Elder Vernon Chappel, noted songwriter & worship leader, succumbs

GMF joins the gospel community in mourning the unexpected passing of musician, songwriter, and worship leader Elder Vernon Chappel, who transitioned this morning, January 27.  He was 56 years old.

Chappel was known throughout the United States and abroad for his music ministry and has been described as “a contemporary gospel vocalist with the soul of Thomas Whitfield and the energetic flair of Milton Biggham and Timothy Wright.”  His compositions have been recorded by a host of artists who include Dorothy Norwood, Joe Pace and Colorado Mass, and Beverly Crawford (who made his “Jehovah, We Praise You” a hugely popular worship song).

Though a native of California, for the past several years Chappel resided in NC and served as Music Pastor at The River Church, Inc. in Durham.  Upon learning of his passing, Sheryl Brady, founding pastor of The River, commented via Twitter, “One of the GREATEST men in my life went home to be with the Lord. Elder Vernon Chappel was my hero. Help us Jesus!”

GMF extends its sincerest sympathy to Chappel’s family, to his many friends, and to all whom he mentored during his 35-plus years in ministry.

As relayed by Mylum Nicholson, celebration services are planned for both the West and East Coast.

West Coast
Friday, February 8, 2013
6 PM

Homegoing Service
Saturday, February 9, 2013
11 AM

Both the musical and homegoing service will take place at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 1401 E. Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, CA  93307. 

Wasco Cemetery
300 Leonard Ave.
Wasco, CA  93280

East Coast
Raleigh-Durham Memorial Service
Friday, February 15, 2013
7 PM
Wake Chapel Church
3805 Tarheel Road
Raleigh, NC 27604