Bryan Chapell

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Bryan Chapell
Born 18 November 1954
Nationality American
Occupation Senior Pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, Author
Spouse(s) Kathy Chapell

Bryan Chapell (born 18 November 1954) is an American pastor and theologian. He is the Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois. Prior to that he was President of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri for eighteen years.[1] Chapell is also an author, lecturer, and conference speaker specializing in homiletics. He served as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in America in 2014.[2]


Chapell married Kathleen Beth Gabriel on May 31, 1978, and the two have four adult children and a growing number of grandchildren.


Chapell has a Bachelor of Journalism from Northwestern University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a PhD in speech communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.[3]


Chapell began pastoral ministry at Woodburn Presbyterian Church in Woodburn, Illinois in 1976 and subsequently pastored Bethel Reformed Presbyterian Church in Sparta, Illinois from 1978-1985. He became a professor of preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary in 1985, where he also served as Dean of Faculty (1987-1994), President (1994-2012), and Chancellor (2012-2013). On Easter, 2013, he became Senior Pastor of the historic Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois and continues to minister in that capacity.

Unlimited Grace

In 2015, Chapell and members from Grace Presbyterian Church founded Unlimited Grace Media, an independent non-profit media ministry dedicated to spreading the gospel of God's grace to all people. He hosts a daily half-hour radio Bible teaching program called "Unlimited Grace," which began airing in 2016 both nationally and internationally.


Chapell is a speaker in churches and conferences around the world, preaching and lecturing on topics including grace, marriage, worship, and Christ-centered preaching.


Chapell's book Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon is considered is magnum opus.[4] It won Preaching magazine's Book of the Year award in 1994. In it, Chapell explains his concept of the "Fallen Condition Focus" (FCF): "the mutual human condition that contemporary believers share with those for or by whom the text was written that requires the grace of the passage to manifest God's glory in his people."[5] Chapell's approach is to raise the FCF in the sermon's introduction, while the body of the sermon responds to the FCF by giving its redemptive purpose.[6] Zack Eswine suggests that the FCF "helpfully urges the preachers to account for Christians in a fallen world," but that it is "equipped primarily as a tool for churched contexts."[7]


Chapell has written several other books, including:

  • "Unlimited Grace"
  • "Christ-Centered Worship"
  • "The Gospel According to Daniel"
  • "The Promises of Grace"
  • "Using Illustrations to Preach with Power"
  • "Each for the Other"
  • "Commentary on Ephesians"
  • "The Wonder of It All"
  • "1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: To Guard the Deposit (with R. Kent Hughes)"
  • "Holiness by Grace"
  • "Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus' Name"
  • "The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach"
  • "I'll Love You Anyway and Always, a children's book"

He has also written many academic and devotional articles as well as lyrics to several hymns.

Religious Service

Chapell is a founding member of The Gospel Coalition and continues to serve with its leadership.

Chapell has served with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association both in national crusades and in ministries to China.

In November 2009, Chapell signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox to support the religious right to address issues that go against religious conscience such as human trafficking, abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.

Chapell has served in numerous roles of academic leadership, including the Standards Committee of the Association of Theological Schools.

In the national life of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Chapell has served as Moderator (2014), a member of the Constitutional Business Committee, the Standing Judicial Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Credentials Committee, and numerous local and regional offices.

Chapell has served on the boards of Serge, byFaith Magazine, God's World Publications, Cass Information Systems, Inc., and in advisory roles for numerous boards, churches and academic institutions.


  1. ^ "Dr. Chapell Named President Emeritus as He Accepts Pastoral Call". Covenant Theological Seminary. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  2. ^ Fikse, Susan (17 June 2014). "Chapell Elected Moderator". byFaith. Presbyterian Church in America. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Bryan Chapell". Covenant Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  4. ^ Miller, Calvin (2010). Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition. Baker Books. p. 234. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ Chapell, Bryan. "The Fallen Condition Focus And The Purpose Of The Sermon". Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ Cahill, Dennis M. (2007). The Shape of Preaching: Theory and Practice in Sermon Design. Baker Books. p. 41. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ Eswine, Zack (2008). Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture. Baker Books. p. 45. Retrieved 11 September 2019.

External links

  • Grace Presbyterian Church
  • Unlimited Grace
Academic offices
Preceded by
Paul Kooistra
President of Covenant Theological Seminary
Succeeded by
Mark Dalbey
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