Brian Brodersen is the New Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa

Selected by church Board to succeed Pastor Chuck Smith who passed away after a courageous struggle with lung cancer; Upcoming memorials announced to congregation

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

COSTA MESA, CA (ANS) Brian Brodersen, 55, has been chosen by the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (CCCM) board to be the new Senior Pastor of the huge Southern California church that was central in the “Jesus People Movement” in the late ’60’s and early 70’s.


Cheryl and Brian Brodersen

The selection followed the passing of Brodersen’s father-in-law, Chuck Smith, at the age of 86, in the early hours of Thursday, October 3, 2013, after a courageous struggle with lung cancer.

At a meeting on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the board appointed Brodersen, who has been involved in pastoral ministry for over 30 years, as the new Senior Pastor.

Brodersen had previously served as Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Vista, California, and also at Calvary Chapel Westminster, London, England, close to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. After several years of serving in the UK, where he established several new churches, he moved back to Southern California some years back to work alongside his father-in-law, Chuck Smith.

Brodersen is married to Cheryl, one of Smith’s four adult children, and they have four children and four grandsons. He has been extensively involved in missions and church planting work throughout various parts of the world. Brian is also the featured speaker on the Bible teaching program “Back to Basics,” and is known for his clear and challenging exposition of the Scriptures.

Pastor Chuck and others give the ‘One Way’ sign at a huge baptism service at Pirate’s Cove, Southern California


‘Water Paddle Out’ Memorial for Pastor Chuck

Pastor Brian announced at the church on Sunday morning that there will be a most unusual public memorial for Smith to take place at Huntington Beach, California – “Surf City” – at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2013, a place where Chuck Smith, and his wife, Kay, in those early days, would often go to share the Gospel with the hippies gathered there.

Organized by Calvary Chapel pastors, Brian Brodersen, Mike Harris, Joey Buran, Raul Ries, and a host of other pastors and surfers, the public has been invited to join them for a “Memorial Water Paddle Out” to celebrate the life of Pastor Chuck Smith, who loved to surf. The “Paddle Out’ will take place at the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier.

Looking back at the life of Chuck Smith

A much larger celebration of Pastor Chuck’s life has been arranged for the Honda Center (formerly The Pond) in Anaheim, California, on Sunday, October 27, 2013, from 5-8 p.m.


Inside the Honda Center during a basketball game

It will feature many of the early musicians and pastors who found Christ in the big circus tent that had been erected on the property during the revival that took place had a huge impact on Evangelical history with the birth of modern-day worship music. Maranatha! Music was formed at this time, and many of the pastors who found Christ during this period, like Greg Laurie, Jeff Johnson, Mike MacIntosh and Skip Heitzig, have gone on to lead some of America’s largest churches.

“It’s going to be a very fun celebration of Pastor Chuck’s life,” Will Lynn, administrative assistant at the church, told the Orange County Register.

Doors will open at 3:30 p.m., and parking, underwritten by the church, will cost $5. Lynn said he expected pastors from across Orange County and the United States to participate.

The congregation expects to fill the arena, which seats more than 18,000 and details of the memorial will become available soon at and through the church’s radio station, KWVE/107.9 FM (

It was in 1965 that Pastor Chuck Smith started his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which was, at the time a small congregation. Beginning with a mere 25 people, he saw God bless his simple, yet consistent style of teaching straight through the Bible.

Today Calvary Chapel draws over 10,000 attendees weekly. With a genuine heart for the lost, Pastor Chuck made room in his ministry for a generation of hippies, surfers, and drug addicts. This generated a stirring of the Holy Spirit, which spread from the California coast to the Atlantic and beyond. This movement was instrumental in bringing thousands of young people to Jesus Christ during the 60s and 70s in what was known as the “Jesus People Movement”.


Dan Wooding with Brian Brodersen in the KWVE studios during one of their programs

On a personal note, I was delighted to learn that Pastor Brian has been appointed to be the new Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. The main reason for my joy is that, back on Tuesday, September 6, 2005, I joined forces with Brian for three days a week to co-host “Pastor’s Perspective,” a one-hour live call in show that was broadcast across the United States from the studios of KWVE in Santa Ana, California.

This continued until the following year while, at the same time, we also did a weekly show called “Back to Basics – Questions and Answers” which was broadcast each Monday evening at 9:00 p.m. on Premier Christian Radio in London, England.

When I finally left both programs, it was Pastor Brian who suggested to Chuck Smith that I start my “Front Page Radio” show which continues today each Sunday on the now KWVE Radio Network ( at 5:00 PM and this week’s program (Sunday, October 13, 2013) features the reprise of an interview I did with “Papa Chuck” about the early days of the Jesus People Revolution. You can also hear it now at

Another connection is that I host “His Channel Live,” on His Channel (, a Christian Internet TV network, while Cheryl Brodersen also hosts “Today’s Faith” also on the same network. Cheryl married Brian at the age of 20 and she now teaches at Women’s studies, retreats, and the weekly “Joyful Life” Bible study at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which was originally begun by her mother, Kay Smith.

Details of both programs (and many others) are available on the His Channel website. My next program is on this coming Tuesday (October 15, 2013) from 6-7 p.m. (Pacific Time) is with Jim and Shonda Davis of Pastoral Training of Asia ( You can watch it at

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