We celebrated Rev. Wally Chappell’s accomplishment of writing and the subsequent publishing of his book When I Listen – which is certainly no small feat! His book is a collection of his writings over a 60 year time span and is a compilation of poetry, over 70 Christmas pieces and his “Conversations with God,” as he describes it.
Wally’s story is an interesting one as he graduated from Rice University with a BS in Chemical Engineering, a field which he pursued for a period of time. Then, the Lord spoke; Wally listened and he transitioned into being a full time advocate for the Lord by serving in varying capacities like becoming a minister at the First United Methodist Church of Dallas. He remained on staff there until he was 87 years old. It was then, after three tries, that he says “he finally got retirement right!”
From my view, Rev. Chappell is the only resident that has “awe inspired” me over the years because of his tireless day and night devotion to bringing glory to the Lord. He continued to stay the course at the young age of 96! In addition, at 93, he married his beautiful Rice University sweetheart, Lawrean, who was 89 years young when they said their “I do’s!” Lawrean was always so very proud and supportive of her husband’s ministry and she was always by his side as they promoted his book. Wally was not looking for a monetary profit from his book. He simply said, “It would be nice to break-even but that is NOT at all what this is about!” Wally wanted his important message to be shared with those who want honest and profound insights on listening to that small voice within their thoughts. His book is full of these gems!
Sadly, Wally passed a few short months after his celebration. Still, his message was clear: Listen to the Lord, our God, and He will guide you.
Photo: Wally Chappell autographing his book, shown here with CC Young Life Enrichment Director, Deborah Gabler.