ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Craig Milton Smith.  We will remember him forever.

On Monday, May 11, 2020, at 8:45 AM, Craig Milton Smith, loving husband, friend and spiritual father to many, passed away peacefully in his home at age 64.  He was resting peacefully when he passed.  He may have ultimately lost a 10 year battle to lymphoma but it was at that moment, the moment he breathed his last breath, that he entered the Kingdom of God so many of us long for.  No more tears, no more pain. Only Joy!

Craig was born on August 6, 1955 in Medford, Oregon to Mancel C Smith and Clara May Nunn.   Craig spent a few short years of his childhood in Watsonville but then his family moved to Santa Clara Valley where he went to Sherman Oaks Elementary and Del Mar high school, Graduating Class of 1973.

Craig got saved early on in life and in fact says that he felt like he knew God from his earliest memories, that he always sensed his presence... Even though Craig had had experiences with Jesus, like most youth, had his rebellious period where he got himself involved with gangsters, drugs and prostitutes. This ultimately led to him serving a year in jail for possession of cocaine. In jail, Craig figured out Who was King and upon his release immediately plugged himself into Calvary Community Church on Hillsdale Ave.  Shortly after that, in the fall of 1979 Craig met me, Lisa at a Church sponsored “Love Feast.”  It wasn’t love-at-first-sight but very much like-at-first-sight.  It took about a year, but then we were inseparable. 

After a long courtship, on April 2, 1991, Craig married Lisa Lorraine Webster at “the hitching post” in Carson City, NV.  Then, on June 15, just a little over two months later, they sealed the deal in front of family and friends, with a minister, the church, music, banquet, the whole shebang!  After a brief honeymoon they immediately went into ministry building and running the dormitory ministry for young single adults at Calvary Chapel Church in San Jose.

It was here at Calvary, along with his friend and business partner Ron Powers, that they co-founded a ministry called Skate Church, which impacted many young skaters in the 90s; many who went on to become pros and others that went on to become full time ministers.  Craig was very passionate about his faith and dedicated his life to serving the youth in our valley, and worldwide, as he pursued missions and ministry at every opportunity.

It was at this time that he and Ron also started a business called Ball Hitch Ramps where they built mobile hydraulic ramp systems as well as smaller composite ramps for events and outreaches. The business side of building skate parks and doing events across the country supported the ministry side of outreach through a network of many churches.  They formed skating teams that he would take on tour and this in itself became one of his ministries, one of mentoring and discipleship.

Craig then served as a youth pastor at Christ the King Church in Campbell and pursued ordination into the Anglican church.  Just before graduating he decided that going into the priesthood was not for him, even though the schooling involved with ordination was a very valuable experience and he loved it, of course...

Craig was a contractor builder/painter and who is always open to help his neighbors or anybody with whatever they needed.  Craig was always very giving and generous with his time and attention. A great inspiration to me, his wife!

Craig was a natural leader and many people flocked to his side for council and friendship.  He seemed to know a little bit about everything and a lot about many things.  He was always interested in everything and wanted to know how everything worked.  He had a voracious appetite for learning and loved to teach others what he had learned.  If it could be known, he wanted to know it.

Craig studied everything, but he had a particular fondness for scripture and Hermeneutics; how one studies scripture.  He was a student of history as well as physics, economics, politics, psychology and sociology, engineering, building techniques - the list could go on and on.  If Craig had a hobby it was music and movies.  He was always introducing everybody to new things.  Craig loved the great outdoors just as much as his wife Lisa and they often spent the weekend hiking and exploring in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Craig was larger than life and the kind of a person that commanded the attention of the entire room he was in.  He was very persuasive and compelling and sure of what he believed.  He always said that, It’s not what you do, but who you are that’s important. That the relationships in your life are the sum total of your accomplishments.  And that it was "his job to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed." Those of you that know Craig well, know just how well he did that job!  He was always challenging the status quo and getting people to think through what they believed and why.  He seemed to always have the facts at his fingertips.  He had an amazing way with people, children and animals.

Craig meant so much to so many.  He has a dear following, that looked up to him as a mentor, friend and “father like figure’.  His selfless love, teaching, wisdom and deep care towards others touched so many lives.  His thoughtful words have encouraged us, gave us hope, opened our hearts and minds, and showed us the true meaning of “LOVE”.

Craig was preceded in death by his stepfather and his mother Harvey and Clara Clark. He is survived by his wife Lisa, his brother Marvin, his stepsister’s Kathy and Karen, his auntie Bobbi, uncle Walt and aunt Betsy, and many, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

I want to list here all of the people who have come alongside us during this difficult time, especially the last three months of his rapid decline. These wonderful people are my prayer team, my friends and family, and all those who have been touched and affected by our lives in some way.  I apologize if I have left any of you out as I tried to collect all of the names of everybody who have been in touch with us regarding Craig‘s passing..

