Larry’s First Sermon Since Cancer

April 13, 2010 by Paul Chappell

Larry preaching at Youth Conference

Last week was another wonderful opportunity in ministry here at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College as we hosted the annual  West Coast Baptist Youth Conference. Teenagers came from across America and from several foreign countries to be challenged spiritually with this year’s theme on “The Power of God.”

We are thankful for like-minded parents, pastors, and youth pastors who allow us annually the privilege of influencing their young people for the cause of Jesus Christ. There were many highlights of this conference, including a record attendance, a record number of young people accepting Christ as Saviour, and a record number of young people surrendering their lives to full time ministry.

But for many of us here at Lancaster Baptist Church, the highlight was hearing the message preached by our son and Sr. High youth pastor, Brother Larry Chappell.

This was Larry’s first time to preach since facing his first surgery for cancer back in November. Since that time, Larry has experienced two major surgeries and has undergone chemotherapy treatment. God’s grace has been very evident in his life as well as in the life of his dear wife, Ashley, throughout this time.

On Wednesday, two days before Larry preached, Terrie and I drove Larry and Ashley to Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles where we met Larry’s oncologist for his first follow-up appointment. The results of the x-rays and blood test brought back a good report, and the oncologist has given Larry a very good prognosis.

While we have done our very best to keep our continual trust in the Lord above all others, we are thankful for the good report from this past week. We covet the prayers of God’s people moving forward as Larry will have these follow-up appointments every 30 days for the next year and every 60 days for the year following.

On Friday morning of youth conference, I stepped in the back of the main auditorium to catch a glimpse of Larry preaching. As I stood there, time seemed to stop and I forgot about the busy schedule of the week and all of the other duties of my day. With an overflowing heart, I thanked the Lord for what I was seeing. Larry was preaching from the book of Acts, challenging nearly 3,000 young people to follow Christ rather than the culture. Although he used his normal humor in speaking, there was, in my perception, a depth and a passion in his presentation that had obviously come from the Lord.

Serving the Lord is the passion and privilege of my life. The primary focus in serving God, however, always begins with our family. I’m so thankful to the Lord for my wife and children and for the joy I’ve experienced in seeing them serve the Lord.

I thank God for that holy moment in one of the back entryways of the auditorium Friday morning. During that moment nothing else seemed to matter. Time stopped for a moment, and God allowed me to see His grace in a powerful way. The busyness of that day, hosting of many different friends who were with us, was not as important as what God was showing me. The recent tragic shiftings of America away from our founding principles, the state of fundamentalism, or the concerns about our economy didn’t seem to really matter as I stood there and watched my son serve God.

With a thankful and prayerful heart, we continue through this season of life and ministry. We thank our many friends for your prayers for Larry and his wife, and once again we ask you to continue praying for Larry’s strength, complete healing, and grace for ministry in the days ahead.

To hear Larry Chappell’s message, “Christ or Culture,” at the youth conference, please click here.


  1. Thank you for the update. It is a joy to my hear to see how God is using your life for His glory as well as Larry’s.

    Comment by Pat Carr — April 14, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  2. This is a real victory! We rejoice with the Chappell family in their witness of God’s good Hand! Tonight is Prayer Service here at FRBC and we will be anxious to give this good report to our people who have prayed for Bro. Larry. Amen!!!

    Comment by Pastor Mike Norris — April 14, 2010 @ 8:08 am

  3. To God be all the glory. I stand amazed at His mercy. I love you and your family.

    Dr. Schearer

    Comment by Dr. Schearer — April 14, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  4. JoAnne and I were very pleased to read the update on Larry.What a great testament for faith and support!

    Comment by JoAnne and Jim Gilley — April 14, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  5. My heart was touched as I read your article Brother Chappell. I thought back over the past 36 years that I have been blessed by knowing your family. It is truly one of the friendships that has defined my life. Your family has been used of God to make me who I am today. I love you, and am praying for Larry and Ashley.

    Comment by Dwight Tomlinson — April 14, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  6. O for 10,000 tongues to sing praises to our Heavenly Father! Larry’s testimony will be used for decades to bring people to Jesus. And we are going to need him in the work.


    Comment by Bruce M Humbet — April 14, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  7. What a blessing. Going to go listen to him preach now. Praising God and still praying.

    Comment by Pastor Mike Westmoreland — April 14, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  8. Praise the Lord, for this great news! God is so good.
    We are continuing to pray daily for Larry & Ashley. We are also daily praying for you & Terrie.

    Comment by Dorothy Edgar & Samantha — April 16, 2010 @ 9:02 am

  9. Bro. Chappell,
    I appreciate so much what you, your family and your church are doing. What a tremendous encouragement you are to me in the ministry. I pray for you, your family and your church every day. What a blessing to see God using your son in the ministry.
    Have a great day! Thanks again!

    Comment by Brien Deverick — April 19, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  10. Praise the Lord for His goodness. We learned of this good news while in Knoxville…many rejoiced with the Chappell family. Thank you for your heart felt comments about family! We are truly rejoicing with you!

    Comment by John & Bonnie — April 19, 2010 @ 6:54 am

  11. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!3Jo 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” to hear them preach as well is a bonus! more power to you Pastor Paul and to your family! Thank you Bro Larry for setting an example of completely trusting the Lord in every circumstances. you have brethren in the Philippines that prays for you.

    Comment by Lakan — April 28, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

  12. It put a smile on my face and a joy in my heart to see Bro. Larry preaching. God is so gracious to answer our prayers and yours. I am so happy for you and your family.
    Our prayers at Liberty Baptist church are with you.

    Comment by Lisa Boyer — May 11, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  13. Today my husband and I visited Lancaster Baptist Church for our first time, and we plan to revisit for Bible Studies on Wednesdays. As, I read about your son Larry, I can’t help to pray, for him, and my sister Norma, which just received the news herself of having cancer. She is strong as your son Larry is…I know they both will have a full recovery.

    Blessings to your Family, Church & first of all Health.

    Comment by Christine De Leon — October 10, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

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