My Story

I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  My Father was a Baptist minister and I grew up in church, and started singing and playing the piano at age 3.  I traveled all over the southeast with my dad - he would preach and I would sing. My daddy was my hero and I loved him so much!  He was the spiritual influence in my life and always encouraged me. 
 
I knew at a very early age God had a calling on my life in the ministry.  I was saved and baptized at the age of seven and after graduating high school was married.  Two years later I went through a painful divorce and I was deeply hurt and devastated.  My heart was broken and I questioned God; “why this was happening to me?  All my life I had lived for the Lord, I had served him and been faithful and this shouldn’t be happening to me.”  So through my hurt, I became angry and I blamed God.  I quit going to church and singing and wanted nothing more to do with any of it. 
 
My precious daddy would come over to see me every Saturday and invite me to church.  I told him I didn’t want to go and for him to stop coming over and talking to me about it.  As he would leave, he would turn to look at me with tears in his eyes and say “Remember, Daddy’s praying for you and if you don’t use your talent for the Lord He will take it away from you.”   I would tremble because I knew what he was saying was true, yet my heart was hardened and I was still bitter.  I turned a deaf ear to my Father’s pleading – but God knew just how to get my attention – and get my attention HE DID!!!!  
 
My daddy got sick and was in ICU for two weeks.  The doctor gathered the family together and told us they had done all they could do and my daddy probably wouldn’t make it through the night.  My heart again was crushed.  I didn’t want my daddy to leave this world with a broken heart that his baby daughter was living a life of sin.  So, I fell down on my knees right there in the ICU and called out to God and begged his forgiveness.  I asked God not to take my Daddy like this and promised Him I would get back in His will, would sing and do whatever He had for me to do, but to please give me enough time to tell my daddy that I had rededicated my life. 
 
The next morning, the doctors came in and said they couldn’t explain the change in my Father and that they were going to take him off life support and see how he did.  I knew right then, God had done this for me.  God, the GREAT physician touched my Father that night just for ME.  He knew just what to do to get my attention in the way my Daddy never could.  My father got better and a few weeks later came home. 
 
Several months after he came home from the Hospital, I started singing with a gospel group and traveled with them for almost 6 years.  My daddy would come with us on the bus and always sat on the front pew.  He was so happy I was doing what God had called me to do. 
 
My Father passed away November 11, 1997, but he left this world with peace in his heart knowing everything was okay between me and the Lord.  You see, God didn’t have to give me one minute more with my daddy – but He gave me five wonderful years. 

God’s promises are true and He is faithful.  He was merciful to me and I am determined to live the rest of my life doing what I promised to God that day.   I love my Lord and Savior and I can never repay Him but I can certainly be a vessel to promote God’s word through song.  My prayer is this ministry will be a blessing to all, a hope to those who are discouraged and through song or my testimony; I can introduce people to my precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the dearest friend you’ll ever have. 
 
God Bless, 
Darlene Chapman
 

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