Calvary Community Friends:
Ron and Suzy Powers
Linda and Dennis Woodsmall
Kathy Beaulac Baker
Helen Lalo
Karin Grossman
Mark Williams
Susan Frederico
Patty Rupreict Cress
Silia Andresen
Marilyn, Silia’s sister, (Andrews) Gerhardt
Christy German
Rodney Page
Sara Saponaro
Kevin Lancer
Bill and Rhonda Petrie
Donna Troxell
Rachel Wood Iverson
Della Frantz Carlitz
Dave and Cherri Harris
Jeanne Callahan Russell
Steve and Nancy Fry
Charlie and Kathy Self
Lila Salazar
Kris Eidsvoog
Susan Elwood
Susan young
Guy Chism
John Bowman
Brenda Reinke
Jeff Lerch
Tom Steele
Jim Eliot
OLena Ross

Special Friends and Relationships:
John and Julie Dawson
Fran Tablas
Russell and Tara Karaviotis
Bob and Kit Perales
Jill Antoine
Tami Anthony
Scott Anthony
Pia and Bette
Mary Pratt
Kirsten Gorman Tunnicliffe
Colleen Wilcox
Leslie Koleman
Cindy Jorgensen
Judy Kritikos
Brenda Stewart
Sharon and Debi Fordham
Theresa Cummings
Val Richards
Bob Tiburzi
Thomas Mikkelsen
Rodney Lee Castillo
Justin, friend to the east
John Day
Dan and Olga Roseblade
John Harrison, from the UK

Bible Study Gang:
Chris Chow
Ana Cecelia and Ron Desmond
Melissa Mavati
Jess Gravelle
Suszanne Perez
Sarah Ornelas

Skate Church and skating contacts:
Josh Balogh
Chris Slappy Sutherland
Damien Schinella
Arlene, Bill and Lucas Mortenson
Salman Agah
Christopher Peter Drukas
Brandi, Frank and Chase
Veronica Gonzalez and family
Red Berry

Neighbors:
Darnell
Denise and Beth
Winnie and Joe
Sharon Bergis
Noel and family
Hank
Pat

Craig’s Immediate Family:
Marvin Smith, Barbara Matzat,
Walt and Betsy Nunn, Kelly and Camila, as well as many others in the family I cannot name.
Cheryl Leanne, Lena and Randy
Kathy and Karen Clark

Lisa’s Immediate family:
Janet Webster
Brenda, Josh, Christopher and Jonathan Felner
Mike Webster
Rhonda, Justin and Jared Kessler
Diana, Rodger, Chad, Dwan, Kyle and Roen Horn
Dena Webster
Melora, Joe, Joey,  Jake (& Brie), Becky and Ben Klusnick
Lisa’s Uncles, Aunts and cousins:
Laura Cox, Matt Studd, Heidi Causey, Ryan and Beverly Studd,
Kenneth Fredrickson, Ralph and Glenda Fredrickson, Greg Fredrickson, Barbie Vidovich, Salem Fredrickson

Clearly Craig was loved by many and will be missed as was evidenced by your all’s loving and supportive response to my numerous updates. I could never have gotten through the last three months without your outpouring of love and prayer. I can’t thank you enough for loving God and for loving me.  Craig will always hold a very special place in each of our hearts...

Craig’s body was cremated; I will hold onto the ashes until I figure out where I should scatter them; a place that is meaningful to us both.
Posted by Lisa Smith on May 27, 2020
Remembrances from Jake Klusnick, Craig's nephew on Lisa side.

I'm sorry Lisa, we're all here for you. I know I've told you this before but Craig is an inspiration to me. He cultivated an interest in science in me at a young age that has stuck with me and impacted every aspect of my school and work. He taught me to think for myself and to trust Jesus when the world feels like too much. I have so many memories of you and Craig throughout my childhood, especially Craig's big smile. I will miss him, but I'll never forget him.
Posted by Jim Bakke on May 25, 2020
Craig was a remarkable man who would always accept you for where you were. But would encourage you to how you could be. He had a special gift to think outside the box and help you believe in a different future. He had a remarkable sense of adventure and hope. I will always be grateful for his friendship and faith.
Posted by Scott Sa on May 24, 2020
Craig was my savior and others as well when we needed him most. He truly walked a Godly path. When I was going trough a very difficult time in my life he lifted me up, he was my teacher, my spiritual advisor and my counsel, my friend. He showed me love and acceptance and showed me how to find my spiritual walk when I was so lost. People like him are truly priceless. I will never forget how he would read to me uplifting readings and teach me spiritual ways of thinking and acting when I needed that the most. I will never ever forget him. He will always be my brother. Forever! I love you very much Craig!
Posted by Lisa Smith on May 23, 2020
This is from Carl Smudski

Craig, you were without a doubt one of the largest figures in my life with everlasting impact. It's hard to express all my gratitude in one go as there are so many unforgettable moments we shared, but I want to thank you for always being there for me and all the opportunities you provided me.

