Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, died Thursday at 86, his church announced Thursday.
He had been battling lung cancer for the past 21 months, the Associated Press reported.
Smith is best remembered as the leader of the U.S. Jesus movement during the 1960s and 1970s.
He founded Calvary Chapel in 1965, and his church’s openness to hippies and spiritual seekers helped it grow exponentially.
With Smith at the helm, Calvary Chapel was able to launch hundreds of churches across the country and more than 1,500 worldwide, according to the church’s website.
Calvary Chapel's services on Sunday, Oct. 6 will be dedicated to honoring Smith and “celebrating his homecoming,” the church said in a statement.
Known to many as "Papa Chuck," Smith gave his final sermon last Sunday, titled “Be Strong in the Faith.”
He ended the sermon with the prayer, “It doesn’t matter what the prognosis is. We know, Lord, that you are able. And we’re trusting, Lord, in you.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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