Pastor Chuck Smith Hospitalized After 'Mini Stroke'

Southern California megachurch pastor Chuck Smith was taken to the hospital over the weekend after having what doctors described as a "mini stroke."

Close friend and fellow pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., reported Sunday that Smith, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Santa Ana, Calif., was taken to the hospital late Saturday night and urged prayers for the 82-year-old minister.

"Please be in prayer for Pastor Chuck Smith," Laurie announced Sunday morning.

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"[L]et's remember this beloved man of God in prayer, that the Lord would touch, bless and heal him," he added.

Smith, who discipled church leaders such as Laurie and Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque in New Mexico, is a recognized speaker at pastors conferences and has authored and co-authored several books.

Ordained as a pastor for the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Smith started pastoring Calvary Chapel in 1965, when the congregation was only 25-large.

Calvary Chapel has since grown to have a weekly attendance of 9,500, making it the 67th largest church in America, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

It has also been responsible for more than 1,500 church plants.

Though Smith was Calvary Chapel's second pastor, he is widely credited as founding the church.

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