You fulfilled my dream of being a ‘sponsored skateboarder’, Ball Hitch Ramps wouldn’t have been the same without you. You literally put me on the team! I cherish all the time I got to spend with Balogh, Mikey (RIP) and Sour Mike Powell (lol). Our road trips with the ramps were nonstop thought-provoking conversations that I never wanted to end.

You gave me the opportunity to travel at a young age, which inspired me to keep moving and exploring in life. Working an honest, hard day of labor job in Hawaii and getting a taste of a different world outside of SJ was an absolute invaluable experience I think back on often. Sorry for tearing up those golf carts, we just couldn’t help ourselves!

Above all, you challenged me with new ideas and provided me the space to learn and grow as an adult. Every once in a while I'll still hear your voice in my head passionately explaining something or taking a radical stance on a subject no matter how unpopular or unbelievable it may be. You were a true renaissance man of infinite wisdom, curiosity and compassion. I was always entertained and inspired by our talks and they gave me the confidence to think, speak and carry myself with conviction.

Craig, you are always and forever in my thoughts. I’m so grateful to have had you in my life. Thank you for everything.
Posted by Helen Lallo on May 22, 2020
What can I say that has not already been said far more eloquently than I by previous tributes. However I dearly cherished the times we had to together this year my friend and some very sweet fellowship with you and with Lisa. In the almost five decades since we met we have had our ups and downs, shared laughs and shared sorrows. We have agreed on a lot of things and disagreed on others. So thankful for all the memories and until we meet again in His presence, I know you are safe in our Heavenly Father's arms.
Posted by Chris Chow on May 22, 2020
I am so blessed to have met Craig in 2009 when I was new to the Bay Area. I didn't have a relationship with God at the time and I was spiritually lost after graduating college. I was invited to a home bible study fellowship by a fellow skateboarder that I met in Sunnyvale who has a deep love for God. I felt so adopted into the fellowship and I never had experienced such tender love. Craig's knowledge about scripture was through the depths of depths that I started having questions about life and its purpose. His knowledge and approach in studying scripture the right way was what I will always take with me.

I am forever thankful for Craig in introducing me to Danny Aguirre in New York City at the time I was struggling to get plugged into a Church community.

Thank you Lord for Craig in teaching me to spend quality time in loving each person individually, to diligently study your word in fellowship, and importantly grow into the image of God. May Craig's Godly spirit and torch be passed onto a new generation of saints. In Christ's name.
Posted by Ted Bechtel on May 21, 2020
I was blessed to meet Craig, Lisa and Dwan early this century. Craig and I had many engaging spiritual discussions during our time together. It was during a visit in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, when he introduced me to the pleasures of single-malt scotch and Cuban cigars. As his email username reflected, he was “a lion of a man”. Craig is one of the most courageous and interesting men I have ever met. It is an honor to have considered him my friend. I will never forget our talks together, his fascinating life adventures, and his contributions to my spiritual growth. May loving memories of Craig sustain our love and lead us to peace.

The world has lost one of its best spiritual warriors!
Posted by Jerry Iversen on May 21, 2020
I was thinking about Craig and when I met him. I was a Scoutmaster and he was in my Boy Scout troop at Bethel Church in San Jose. He was about 12 or 13 years old, curly hair, infectious smile, and mischievous. We needed a Patrol Leader so I picked him because all the boys followed him. I thought if I picked another boy he would fail as a leader because the boys were all drawn to Craig. Plus, Craig would have to behave himself and be the example. Craig was always my favorite. You could not help but love that kid.
Posted by Chris LaSala on May 21, 2020
Craig was a true believer and a great brother. I can testify he bore all of the evidence of a great saint. I personally witnessed God do miracles in Craig. I am glad is struggles with sickness are over and he is in the hands of the Most High God in the presence of the Lord Jesus and the heavenly host. The Devil tried to break Craig's faith for years but he was rock solid. God glorified himself through Craig's suffering and the evil one was put to shame as all his efforts to break Craig failed. I thank you God for Craig's life.

I will remember him always and look forward to seeing him again.

