Shannon Chapman, Executive Pastor, City Church of Chattanooga

impact of our scholarships

Born and raised in a pastor’s home, Shannon Chapman has long-understood the ups and downs of ministry. Although never pressured by his dad, Dr. Mike Chapman, to go into full-time ministry, Shannon felt the call at age 15. He wondered at the time if it should be full-time or something he did on the side. While he was a sophomore at Lee University, he once again heard the call and changed his major to prepare himself for ministry.

Along the way, his father had given him guidance that would help him know if he were ready to share the gospel with others. First, he must ask himself if he were right with the Lord. Next, he must know without a shadow of a doubt that he was sanctified. Shannon wrestled with these questions while still in college and ultimately knew that the Lord was leading him into full-time ministry.

He married his wife Mande in the summer of 1999. That fall, he became the Youth Pastor at the church where he grew up, Lee Highway Church of God, now City Church of Chattanooga. In what he considers “the blink of an eye,” he was the father of six (five boys and a girl) and had held several staff positions at the church. Now, following in the footsteps of his father, Shannon is the Executive Pastor of City Church.

Raising a large, active family while juggling the demands of full-time ministry made furthering his education out of the question. Plus, the financial limitations were too significant. Shannon knew that if he were to seek a second degree that the Lord would have to open doors for him, and that He did. In 2016, Shannon learned about the Dora Maclellan Brown Scholarships, a ministry of The Generosity Trust, a Chattanooga-based Christian community foundation that empowers Christian generosity. He applied for the scholarship, which involved a personal interview process, and received it.

In May of 2019, Shannon earned his Master’s of Divinity degree from Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS) in Cleveland, Tennessee. “It was a real family effort. Before I began the process, I needed 100% confirmation from my family that this was right for all of us. Mande, our kids, and my parents each made sacrifices so that I could spend time in the classroom.” And their efforts have been well worth it. Shannon believes that furthering his education has been far more than increasing his knowledge of scripture. “It’s been about applying spiritual formation to my life and working it out in my soul.”

During this season of deepening his relationship with the Lord and understanding at a personal level the relevance of scripture, Shannon was appreciative that The Generosity Trust came alongside him and his family. He is grateful that his studies broadened his understanding of the Word and developed personal insights to continue to make him a wiser father, a more relational leader, and a more compassionate pastor.

And The Generosity Trust is honored that he is one of the more than 440 Dora Maclellan Brown scholars, all from the greater Chattanooga area, who have served or are serving in Christian ministry.

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