Kay Smith: Endearing Remembrances of a Godly Lady

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Issue 89 of Calvary Chapel Magazine, beginning our 23rd year of publication, was released to the printer today. We thank so many folks who have been faithfully praying for this publishing ministry. One of the many powerful stories in this issue documents the impact Kay Smith had on many wives of Calvary Chapel pastors. Kay, the wife of the founding pastor of Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith, went home to be with the Lord recently. Chuck often acknowledged that it was Kay’s heart for all the young people of the ‘60s and ‘70s that led to the start of the Jesus Movement. Below are excerpts from the heart-warming recollections of many pastors’ wives, relating the godly influence Kay had on their lives and ministries. Contact us at contact@calvarymagazine.org or 540-373-7882 to order additional copies for yourself or your church.

Pastor Chuck often recalled Kay’s important role in reaching the lost young people in Southern California: “Kay was the first to reach out to the hippies of the ‘60s. Her prayers and her tears laid the foundation for our church, Calvary Chapel,” he wrote in the introduction to Kay’s book, Pleasing God.

Janette noted that Ephesians 3:17b urges believers to be rooted and grounded in love. “That’s how she raised us, in the love of the Lord. And a lot of the hippie kids came from homes where they were not loved. As she talked to them, she found out that’s why they were on drugs—because they were hurting and looking for something real. They found real love when they found the Lord.” -Janette Smith Manderson, Chuck and Kay’s firstborn

Though Kay was a soft-spoken, naturally shy person, Sharon reflected, “Spiritually, she was very powerful, discerning, caring—very engaged, and very unafraid. Fearless. She feared God, but she feared no man.” -Sharon Ries, wife of Pastor Raul Ries

Kay Smith

The cover of Issue 89, which was sent to the printer today, 9/16. Please pray that the Lord would use this magazine for His glory.

“Kay taught us to bathe everything in prayer. She was a prayer warrior.” -Gail Mays, wife of Pastor Steve Mays

“She always told us the three most important things: Love the Lord with all of your heart (nothing else would work if you didn’t); love our husbands and children; and love God’s people,” -Jean McClure, wife of Pastor Don McClure

“She let me take baby steps,” Karyn recalled. “We talked about fear all the time. She told me that fear was rooted in self. ‘Karyn, you’ll always be nervous. You better be careful if you’re not. You don’t want to have so much self-confidence that you’re not relying on the Lord.’” -Karyn Johnson, wife of Pastor Jeff Johnson

“Kay taught us to use our chores as a prompt for prayer: ‘When you’re picking up your husband’s dirty laundry, rather than be irritated, pray that God would reveal to him any way that he needed to change and that he would be washed in the Word…” -Sandy MacIntosh, wife of Pastor Mike MacIntosh

Chuck and Kay

Carol recalled being a lonely young mother in the strange, new world of Southern California. (Carol was British.) “As I would walk home from Bible study, just across the street, I would hear other women making plans for tennis or lunch. I would pray and ask the Lord to give me a best friend. One day He showed me that He already had: It was Kay.” -Carol Wild, wife of Pastor Malcolm Wild

Karen recalled, “It just blew me away that, even in her condition, Kay was able to minister so powerfully to Janie, quoting Scriptures and the hymn. That was the mercy of God. She never forgot the things of the Lord. She was such a caring, loving person.” -Karen Pulley, wife of Pastor Lloyd Pulley

“We were all looking for that mom figure; we needed that. …We were all hurting. Some of us had come out of cults, or out of legalism, or cancer, or marriage struggles. She just nurtured us and welcomed us with open arms. She really filled a place that was so needed at the time.” -Irma Pressley, wife of Pastor Harry Pressley

“My prayer is that those who never knew Kay would take the time to listen to her teachings and follow in her footsteps as she followed Jesus. She will be greatly missed, but I am rejoicing that she is with her precious Jesus and with the love of her life, Pastor Chuck.” -Cheryl Cahill, wife of Pastor Randy Cahill

“It was fun to be around her; Mom had a sparkle. She glowed. That was another thing that attracted people to her. There was a deep well of happiness in her, and a peace. And they wanted that.” -Janette Smith Manderson, Chuck and Kay’s firstborn

Chuck and Kay

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2021 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.