Pastor Chris Lasala

Corsicana Texas
Posted by Michael Roe on May 21, 2020
I woke up this morning to a text sent from his phone that my old pal Craig had passed on. I had no idea, as I hadn't spoken to or texted him in several months, but I kept feeling prompted to reach out to him over that time -- a prompting that I will now forever regret. However, I'm really glad that I reached out to him a lot over the last ten years or more after having not seen nor heard from him during the previous 30 years. I met Craig at Bethel Church 50 years ago when he became a part of our youth group, and we eventually became close friends for quite awhile. I could on and on about the various adventures and good times we shared from those days, but it was when I reconnected with him over the last decade that our friendship really meant the most to me. Craig was an early harbinger in the medicinal use of concentrated cannabis oil to treat cancer after having done a considerable amount of research, including successful first-hand experience treating himself in conjunction with the toxic rigors of conventional treatment. I began sharing Craig's experience with the oil amongst my national grassroots following as a musician, and it wasn't long before several friends and fans began contacting me after having been diagnosed with cancer, looking for help. I would then immediately contact Craig, and he always was happy to help out in any way he could. I know of two very dramatic cases where a "cure" (i.e. remission) occurred, and I can't begin to tell you what this meant to all the people that Craig selflessly helped in this way. Even though the oil was ultimately not able to effect a permanent cure for him, the pioneer "seed work" he did in this area meant the world to the people he helped over those years, and I cannot thank him enough for his efforts. Craig has seen things that no one else has seen, and it led him down many roads, good and bad, but I loved him through it all and he never stopped being a source of encouragement and support. For now, so long pal. I shall miss your die-hard enthusiasm for life and hearing your endless stories, crackpot theories and left field opinions, mostly because now and again you were actually right :-) R.I.P. +
Posted by Brad Murray on May 21, 2020
I got to know Craig through Bob Perales during their shenanigans together in coaching girls softball . From the first time we met it was like we had known each other forever as he was extremely friendly and yet wasn’t afraid to tell me something that others would think was off limits for someone you just met ! It was friendship at first sight! 
 Craig was one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met as he seemed to know more about everything (even sometimes in my own profession of Optometry !) which was mind boggling and I loved listening to him and his dreams ! All of them had something to do with making the world a better place and involved God of course ! I loved being with him and talking God stuff because he spoke from the heart and didn’t just talk it he showed in in his actions. He was always doing something to help someone !!  I barely knew him and he and Bob pitched in and helped me and my son Shane by putting up a batting cage in the back of our business parking lot !! I’ll never forget the effort they put in together because it was not an easy spot in the middle of a parking lot with some big tree roots to deal with! Never took a dime only a beer and a burger !
I will always remember the great baseball powwows we had with Bob and he at Jakes over beers and burgers! No place better to talk baseball and God than with Craig, a beer ,and a burger !! My only regret is I didn’t spend enough time with him ! I will miss him greatly.  But we will have a beer and burger again I’m sure and he will fill me in on all the in and outs in heaven !! Lov ya Craig.
Posted by Matt Studd on May 21, 2020
While I never had the pleasure to meet Brother Craig, the tributes from Lisa and others, along with Craig's Testimony up till 93/94 provides deep insight into who he was, is and will be, as God Almighty Restores His Kingdom and fulfils His Promises to the World. Obviously a deeply held FAITH in Jesus, shaped and molded Craig's Life and priorities, and thus impacted more Lives, choices and decisions than we will ever know, this side of Eternity! God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths, may we be wise and obedient enough seek His illuminating Truths.

Lisa, our Family offers our Heartfelt condolences to YOU and your Family and our prayerful agreement for God's Blessings, Peace, Comfort, Strength and Provision as you say farewell for now to your Beloved Craig. May all the AWESOME Memories that you and Craig created bring SMILES that will always vanquish the sorrow and grief. May his Homecoming to God's Promises bring more HALLELUJAHS than tears.

God's Truths are worth KNOWING, LIVING & SHARING ... Obviously You BOTH know that WELL !

There are so many deceptive Religions, Doctrines and Cults, that preach a "different" Jesus. A different set of Doctrines. A different value or standard of "works" than that which God Almighty expressly provides in HIS Word, The Word made Flesh ... Jesus Messiah. Disciples of Jesus, know that Christianity is not a Religion, but rather a RELATIONSHIP with The One True Savior and Lord Jesus!

One can only be Redeemed, Rescued, Renewed and ADOPTED into His Eternal Kingdom Family, by His Way, though His Son JESUS and His Sacrifice and Gift of Grace.

May God Almighty continue to gift You with the means, the Faith to Live and Share His Redeeming Truths and Love worth finding and continue Craig's passion as titled in his Memorial !

Jesus Christ ... The Wise Still Seek Him and The World NEEDS Him !!!

