(Photo: Calvary Chapel Chino Hills/Steve Hurlbert)
Doctors recommended surgery for Calvary Chapel movement founder Chuck Smith, whose cancerous tumor in his lungs has been reduced in size but is still a health factor after he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
Smith, 84, who is the pastor of Calvary Church in Costa Mesa, will need more tests to determine if the surgery will be safe, his daughter Janette announced Wednesday. Her update was posted on a "Praying For Chuck Smith" Facebook group page that has more than 8,100 members.
"Yesterday, I went to my dad's appointment with the surgeon," Janette posted on the page. "He gave us the good news that the cancer is now confined to a much smaller tumor and it has disappeared from the lymph areas where it had spread. PTL!
"The doctor would like to remove the middle lobe of Dad's right lung, to remove all the cancer that is left, down to the last cell. However, Dad needs a few more tests to see if surgery is safe right now. If not, then there are other good options that we will pursue. Your continued prayers for God's perfect will in each step of this journey mean so much to us. We are eternally grateful – yes, literally!"
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.
Despite the cancer diagnosis, Smith has been maintaining a busy schedule while preaching Sunday services, teaching at midweek Bible studies, and answering questions during his afternoon radio show "Pastor's Perspective."
Richard McIntosh, who manages the KWVE 107.9 radio station for Calvary Chapel, told The Christian Post late Wednesday that he sees Smith every Monday through Thursday at the station's office and "he is doing very well having completed the chemo and radiation treatments."
If doctors give approval after testing, Smith's surgery to remove the tumor will more than likely occur within two weeks, a family friend and pastor posted on Facebook Wednesday.
Harvest Ministries Pastor Greg Laurie interviewed Smith five days after his announcement in January during a live webcast. The two were seated at a desk facing the crowd of nearly 2,000 in attendance at Harvest Orange County. Laurie asked Smith, who was a key figure during the nation's "Jesus people" era that began more than 40 years ago, if he was afraid of anything.
As he stared back at Laurie with his well-known grin, pausing briefly, Smith answered, "Not really."
To which Laurie replied, "You are unlike any man I know."