Chuck Smith, pastor of megachurch Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, has died at 86 years of age. Janette Smith Manderson reported her dad's death on Facebook this morning:
Update for October 3rd: My beautiful, beloved, darling Daddy is in Heaven. He has heard the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Matthew 25:21 Thank you for your faithful prayers all these months.
In the 1960s Smith and his church embraced the hippies and shared the Gospel with them. The hippy converts helped form the Jesus Movement. Smith's church also embraced contemporary Christian music.
Smith was the target of a wild conspiracy theory in the 1970s. Conspiracy theorist John Todd claimed that witches involved in the Illuminati had a plan to take over the world. Cornerstone Magazine reporters Mike Hertenstein and Jon Trott reported in the book Selling Satan, "A Who's Who of Christian leaders were identified by Todd as dupes of the Illuminati, including Calvary Chapel's Chuck Smith."
The hysteria from the false allegations died down after Cornerstone Magazine and Christianity Today investigated Todd's claims and personal background.
Smith's real legacy is the thousands of people converted and discipled through the network of Calvary Chapel churches and their related ministries.
Last year Smith's sermon "Preparation to Meet God" was posted on YouTube. Today Smith is in the presence of God.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." - 2 Corinthians 5:8