With our Love ❤ and {{{Hugs}}}

Matt & Nancy Studd & Family in Tennessee
Posted by Debi Mazzotta on May 21, 2020
Dear Lisa and family,
My heart breaks for your loss, but I also rejoice that Craig is with our Savior in splendor and glory unimaginable! "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor 2:9)
I pray that God will surround you with His peace and comfort, that He will provide strength in your weakness, and be your anchor of hope always.
Sending love and deepest condolences,
Debi (Fordham) Mazzotta
Posted by Kathleen Self on May 21, 2020
Dear Craig, surely your life was woven with so much grace and truth. Thank you for bringing the light of God's love to so many. You absolutely lived out the life of God that was planted in your soul. Your voice challenging us to walk more truly to Jesus' footsteps will be missed. May the Lord bring pure comfort and consolation to you dear Lisa...thank you for providing a place where we can share.
Posted by Jim Eliot on May 21, 2020
Yes, indeed, I do remember Craig as being somewhat challenging and, to a degree, a little intimidating. I knew him from Calvary Community Church and, possibly, the ACTS II school (don't remember whether he actually attended but he seemed to hang out a lot with the students that wen there). Anyway, I was traveling in a car with him and a few other guys and I mentioned a line from a lyric of a song from a popular Christian artist (one associated with the late David Wilkerson) and immediately he challenged me over the line. It was, as I recall, a good challenge but his delivery was indeed a force to reckon with!! He was indeed very firm in his beliefs and, though, Hermaneutics was mentioned, I believe that Apologetics could have been close behind. He was an awesome brother who cared for and fought for the faith!
Posted by Judy Kritikos on May 20, 2020
I am in awe of the many, many things Craig did, loved, tried.. those that he touched, helped, mentored.The fight he waged, with so much grace, strength and faith. Lisa was second only to God in his life, and a I am SO blessed to be called her friend. I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface in knowing all the important things in Craig’s life...yet I know LISA was his number one partner, helper and love... and as her friend, I feel even closer to him now, even tho he’s with our Lord. Lisa... I can’t imagine the hole Craig’s leaving this world has left in your life, yet I know your strength will get you thru each day, each hour when needed! Craig may be with God... but a God is with you... you are not alone! Love you my friend
Posted by Ron Powers on May 20, 2020
Besides all of the incredible conversations on topics ranging from A-Z in religion/faith, politics, alternative-free energy, science, history and conspiracy, there is one occasion that forever put Craig in the extreme adventure category that I have always admired him for. On our second trip canyoneering he jumped a 55 foot jump into a river. The first trip, he saw the cliff and for the next year he talked about it "I'm going to make that jump as my first jump next year". Low and behold, as we approached the river a year later, I jumped the 20 footer with everyone else, but Craig and a few veteran jumpers just ran and jumped without even looking or psyching themselves out first. The impact ripped the watch right off of Craig's wrist. I never had the guts to make a jump like that, but Craig did. Craig has alway walked his talk, no matter what the subject was. I'll see you on the last day my friend.
Posted by Ginny Vincent-Moore on May 20, 2020
Craig holds a special place in my heart for a many reasons. His love for you, Lisa, and his love for Christ are forefront.

When I first came to calvary to work with Messanger Int'l, I was a young 20 yr old girl living 3000 miles away from my parents for the first time. He and this band of friends took me into their group and showed me what true friendship is. Craig made a comment early on (not sure I remember it exactly) about photographing my beautiful face. I was taken aback, but it was the first time I felt that someome thought I was beautiful (other than my Dad). and it made an impact in my life.

He taught me to paint; making a W on the walls with a roller; how to cut in like a pro, and how not to be afraid to get my hands dirty, even as a girl.  Even to this day EVERYTIME I paint in my home, I thank the Lord for you and Craig for teaching me life skills I wouldn't have without you!

Living in the young adults dorms, you guys taught me about working as a team and working to bless and serve in the church. I hated vacuuming the church balcony and cleaning those Sunday school bathrooms, but I felt proud to sit in that sanctuary each week knowing that I had done my part to honor what was being given to me (a place to stay and food to eat). Those are times I cherish the most in my life as a young single woman.

Thank you both for obeying God's word and serving those around you and God!

He will be missed dearly!
Posted by Lisa Smith on May 19, 2020
This is from Ted Bechtel

It was such a surprising blessing to meet you two in Cabo over a decade ago.. As you may remember, Craig and I had many engaging spiritual discussions during our time together. Also, it was during a visit in San Jose del Cabo when he introduced me to the pleasures of single-malt scotch and Cuban cigars. It was on another memorable occasion, due to your generosity, that I joined you two and your lovely niece (and drinking buddy) in Puerto Vallarta. If I remember correctly, we explored a Hemingway residence and practiced some yoga together there. When I tried to return the favor inviting you two to share my timeshare in Cabo, he wrote me that you were busy planning an innovative educational project here in Colorado. I think that was the last time I heard from “the lion of a man”.

Craig is one of the most courageous and interesting men I have ever met. It is an honor to have considered him my friend. I will never forget our talks together, his fascinating life adventures, and his contributions to my spiritual growth.

