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Lancaster Citizen of the Year to be Recognized

Post Date:03/13/2009
Mayor to present plaque to Lancaster’s 2008 Citizen of the Year

At the February 10th City Council Meeting, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris announced the City’s Citizen of the Year for 2008. Dr. Paul Chappell, Pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, was awarded this honor.

Dr. Chappell was the impetus behind the Antelope Valley War on Gangs. More than 3,000 citizens turned out for the group’s first meeting held February 26, 2007. Sheriff Lee Baca also attended this meeting, and promised to increase law enforcement resources in the Antelope Valley until crime is lowered to less than 300 serious crimes per ten thousand residents.

“No one is more responsible for the success of the Antelope Valley War on Gangs than Pastor Chappell. He got the resources together; captured everyone’s attention; and, recruited the involvement needed to help the Antelope Valley turn the corner in making our community safe again,” remarked Mayor Parris.

Another factor in the selection of Dr. Chappell as Citizen of the Year is the economic impact Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College have on the community. Dr. Chappell’s church and its affiliated educational institutions go beyond improving the spiritual, charitable, and educational well-being of this community. The “something extra” they provide has turned out to be invaluable to the area.

The many visitors and resident students drawn to these two institutions generate new expenditures and revenue, which amounted to a total of $20.2 Million in net economic impact to the Antelope Valley region in 2007.

“This is simply phenomenal. This is a significant and positive impact on our community. Our lives are richer in so many ways, tangible and intangible, due to the services provided by Pastor Chappell’s ministry, elementary through high school facilities, and West Coast Baptist College. I am very proud of what his organizations have contributed to Lancaster, and I am excited about the good work he continues to do for our citizens. He is undoubtedly a citizen who leads by example,” stated Mayor Parris.

The economic impact of Lancaster Baptist Church and its organizations was determined via a report completed by the Anderson Economic Group. For this report, “net economic impact” is defined as the new economic impact directly or indirectly caused by Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College operations, subtracting any economic activity that merely replaces or displaces other economic activity in the Antelope Valley. Additionally, very conservative multipliers are used for indirectly-caused activity.

The break-out of the findings is as follows:

Lancaster Baptist Church $ 5.1 Million
West Coast Baptist College $15.1 Million
Total Economic Impact for 2007 $20.2 Million

Lancaster Baptist Church and Ministries employs 109 full-time, 84 part-time, and 294 part-time student workers. In his 23 years of ministering, Dr. Chappell has built an active church with a membership of more than 5,000. His church reaches out to thousands of Antelope Valley homes each week, and provides spiritual and educational services to an average of 750 underprivileged children each week though a bus ministry. The Church also has a Reformer’s Unanimous Addiction Recovery Program provided as a ministry to the community.

“I am honored to present to Pastor Paul Chappell a donation from me and my wife Carrol in the amount of $10,000 to continue the good service he provides to the community,” remarked Mayor Parris. Mayor Parris will present the Citizen of the Year Award to Dr. Chappell on March 22nd at the Lancaster Baptist Church’s 5:30 pm Sunday service.

For more information about Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster Baptist School, and West Coast Baptist College, please contact Lancaster Baptist Church Associate Pastor Cary Schmidt at (661) 946-4663, or via email at
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