|Jesus Movement leader and CCM pioneer Chuck Smith dies|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 04 October 2013 11:45 AM EDT|
Chuck Smith—influential author, pastor and founder of Calvary Chapel—died Oct. 3 in his California home after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 86.
Known for his welcoming demeanor, Smith was a pioneer in the so-called “Jesus movement” of 1960s and ’70s.
“He was definitely a pioneer,” Donald E. Miller, professor of religion at the University of Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times. “He had a transformative impact on Protestantism.”
Smith wrote several books, including Why Grace Changes Everything, Charisma vs. Charismania, Effective Prayer Life and The Final Act (all published by Word for Today).
In 1971, he also helped launch Maranatha! Music, a nonprofit outreach of Calvary Chapel that set hymns and worship songs to folk-rock music. Maranatha! was highly influential in helping shape the budding contemporary Christian music and Christian rock scene, and still releases new albums, available through Capitol Christian Distribution.
“Chuck Smith will be remembered by many, but he has influenced many more,” said author Ed Stetzer on his blog. “If you are in a contemporary church, engaging culture and planting churches, you are in a sense, a child of Calvary Chapel and of Chuck Smith.”
Christian leaders chimed in on Twitter to mourn the influential pastor and celebrate his influence.
“I’m exceedingly grateful for the exemplary life and profound ministry of my friend, Chuck Smith,” said author Chuck Swindoll on Twitter.
“Chuck Smith lit Gospel fires all over the world,” said Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ (Zondervan). “Countless people were inspired into action by his passion for evangelism.”
“Pastor Chuck Smith has died,” tweeted Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. “He is now in Heaven. He fought the good fight. He was a great man.”
He is survived by his wife, Kay, and four children, Chuck Jr., Jeff, Janette and Cheryl.