Despite his peaceful passing, there have been so many challenges for you supporting him through his serious health difficulties, many of which he valiantly battled to suspend. My deepest condolences for what must be the heartbreak of missing the love of your life. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help alleviate your pain. May loving memories eventually lead us to peace.

With love and best wishes,
Ted Bechtel
Posted by Melissa Mavati on May 18, 2020
My Dearest Papa. You are so very dear to me, your unconditional love, your guidance, you taught me so much, that I am forever grateful for. You were like a father to me and I will remember and love you always. Until I see you again in Heaven with our Lord.
Posted by Melissa Mavati on May 18, 2020
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

-Romans 6: 22-23

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Lisa Smith on May 27, 2020
Remembrances from Jake Klusnick, Craig's nephew on Lisa side.

I'm sorry Lisa, we're all here for you. I know I've told you this before but Craig is an inspiration to me. He cultivated an interest in science in me at a young age that has stuck with me and impacted every aspect of my school and work. He taught me to think for myself and to trust Jesus when the world feels like too much. I have so many memories of you and Craig throughout my childhood, especially Craig's big smile. I will miss him, but I'll never forget him.
Posted by Jim Bakke on May 25, 2020
Craig was a remarkable man who would always accept you for where you were. But would encourage you to how you could be. He had a special gift to think outside the box and help you believe in a different future. He had a remarkable sense of adventure and hope. I will always be grateful for his friendship and faith.
Posted by Scott Sa on May 24, 2020
Craig was my savior and others as well when we needed him most. He truly walked a Godly path. When I was going trough a very difficult time in my life he lifted me up, he was my teacher, my spiritual advisor and my counsel, my friend. He showed me love and acceptance and showed me how to find my spiritual walk when I was so lost. People like him are truly priceless. I will never forget how he would read to me uplifting readings and teach me spiritual ways of thinking and acting when I needed that the most. I will never ever forget him. He will always be my brother. Forever! I love you very much Craig!
his Life

Craig's Testimony (up to 1994)

Craig Milton Smith

I was born August 6, 1955 in Medford Oregon, the second of two boys, to Mancel C. Smith and Clara May Nunn, who were of German/English extraction and the first generation to leave their rural farming community and move to the city.  Raised in a long tradition of farmers and ranchers dating back to the 1870’s along the Pacific North West, “Smitty” and Clara brought a strong Protestant work ethic and working class family values to their home and children.

When Smitty died of cancer in 1960, my mother was forced to raise her two boys alone for three years until she remarried in 1963 to Harvey E. Clark.  Those years mark my earliest memories of independence and self-reliance, and became a significant force in shaping the next twenty years of my life and experience.

Harvey’s background and family were also tied to the rural farming communities of Oregon and Washington with a strong tradition in the Assemblies of God.  Harvey was the oldest son in his family and was also the first to leave the farm and seek his future in the city.  He spent three years in Glad Tidings Bible School that later became Bethany Bible College in Scott's Valley, CA.  He also toured the country during the 50’s Tent Revivals with a traveling Evangelist before he settled into the community of San Jose as a Real Estate/Mortgage Broker.

As a result I attended church regularly three days a week from the age of 10 when I began participating in the Boy Scouts and our Youth Group “CA’s” (Christ’s Ambassadors.)  From these I received strong formal religious instruction and a sense of Christian community, linked with my stepfather’s rigid military-like discipline at home.  Sunday mornings were a tradition of parade dress inspection, suit, tie, and shoe polish, mixed with the smell of waffles, pancakes and syrup.  After church would come the obligatory luncheon, which was followed by chores around the house, until the final Sunday evening service.

As a youth growing up in the traditions of the “Assemblies,” my relationship with God began on very uncertain ground.  Always profoundly aware of God’s presence in my life, and despite the traditions surrounding me, I did not have a personal revelation of Christ until I was 11 years old.  I attribute this more to the agency and prayers of my 6th grade teacher who was also a Christian, than to my own family surroundings.  As a male authority figure and representative of Father God, my step father was an abysmal failure.  He was the product and reflection of his own father, who at the age of 17 had to shoulder the responsibilities of his entire family and 160 acre farm.  His example was punishment for any of the failings or errors of his 3 brothers and sisters.  His standard was “Get the job done, no matter what.”  Punishment was swift and certain, no explanations, no excuses or special circumstances.
 
While outwardly our family life, well balanced and structured with Holidays and summers visiting Grandparents and cousins on the farm, school plays, chorus, sports and church activities, it soon became apparent that my step-father’s Christianity was only for show.  His business dealings became unscrupulous and questionable, he began numerous extra-marital relationships, and our family life inwardly began to disintegrate.

As a child used to his freedom and able to negotiate his way out of most difficulties, the arrival of my step-father into the household was violent and traumatic.  All affection and nurturing came from my mother.  My step-father became the enemy, to be avoided when possible, placated when necessary, and circumvented at all costs.  Fights and arguments were often, shouting was common place, and “home” was not the pastime of choice.  Consequently my friendships away from home became increasingly more a reflection of the turmoil I was experiencing inside, as well as the result of coming through my formative years during the “Rebellious 60’s.”

