Making a Difference in the Community

March 23, 2009 by Paul Chappell

Citizen of the Year 2Terrie and I came to the Antelope Valley nearly twenty-three years ago for the purpose of sharing the truth and hope of Jesus Christ.  Since that time, we have seen the Lord do some incredible things through the ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church. Throughout the years, it has been a privilege to come to know many of our community leaders and work alongside them as we seek to further the Gospel.

A few months back, Mayor Rex Parris contacted my office to inform me that the city council had selected me as the 2009 Citizen of the Year for the city of Lancaster. Needless to say, I was deeply honored by this recognition. To God’s glory and to our church family’s credit, I am thankful for the impact we have made in our valley.

The Citizen of the Year Award was presented yesterday during our regularly scheduled evening service.  This was truly a special time for me as Mayor Parris, Sheriff Lee Baca, Senator George Runner, and others gathered to present this award.

With many special guests and first-time visitors in attendance, it became apparent to me that God had orchestrated this moment so that the Gospel may be presented.  After the award was given, I brought a message from Matthew 5:13–16, where we find the two-fold duty of the Christian in the community:

1. We are to preserve society.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.—Matthew 5:13

2. We are to present the Saviour.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.—Matthew 5:16

In the midst of a morally corrupt and spiritually dark society, may we each live in a manner which glorifies the Saviour.

To read news articles about the award and view the video of the service, visit:


  1. Congratulations! Very well-deserved.

    Comment by Pastor & Mrs. Fink — March 24, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  2. I am truly thankful to have you as my pastor. This award is wonderful and I thank God for you and the work you do in the Antelope Valley and in our church.

    Comment by Bro Johnny Johnson — March 25, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

  3. I wanted to congratulate you concerning the ‘Citizen of the Year’ award. I am encouraged that a Baptist Preacher would be not only considered but selected. Thank you for your testimony and faithful servant’s heart. God has used you and your ministry to make a huge difference in the city, the country, and around the world. My wife and I are very blessed by it all.

    Comment by Pastor David M. Fink — March 27, 2009 @ 7:36 am

  4. I don’t know you personally Pastor Chappell but what you did to your community was a great ministry, congratulations!!! Your name was mentioned a while ago in our Leadership Conference here in Christian Bible Baptist Church- San Pedro, Laguna by our Pastor, Dr. Ed Laurena. We love you in the Lord….

    Comment by Dayleen Omison — April 1, 2009 @ 6:58 am

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