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Life Reflections of Elder Vernon Chappel


ernon Chappel was born in Wasco, California to the union of Virgil and Doris Chappel on January 19, 1957. The fifth of seven children, it was obvious from birth that he was called to the music ministry. His family’s earliest memories are of him banging on pots and pans around the house to make music. Vernon started playing the piano at the age of seven, and with the relentless encouragement and direction of his mother, he began to sing in the church choir, initiating his journey to ultimately become a praise and worship leader to the nations. Vernon attended Bakersfield College and California State University Bakersfield. There, he gained notoriety as a cheerleader who epitomized the spirit of college life. With his precision gymnastics and enthusiastic chants, he inspired hundreds. During those years he worked as a full-time Community Outreach Worker and taught for the United Spirit Association for four years.

However, his ultimate calling was music, and in the late 1980’s he approached his longtime friend and musician, Donald Factory, to begin the Bakersfield Community Choir (BCC). With the choir, Vernon traveled extensively throughout the United States and recorded “He’s Real”, which featured several of his original songs. On the heels of BCC’s success, Elder Chappel founded the Unity in Praise Music Conference of California. For over ten years, the conference attracted large crowds and well known artists. In the early 90’s, Elder Chappel met Pastor Ken Williams and the Abundant Life Ministries. Breaking racial barriers, he served diligently as the full-time Minister of Music. The teachings he received there were life-changing and laid the foundation for his future endeavors as a worshiper, psalmist and mentor. During that time, Vernon was also introduced to Prophet Kim Clement, from whom he gained an appreciation and understanding for the prophetic realms of worship. He later formed an inspirational singing group “Minister Vernon Chappel and High Praise”. Together, they traveled internationally, facilitating hundreds of praise & worship gatherings. Subsequently, he recorded three albums, “Praise Live, Double Portion 1 and Double Portion 2”. His most noted song, recorded by Beverly Crawford in 1995, “Praise Jehovah”, emerged as a household worship song and anthem of praise throughout the world. His music was also recorded by The Thomas Community Choir, Dorothy Norwood, Lillian Lily of the Mississippi Mass Choir, Southern California Mass Choir, Vanessa Michelle, Louisiana All State Youth Choir,

Northern California Mass Choir, Joe Pace and Colorado Mass and The Edwin Hawkins music and Arts Seminar. In 2009, his single “One For All” was selected the theme song for the Presidential Inauguration National Justice Sunday service. Vernon was eventually promoted event coordinator and music director for the National Alliance of Faith and Justice, (NAFJ). He was also the coordinator of a Musical Extravaganza for the National Association of Blacks and Criminal Justice, (NABCJ). Vernon was also selected “Songwriter of the Year” for North and South Carolina Waljo Awards and served as National Praise and Worship Leader for Bobby Jones Artist Retreat. Elder Chappel recorded a highly-anointed series of instrumental prayer and meditation CDs, from which many testimonies of healing and deliverance were reported, and founded The Heart of Worship, a monthly gathering of intimate worship. Vernon made a covenant connection with Bishop and Pastor Sheryl Brady. He traveled with them for years as a musician, music director and psalmist. His ministry and passion for worship enabled him to assist the Brady’s in founding The River in Raleigh, NC. “Elder”, as he became affectionately known, was a pillar of strength, loyalty and unrestrained worship. On any given Sunday, he could be found on the platform of The River leading the saints in authentic worship, exuberant praise, or his signature “Praise Rock”. Elder’s intense worship approach was highlighted by amazing spontaneity, limitless vocal prowess, and his ability to almost-instantly access the presence of God. His infectious smile, genuine heart for people and willingness to go the extra mile made him feel like extended family to all who met him. Vernon was also known as Godfather to many young musicians, worship leaders, and preachers through mentoring and by leading an exemplary life. Elder maintained his assignment with the River and served with Pastor Ronald Godbee until his transition. Elder “Rocked Steady” with the River. Anyone who really knew Vernon would tell you of his love for fishing. He could spends hours pursuing this hobby. Alongside his love for fishing, was his passion in the kitchen. Many can recall being blessed by Elder’s fine culinary skills. Vernon also loved a good joke, and his hearty laugh could fill an entire room. Elder Chappel devoted 35 plus years to the music ministry. Through his ministry countless were renewed, sustained, invigorated, inspired and enlightened by God’s transforming presence. However, his highest love was for his family. On January 27, 2013, he accepted his greatest appointment — to worship before the King. He was preceded in death by his mother, Doris Jean Chappel. His legacy will be cherished by his devoted father, Virgil L. Chappel; siblings, Lafrieda Brown, Troyce Leatherwood, Joyce Leatherwood, Judy Woodrow, Kenneth Chappel, Loretta Chappel, Stanley Chappel; adopted sister, Leticia Carter; adopted son Kareem Newsome, a host of cousins and relatives, in-laws, spiritual children, and family.

Pastor Jacinto M. Sims, officiating

The Prelude Acknowledgment of Clergy and Guests Invocation

Pastor Ronald Godbee

Praise & Worship

T h e

L i f e

Expressions of Life

Julius Patterson Elder Carlette Williams Evangelist Sheila Evans


T h e

L o y a lt y

Expressions of Loyalty Bishop Manwell Grady Bishop Joby Brady Pastor Sheryl Brady

T h e

L e g a c y

Special Video Tribute & Selection Expressions of Legacy Sister Annette Etheridge Chris Baker Terrence White Cameron Deaver

Special Selection

The Heart of Worship

Praise Jehovah The Benediction The Finale

Words and Music by: Vernon Chappel V e r s e


Praise Jehovah Lord God Almighty Praise Jehovah Everlasting King We praise Your name Lord Jehovah We praise You

V e r s e


Praise Jehovah in all His splendor Praise Jehovah For His Majesty We praise Your name Lord, Jehovah We praise You And all the heavens shall declare Your glory And all the earth shall sing Your praise Your praise

C h o r u s Jehovah, we praise You Jehovah, we praise You We praise Your name We praise Your name Jehovah, we praise You

Written by: Minister Andrea Hines

There are rare people in this world who are so kind and caring. Their natural instinct is to put someone else’s needs ahead of their own. They are people who know how to offer encouragement when it’s needed; who’re always there to listen with a loving, open heart; who never expect a pat on the back for their good work, because that’s just the way they are.

How fortunate for us that

Elder Vernon Chappel was one of those rare people. How blessed we are that God loved us enough to allow this precious servant to touch our lives in such a profound way Think not that our loved one is dead, or that his life has ended. His stay on earth was just a pause to live as God intended.

Acknowlegement We would like to thank each of you for joining us in celebrating the Life, Loyalty and Legacy of our dear Elder Vernon Chappel. Whether you volunteered to participate in the band or served as a greeter, sung in the memorial ensemble or helped spread the word, you have made this event a success, and we are thankful.

Special Thanks

The Chappel Family Bishop Joby & Pastor Sheryl Brady Pastor Ronald Godbee Pastor Jacinto M. Sims Pastor Steve Sims Chris & Tina Baker Terrance White Gary Whitted, Jr. — Video Production Joseph Anthony IV — Programs & Marketing Vernon Chappel Ministries Staff Pastor J.J. Wilkins, Jr and Wake Chapel Church

Elder Chappel East Coast Memorial Program  
Elder Chappel East Coast Memorial Program  

Program for Elder's Memorial Service