By the time I was graduated from Jr. High I was already involved in the drug culture.  Whereas, once I was placed in advanced science and reading classes, I now began to bring home D’s and F’s.  My interests turned to radical socialism, the occult, eastern mysticism, and the New Age.  I missed 86 days of school my freshman year and by the summer of my sophomore year I had taken LSD almost 300 times, and was severely demonized.  In order to graduate with my class it became necessary to attend summer school and night school for 2 years to make up the credits.  Even that would not have been possible had I not experienced a life changing radical encounter with God and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In the summer of 1971 I became involved with YWAM, Youth With A Mission, then a relatively new organization with roots in the Assemblies.  I spent 6 weeks in intensive teaching, counseling and witnessing.  I went to Los Angeles during the Jesus People movement where I met and became friends with the Dawson family who have continued to help shape my Christian experience to this present day.  Most of the erroneous teachings I had come to embrace were, at that time, corrected.  Because of my deep background in the occult, God met me with an even deeper experience of His power and Love, delivered me from my bondage to the cycle of pain and sin, and set me free to serve Him.  I witnessed many miracles and displays of the supernatural during this time.

The remainder of my High School term was a gradual disillusionment with the organized church.  The church I was attending, Bethel Church on Winchester, was experiencing a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and our youth group was ministering to over 200 young people every Saturday night.  A call to holiness and repentance was coming from the pulpit along with direct denunciation of the known sins within the congregation.  Immorality, adultery, illegal business practices, etc. were addressed by the Pastor from the pulpit.  Because there were a number of ungodly men who controlled the church Board at that time, their answer was to fire the Pastor, disband the entire Youth Group Leadership, force them to leave the church, and bulldozed the Youth facilities turning them into a parking lot.  My older brother, who ha also become a deeply committed Christian during this time, was a member of the leadership and was devastated by these events.  I gradually drifted into a relationship with a non-Christian girl, sexual promiscuity, and over the next few years, a return to drugs and dangerous friendships.  In 1978 it all culminated in a suspended prison sentence for drug sales, with a year in County Jail as terms of my Probation.

In June of 1979 I began attending Calvary Community Church.  I had many friends who had migrated there from the previous disastrous experience with the Assemblies.  The youth group ran about 300 kids with a strong leadership core and Godly adult oversight.  I began attending their Apostolic Community Training School (ACTS II) in January of 1980 which offered many accredited courses from Bethany Bible College.  I graduated after 2 years and toured the country for several months ministering with Messenger Fellowship that has become Messenger International today.

It was at this time that I first heard the teaching on the “Father Heart of God” and discovered Prov. Norman Arnesan’s “Roaming through Romans.”  I felt much like Luther must have the first time he read, “Abraham believed God and his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness.”  Romans 4:3

I finally understood that all my life I had been living under a performance based standard of acceptance.  That I had been unrighteously impugning God’s character by believing He was just like my dad, and projecting my attitudes about him onto my Heavenly Father, a twisted notion that bound love with punishment, and a young boy’s need for his father’s attention.  God came very powerfully and healed the wounds of my childhood, delivered me from my sins of ignorance and established a new and deeper love for Him than I had ever known.  He also began to heal my relationship with my step-dad.

My parents had divorced by this time and were living in different cities.  My dad and I saw each other occasionally and it became apparent that God was doing something in my dad’s life.  I continued to pray for his salvation as the Lord gradually replaced my anger and bitterness towards him with real love and deep affection.

In the summer of 1981 I helped establish the first YWAM base in San Francisco.  Working days driving a freight delivery truck, and walking the Polk St district evenings and weekends, we ministered to the homosexual community of prostitutes, drug addicts and runaways, providing meals, shelter and counseling.

In October of that year I traveled to Eau Claire Wisconsin to help David Spillman establish a small church.  After several weeks I had become seriously ill and in December I returned home to be hospitalized for a month.  I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and was put on heavy steroid medicines that continued for the next 10 years.

With the advent of my illness I discovered God was walking me through a breaking process and teaching me to yield to His will, to circumcise my heart of independence and rebellion.  I spent the next 9 years in an “on again, off again” battle with God over my condition and the ‘terms’ of my service to Him.  During this time I served on the periphery of the Youth Ministry at Calvary, working with the Girls Softball Team, Drama Outreach and the College and Careers group.  Finally, I decided to sell everything that I owned, quit my job, and return to YWAM to establish a new foundation and direction for my life and ministry.

