(Photo: Calvary Chapel Chino Hills/Steve Hurlbert)
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, believes he is winning his battle over lung cancer, he announced during a Bible study and communion service at his church.
His daughter echoed her father's sentiment in a Facebook post update Wednesday evening on a page dedicated to praying for Smith.
"Prayer warriors, there has been a major victory in Dad's cancer battle! To God be the glory, great things He has done! Dad's newest scan revealed that the tumor is not metabolically active. The doctor said it is 'DEAD.' It has been shrinking significantly, so the doctor plans to keep Dad on the chemo and targeted therapy that he has been on the last few months," posted Janette Smith Manderson.
In an emotional communion service prior to the Bible study at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa on Wednesday, Smith conveyed that his doctor's report from the previous day revealed that his tumor had shrunk about five times from its original size, according to Godreports founder Mark Ellis in his article.
Prior to Smith's announcement, "everybody was on pins and needles. We were thinking the worst," a lead usher told Ellis. After the report, "when the congregation realized it was good news, the atmosphere changed dramatically."
"The whole place went into a big buzz, with people clapping and praising the Lord," the usher told Ellis.
On New Year's Day during Sunday services, Smith stunned his congregation when he announced that he was diagnosed with lung cancer. In December 2009, Smith was hospitalized for having minor strokes and released several days later.
Smith, 85, has been maintaining a busy schedule since the diagnosis. He continues to preach during Sunday services, teach at midweek Bible studies, and answer questions during his afternoon radio show "Pastor's Perspective."
In addition to the much smaller size of the tumor, Manderson wrote in her update that the blood cancer indicator (CEA) test also revealed that the levels are favorably down.
"Please keep up the prayers because the Lord has been hearing and granting the requests of our lips," she states. "Praise God! I am so thankful tonight to share this wonderful news with you, our family in Christ."
Smith, who was a key figure during the nation's "Jesus people" era that began more than 40 years ago, described during an interview with evangelist Greg Laurie the beliefs of the Calvary Chapel network of churches, now found in about 2,000 locations globally.
"It is the exposition of the Word of God. It's encouraging people to read the Word of God and expounding to them the Word of God. It's really built on the Word of God. It's just God honoring His Word as He said He would. He said He would honor His Word even above His name. So the movement has been built on the solid teaching of the Word of God," Smith explained.