By RON GONZALES / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SANTA ANA – A public memorial for Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa Pastor Chuck Smith, who died last week, is planned for Oct. 27 at the Honda Center, and Brian Brodersen, who had been associate pastor, was chosen to succeed Smith as senior pastor, the church has announced.
Pastor Will Lynn, administrative assistant, said that Calvary’s board set the public memorial for 5 p.m. 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.
“It’s going to be a very fun celebration of pastor Chuck’s life,” Lynn said. The congregation expects to fill the arena, which seats more than 18,000. Details of the memorial will become available soon at calvarychapelcostamesa.com and through the church’s radio station, KWVE/107.9 FM.
Smith, the longtime Orange County pastor who reached out to hippies and spurred creation of the Harvest Crusade, died Thursday at 86 after battling lung cancer. Smith, hired to lead a small congregation in Costa Mesa in 1965, led Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa for nearly a half-century, presiding over its growth to more than 10,000 faithful and its move to a campus in Santa Ana, near the border with Costa Mesa.
Smith gained prominence for his work, which helped fuel the creation of Calvary Chapels worldwide, and for his influence on generations of followers and Christian pastors whom he mentored.
Lynn said the board on Tuesday night appointed Brodersen as Smith’s successor, effective immediately.
Brodersen, 55, has been involved in pastoral ministry for more than 30 years. He has served as senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Vista and as senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Westminster in London.
“He is known for his clear and challenging exposition of the Scriptures,” says Calvary’s website. Brian and his wife, Cheryl, one of Smith’s four adult children, have four children and four grandsons.
Mike Mugavero, pastor and conference center director at Calvary Chapel Twin Peaks and secretary of the board of trustees, described Brodersen as personable and people-oriented. He’s had a long association with Calvary, and had served as associate for about 15 years.
“He’s a very good Bible teacher,” Mugavero said. “He cares about the staff he has, and the young pastors coming up. He’s spent a lot of time mentoring them.”
Mugavero likened Smith to UCLA’s famed basketball coach.
“Chuck is like John Wooden. He’s someone you can’t replace.” he said. “Brian has always been himself. He’ll continue to be himself. Brian’s actions will speak for him.”
A private memorial service for Chuck Smith is scheduled for this weekend, Lynn said.