By Ralphine Major

He has a strong passion for mountain biking.  But the bike trail is not where I saw Chase Campbell recently.  It was in the sanctuary of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church.  The mountain biker is also a minister, and he has come home.

Chase Campbell, a Powell native, grew up at Wallace Memorial. He is the son of Phil Campbell and Ninette Barber Campbell and grandson of the late Archie Campbell. Focus readers may recall the famous comedian from Bulls Gap, Tennessee, from his days on “The Mid-Day-Merry-Go-Round” in Knoxville and the nationally acclaimed “Hee Haw” program in Nashville.  Though the young Campbell was only three years old when his grandfather passed away, he bears a striking resemblance to him.  The University of Tennessee graduate pursued his Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  During that time, Chase gained valuable experience working at The Summit Church as a Pastoral Apprentice.  Wallace Memorial recently called Chase as the Pastor to College and Young Adults.  Erin, his lovely wife, also just started a new job at The University of Tennessee Medical Cancer Center.

The Sunday I met Chase, he brought a message about songs and the way they communicate to us and especially how they glorify God.  I was impressed to hear him mention the classic hymns that touch hearts, such as “The Old Rugged Cross” and “Nothing But the Blood.”  I asked Dr. John Green IV,  Lead Pastor at Wallace Memorial, to share some thoughts about the newest staff member at Wallace.  “Chase is a very gifted leader and a passionate preacher, and he connects well with people,” John said.  “He is well suited for his role as College and Young Adult Pastor because he has a passion for reaching young people in the community and on college campuses.  We have already seen a lot of growth in the short amount of time he has been here.  We are excited to have him at Wallace and anticipate great things in the future through his leadership,” Green added.  The Lead Pastor ended with an interesting thought.  “In the Bible, Christ said a prophet is without honor in his hometown,” he said.  “But Chase has returned home to open arms and has been well received in Knoxville and his home church.  He and Erin have a bright future here.”

The only thing left for this writer to say is, “Welcome home, Chase!”