Rev. B. C. Chapman was educated at Cumberland College, and at Cumberland University, or rather at what afterward became Cumberland University. He has spent most of his ministerial life in Middle Tennessee, but is now pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Selma, Alabama.
[Source: Beard, Richard. Brief Biographical Sketches of Some of the Early Ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Second Series. Nashville, Tenn.: Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1874, page 173]
This precious man of God, who has just gone from his work on earth to his reward in heaven, was the son of Rev. Alexander Chapman, and was born in Butler county, Ky., Dec. 29, 1817.
He was converted when about fifteen years of age, at Little Muddy camp-ground; and never, to his dying day, did he doubt his change of heart. To the family altar, and to a special prayer of his father, did he trace his first religious convictions. The prayer which touched his heart was: "O Lord, pity the poor, careless, prayerless, thoughtless sinner." That prayer led to his conversion. What a union it was when that father and that son met in the glory world.
In 1838, he joined Logan Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry, and in 1839 was licensed in Franklin, Ky. In June, 1844, he graduated in Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., and he was, also, that year ordained by Chapman Presbytery in Lebanon.
In 1845, he became pastor of our church in Huntsville, Ala., and as such, remained there ten years. During that time he had a revival in the church every year, except the first. The membership was increased from forty to one hundred and sixty-three, and he left them with a new house of worship, and a congregation of sufficient financial ability to pay his successor a salary of twelve hundred dollars a year. I have often heard brother Chapman speak of those ten years in Huntsville as "the halcyon days of his life."
In 1857, he became pastor of our church in Columbia, Tenn., and remained there six years, when the war made it impracticable to remain longer. He did a good work there, as well as in Huntsville, and the members there still speak of his work and labor of love.
On the 13th of February, 1862, in Columbia, Tenn., he was married to Miss E. K. Fussell, who still survives him; and while she does not "sorrow as those who have no hope," yet in sadness she mourns the loss of him, to whom she was all that a noble woman and a devoted, godly wife could be to a worthy and affectionate husband.
To brother Chapman was born but one child, a son, Joslie A. Chapman, who survives him, and is now about twenty years of age, a noble youth, of most exemplary moral character and deep piety. He is truly the stay of his mother's heart in this hour of grief. And as Joseph of old, at the bedside of the departing Jacob, received a parting blessing, so this Joseph, at the bedside of his dying father, received a parting, heavenly benediction.-What a reunion, when this trio of father, mother, and son meet in heaven!
In 1862, brother Chapman became pastor of our church at McCains, and, giving one-half of his time to that congregation, remained there ten years, during which time he was blessed with many precious revivals of religion. In 1873, he took charge of our church in Selma, Ala., but remained there but one year, owing to the fact that his wife could not have her health that far South: and from there he returned to Tennessee, making his home for the remainder of his life in Columbia.
From 1874 to 1881, he was engaged in regular work in Marshall county, Tenn. During 1882, the last year of his life, though in feeble health all that year, yet he preached whenever his health would permit. During the two years of my pastorate at Columbia, I have often heard him say: "I want to preach as long as God lets me live." And well nigh did he accomplish that wish; for on the fourth Sabbath in December, he preached a sacramental sermon at that consecrated spot, Mt. Moriah, in Giles county, Tenn., and the next Sabbath he worshiped with the "General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn," in that blessed Mt. Moriah above.
It was on his last preaching trip that brother Chapman contracted a severe cold, which developed into pneumonia, and suddenly took him from on earth, on Saturday, Dec. 23, 1882. Peaceful and triumphant was his death, and he was conscious to the last; and after talking lovingly and tenderly to all, he bade his wife and son an affectionate adieu, and said: "Jesus, receive my spirit."
On Christmas day he was laid to rest in the home of his adoption, Columbia, Tenn. A good man, a scriptural preacher, and a spotless, Christian character has gone. Farewell, thou man of God, until the morning of the resurrection, and we will meet you beyond the river.
[Source: Cumberland Presbyterian, January 18, 1883, page 2]
Report of Deceased Ministers
B. C. Chapman, December 23, 1882 - Elk Presbytery
[Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1883, page 40]