This Week in Texas Methodist History May 22
Rev. E. B. Chappell Preaches Commencement Sermon at Sam Houston State Normal May 1889
One of the interesting facets of Texas Methodist history is the number of families that have produced preachers through several generations. In some cases the family name is preserved by using it as a given name as in the case of J. Fisher Simpson, a descendant of Orceneth Fisher. Bishop Monk Bryan was a member of the Monk family, and so on.
Another family of distinguished preachers are the Chappells.
One member, E. B. (Edwin Barfield) Chappell (1853-1936) was the pastor of 10th Street Methodist in Austin in 1889 when he was invited to preach the commencement sermon at Sam Houston Normal (later Sam Houston State University) in Huntsville. Chappell was only 10 years from his own graduation from Vanderbilt in 1879, but was widely seen as one of the young stars of the MECS. He had already served Texas appointments in LaGrange and San Antonio before 10th Street.
E. B. Chappell did not stay long in Texas. He went from Austin to St. Louis and then back to Nashville. After a pastorate in Nashville in 1906 he moved to the Publishing House as Sunday School Editor. He stayed in that post until 1930 and exercised tremendous influence throughout the denomination. He also wrote several books and was a delegate to seven General Conferences.
The most famous member of the Chappell family was Clovis (1882-1972) who pastored some of the most prominent churches in the MECS, including First Methodist Houston. Clovis Chappell published 35 books of sermons and was in great demand as a speaker and guest preacher.