Wendell Smith, the founding pastor of the influential City Church in Seattle, Washington, passed away this week after a 6-year battle with cancer. Wendell was a pastor, a preacher, an author and a leader of leaders. Wendell is survived by his wife Gini, his son and daughter-in-law, Judah and Chelsea Smith, who are now the Lead Pastors of The City Church, and his daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Benny Perez, pastors of a thriving church in Las Vegas.
Wendell and Gini were my youth pastors when I lived in Portland, Oregon back in the 1970s at what was then known as Bible Temple. I will forever be grateful for their positive influence on my life in my teenage and early young adult years. I still remember listening to Wendell's practical teaching on "The Roots of Character." He encouraged me frequently in the development of my gifts of music and leadership. His example and leadership inspired me and gave me confidence when Nicole and I later led our youth group here in Australia for five years.
Wendell was a man of faith with a huge heart of love for God and people. He was a man of vision, with a deep passion to pursue the purposes of God in our generation. He had a terrific sense of humour and an ability to encourage people from all walks of life.
The City Church will host a memorial service at 6 p.m. January 7 at Overlake Christian Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations go to the Rose Hill Cottages, a nonprofit ministry that provides housing for foster families in the Seattle area, at www.thecity.org/giving, or to the Wendell Smith Auditorium at The Church at South Las Vegas, www.thechurchlv.com. Also, if you plan to attend please click here to RSVP. You may also visit pastorwendell.org at any time to RSVP, post comments, or get up-to-date information.
Wendell, thank you for your example and inspiration over so many years!
P.S. Live streaming: For those unable to attend the memorial service, we will be streaming the service live over the internet, starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending after the service. Flash player and minimum 3MB connection required; H.264 capability for mobile phones, including iPhone and Android. For projection: widescreen 16:9 at 1280x720. You may test your system compatibility here.