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Chuck Smith, popular Orange County pastor, dies at 86

October 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Chuck Smith, the head pastor of Orange County's Calvary Chapel who helped fuel an evangelical movement, has died. He was 86.

Smith died early Thursday, according to the church's website. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago.

Smith arrived at Calvary in 1965, a time when the church congregation was made up of only a couple dozen people. Under his stewardship, the church has grown to more than 10,000. Calvary has also since expanded, with more than 1,000 church nationwide and hundreds more overseas.

Smith is also known for training other prominent ministers, such as Greg Laurie, founder of the annual Harvest Crusade that fills Angels Stadium.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.