In 1990, when I moved to LA to attend YWAM Missions Training School, my dad and I started getting together to play golf or go out to dinner.  During this time it became apparent that he had come to know Christ and was a profoundly changed man.  After I graduated from School and returned to San Jose, my mom and dad began to see each other again and one week after I got married my parents remarried.  God not only answered my prayers for my dad’s salvation but He also restored my family as well.  Truly He gives beauty for ashes and makes all things new!

During my training school for missions I traveled to Poland and Western Europe.  We motored by van for 13 weeks, witnessing, performing mime and music in parks and city squares, while preaching and teaching at night in local churches.  I was fortunate to visit the East Block just 6 months after the Berlin Wall came down and almost everything was still unchanged.  The Russians still occupied the country and its people were still very much under the Communist Spirit.  I preached my first sermon in a Polish church and fell on love with the Polish people, with their tenderness in the face of such brutality, their generosity in deep poverty, and their abiding joy in a place of such bleak and naked landscapes.

I returned to Poland in late 1990 for 10 weeks to lead an outreach team and teach in a YWAM Discipleship Training School retracing my earlier steps into Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland and Holland.  Again in 1991 I returned to Poland for a month just before getting married to Lisa Webster and taking a position on staff with Calvary Chapel Community Church. At Calvary my wife Lisa and I lived on the premises in a converted office complex.  We were responsible for the entire 10.5 acre, 150,000 sq. ft. facility.  We headed up the Dormitory Program that housed approximately 25 students between the ages of 18-30.  I taught classes in the Ministry School 3 nights a week and operated the Skate Church program the other 2 nights a week with discipleship classes on Saturday mornings for new converts.

In November of 1991 I underwent surgery to remove my entire large intestine and colon.  The surgery was difficult and painful requiring a lengthy adjustment period and a major change in lifestyle.  From that point on in our ministry at Calvary Chapel things began to go downhill.

We were at Calvary Chapel exactly 1 year until June of 1992 when we received the “left foot of fellowship” and had to leave in rather a hurry.  When the pastor finally discovered that our allegiance is to Jesus Christ and His Body, First and Last, there no longer seemed to be a need for our services.  We left under the worst possible circumstances with gossip, rumors, backbiting, slander and false accusations trailing behind.  Our only vindication came a year later when almost the entire staff was let go under similar circumstances.  There have been 3 complete changes in staff that we know of since.  As a result of our traumatic experience at Calvary Chapel, we underwent a 2 year healing process to deal with the disillusionment and bitterness.  The ministry of Our Savior Episcopal Church played prominently in that process.

We found Our Savior EpiscopalChurch in Campbell in September of 1992.  We had been visiting at least 5 other churches during the previous months and finally heard clearly from the Lord in October.  I was still dealing with the vestiges of my Assemblies upbringing and shied away from anything that retained the trappings of the “Whore of Babylon,” referring to the Roman Catholic Church.  I have, of course, come to see and understand the nature of LITURGY, the Traditions that preserve the Truth of Scripture and fundamental Doctrines held by all Christians down through the centuries.  It is interesting to me now, looking back, to note that I can’t imagine ever again belonging to a fellowship that did not practice liturgy.

In April of 1993 we heard clearly the call to begin serving Christ the King Anglican Church (then still OSEC) by teaching in their School of Faith and as the Youth Pastors.  We continue to so up to this present time.

That’s all he wrote so it must have in 1993 or 1994 that he wrote this testimony.
Recent stories
Shared by Monica Smith on May 20, 2020
Though we drifted apart in recent years, Craig was a big part of my life in my younger years and I always think of him with great fondness and love. If it wasn't for Craig, I wouldn't have met and married my husband! Among many other good things. He was a beautiful soul and will be greatly missed. 

Craig! You will be missed!!

Shared by Darnell Lemos on May 20, 2020
Never did I see Craig without a smile on his face and when I was down or depressed, he would have a positive word or scripture verse from the Lord to give me!! Craig would give me hope where there was none for me some days!! I had a little dog who did not like men and Craig had a way with my precious little dog would just go right to him wagging his tail!! Craig was always there and willing to help me whenever I needed him and his sweet precious selfless wife was right at his side helping along with him!! They were the perfect couple to me!! I always admired and knew their marriage was blessed by God!! I truly wish I could have met Craig and Lisa earlier in my life! I know we would have been long time Friends!! However, in the time God gave me to know Craig, I’ve gained a little wisdom and more faith!! Craig was definitely compassionate about the Word of the Lord!! I will miss his cheerful hello’s and smiles, especially when I felt down or sad!! Above all of this Craig is face to face with our Heavenly Father! In no more pain! A perfect, healthy body! He is free of the evil disease of cancer! Craig is in the Kingdom of Heaven!! How awesome is this!!!! I can’t wait!!! And the best part is to look forward to is his beautiful, precious wife and fellow Christian Family/Friends will one day see Craig again!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!