Warrenton United Methodist Church Associate Pastor Carl Chapman
By Lynnette Esse WUMC Member
Pastor Carl Chapman began his appointment at Warrenton United Methodist Church (WUMC) the end of June and hit the ground running.
He easily assimilated into the culture of both the church and the town and feels that it’s a good place to be. “Warrenton feels like a cross between Winchester and Berryville,” Pastor Chapman said. “I think it’s great!”
This self-proclaimed “tinkerer with responsibilities” has two main areas to focus on. “I need to figure out how I fit in, define my job description, and help align the budget with our new vision statement and the core values of the church,” he said. “My main goals are to grow small groups and help form disciples to lead in our shared ministry efforts.”
One of Pastor Chapman’s talents is connecting people. As a professional “people-knower,” he is good at forming relationships, getting to know people, discovering their talents and passions, and enabling them to act. He also has a knack for learning and remembering people’s names, an endearing quality that makes everyone feel special.
With a clear understanding that not everyone can make it to church on Sundays, Pastor Chapman has gotten involved in Congregational Care, a church ministry that is run by lay members and pastoral staff. After first making an appointment, he visits people in their homes or facilities, letting the home-bound know that they are still important to the church.
“Very soon the professional productions of our Sunday sermons will be broadcast live on Facebook,” he said. “Even people who are unable to attend services will feel included.”
When Pastor Chapman was a talkative 9-year-old boy growing up in Ohio he was first told that he should become a pastor. Three or four years later, while attending a Methodist church with his faith-driven family, he began to feel the call. It was a gradual process, but at the age of 14, he began to share his thoughts with those around him. Although he played sports, including football and basketball, played the upright bass in the orchestra, sang in the high school choir and participated in high school musicals, his life evolved around church, attending Sunday mornings and Wednesday and Sunday evenings.
At the age of 16 Pastor Chapman’s family moved to Berryville. Seeing his potential, Pastor Hyo Lee at their very small church, Crums UMC, took the young man under his wing and began to mentor him, putting him in a leadership role on the administrative council. Mr. Chapman went on to attend Shenandoah University in Winchester, where he earned a degree in religion and Christian leadership, graduating in December 2011.
While attending Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., Mr. Chapman began pastoring his first church, preaching the Sunday sermon as part of a student-pastor program. The original six-month stint at Rehobeth UMC in Lovettsville turned into 3-1/2years, during which he became a local licensed pastor.
“It was a fascinating church,” Pastor Chapman said. “In the beginning, they had no running water, and no bathrooms other than a four-seater outhouse. They put in a bathroom shortly after I left there. It was a great place to start my career, learn to preach, learn the necessary administrative tasks, and learn to be practical. I was able to immediately apply the lessons taught at seminary.”
Pastor Chapman earned his master of divinity degree from Wesley in 2015.
After seminary, his first full-time appointment took place at the Old Bethel-Welltown Cooperative Parish near Winchester. where he served as the pastor and everything else at both churches for four years. Needless to say, he learned to wear a lot of hats.
“My role there involved a little bit of everything, including overseeing existing ministries such as hosting a thermal shelter and a weekly food pantry.” Pastor Chapman said.
“I see my role at Warrenton UMC as an opportunity for excellence, an opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of our congregation and the community,” he added.
He and his wife, Katie, are excited about their new lives here in Warrenton with their son, Wesley, and daughter, Xandra.