Kay Smith, Wife of Calvary Chapel Founder, Dies at 94

Kay and Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel Pinterest page)

Kay Smith, the wife of Calvary Chapel movement founder Chuck Smith, died this past week at the age of 94. Chuck preceded his wife in death at age 86 in October 2013.

Chuck Smith, who was an integral part of the Jesus Movement in the 1960s and the 1970s, often referred to his wife's important role in reaching the drug-addicted, disenfranchised youth in Southern California, calvarychapelmagazine.org reported. "Kay was the first to reach out to the hippies of the 1960s. Her prayers and her tears laid the foundation of our church, Calvary Chapel."

The Calvary Chapel movement began in the late 1960s and, over the decades, has grown to 1,500 churches around the globe.

Calvary Chapel Magazine reported that Kay Smith "often spoke about joy." She started and led the Joyful Life women's ministry for years, impacting thousands of women and their families all over the world.

"Sometimes in deepest trials, God will so minister to us that we can have joy," Kay said in a 2009 interview. "We have joy just because we have Jesus. We sing, 'Joy to the World,' because Jesus was born, yet sometimes we act as though He were never born. Our salvation, our future—all of this is because of Him. It's easy to be discontent, but when we choose joy, what a difference it makes in our own lives and those around us. Joy is one of the greatest gifts God has given us."

You can listen to some of Kay Smith's teaching at the Word for Today website.

Her book, Pleasing God, released in 2008, was also well-received. In the book, she exhorts and encourages women to think of God first and to live with His pleasure uppermost in their minds. She reveals the secret to a simplified life.

Sarah Yardley, a follower of Kay Smith, posted this tweet on the Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Twitter page: "I remember how well she loved. I grew up watching Kay Smith. In her later years, before I moved to England, I spent many hours with her. Today she is home. I will remember so many things but mostly I will remember how generously she chose to forgive, to hope, and to love."

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