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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chuck Smith to begin chemotherapy for his lung cancer
He is ‘doing fine’ says his close friend, Pastor Mike MacIntosh

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

COSTA MESA, CA (ANS) -- Pastor Chuck Smith, the 84-year-old senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California, is about to start chemotherapy for his lung cancer.

Chuck Smith preaching

This was revealed by Mike MacIntosh, one of the early converts of the Jesus People Movement that took place at Calvary Chapel in the late 60s and early 70s, writing on his Facebook page.

MacIntosh, the senior pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, California, on Saturday, January 14, 2012, said, “Chuck Smith is doing fine. I spoke with him last week and this cancer is not going to separate him from Jesus. Please pray for him as he will begin chemotherapy next week and then radiation.

“He's the all-time great guy and would never complain, so let's bathe him in prayer.”

It was on Sunday, January 1, 2012, that many in the congregation were taken by surprise when Chuck Smith announced during the morning services that he has lung cancer.

Known as the father of the Jesus People Movement in Southern California, Smith said that he has never smoked in his life.

Pastor Chuck, as he is known to his the thousands who attend his church, agreed to talk candidly about his illness in an exclusive interview that he gave me during the “Meet the Missionaries” event at the church on Saturday, January 7, 2012, where he made a surprise appearance.

Mike MacIntosh pictured with his wife Sandy at a Calvary Chapel mass baptism at Pirate's Cove,

I began by asking him how he was feeling and he replied, “I’m feeling great. You know, it’s an interesting thing, with what they say is going on inside of me, that I’m not feeling it at all. There is no pain and I am just rejoicing in the Lord.”

I then asked him when he first heard that he had lung cancer.

“Actually, I do my physical checkups twice a year and they take blood and analyze it and there was one of the factors that was in the blood that was increasing dramatically and so that was an indication that there was something wrong and it did indicate the possibility of cancer,” he said.

“So that instigated a bunch of tests -- PET scans, CAT scans, MRI’s (Magnetic resonance imaging) -- and the whole thing. It seems like it’s pretty much localized in the area of my middle lobe of the right lung, and so it looks like it’s treatable and so we know it’s in the hands of the Lord so I have no fears.

“It’s an interesting thing that people expect you to sort of panic, but why?,” he asked, “because I know that God’s on the throne.”

I then asked Pastor Chuck why he decided to announce to the church at the three morning services that he had lung cancer.

“Well you know,” he said, “rumors can get going and they can get so distorted and so I wanted them to hear it directly from me rather than from some other source where they would not maybe get the correct information and I wanted them to hear it from me and know the confidence that I have in the Lord; that He’s on the throne and He’s going to take care of it and I’m not really panicked and I’m not really worried.

“Whatever comes, as I said to them on Sunday, the worst thing that can happen is I could die, but that’s great you know,” he added with a huge smile.

I wondered if he still planned to continue preaching and with his booming voice he said, “Oh my, yes. There will be no giving up on that just and I will be continuing on.”

Chuck Smith has a busy radio and television schedule with his Pastor’s Perspective program on the K-Wave Radio Network ( and his weekly update on His Channel (,) so would be also be continuing with them all?

Dan Wooding with Chuck Smith after their
Front Page Radio interview

“Well of course we’ll continue with them,” he said. “I don’t see any slowing down on either of those.”

On December 27, 2009, Chuck Smith suffered a couple of “minor strokes" and was hospitalized in a local a local hospital, so I asked him how the lung cancer diagnosis differed from this latest situation.

“This is different because with the strokes I was really physically weakened as a result and it took a little longer to rehabilitate from that. But this is something that I expect to just be out for just a short time,” he said.

Finally how can people pray for you Pastor Chuck?

“Well, just pray that the Lord’s will be done because whatever it is, I’m open to Him,” he said.

Note to ANS readers: I have posted the above interview on our website and you can hear it by going to:,2012Mono.mp3

You can also here my Front Page Radio interview with Chuck Smith where he talks about the early days of the Jesus People Movement by going to: 

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

Note: Charles Ward “Chuck” Smith, (born June 25, 1927), is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement. Beginning with the 25-person Costa Mesa congregation in 1965, Smith's influence now extends to thousands of congregations worldwide, some of which are among the largest churches in the United States.

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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