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Chuck Smith, Calvary Chapel Movement Founder, Remembered by Evangelical Leaders

( [email protected] ) Oct 03, 2013 04:41 PM EDT

Orange County pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, died Thursday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 86.

Smith died in his sleep at 3 a.m. Thursday morning, Pastor Stevel Mathum at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa told KNX 1070.

Smith served as senior pastor at Calvary Chapel for more than 40 years. He is considered one of the most influential pastors in much of evangelical Christianity.

He is also known for his outreach to 'hippies' and other young people others wouldn't reach. His outreach helped fuel the "Jesus movement" of the 1970s.

Since 1965, the movement that began with Smith's 25 person congregation planted over 1,600 churches worldwide as part of Calvary Chapel fellowship.

Evangelical leaders from across the country poured in their condolences through social media: