuck’s wife Kay was handling the situation.

“You know, she’s ok,” he said. “Everybody’s trusting the Lord.”

I concluded the interview by asking Brian how people should pray for Pastor Chuck.

“Obviously, we should ask the Lord to heal Chuck,” he said. “That’s always first on our priority list. But, at the same time, we know that God’s in charge and that He’s the all wise God and he knows what He’s doing.

“I think that Chuck would say, as he always does, ‘Thy will be done.”

Note: I would like to thank Robin Frost for transcribing this interview.

Dan Wooding, 71, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries and also provides a regular commentary for Worship Life Radio on KWVE. You can follow Dan Wooding on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books, one of which is his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available this link.

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