SBTS prof dies after four-year battle with cancer

Communications Staff — May 2, 2011

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary mourns the loss of Carl “Chip” L. Stam, one of her most beloved and influential professors, who passed away May 1. Stam battled an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since Spring 2007. Born March 10, 1953, he died at age 58.

Stam came to Southern in 2000 to serve as professor of church music and worship. He also became the founding director of the seminary’s Institute for Christian Worship. Spring 2009, Stam received tenure. During his time at the seminary, Stam also conducted the seminary’s oratorio chorus. Stam also conducted the Kentucky Baptist Men’s Chorale for more than 10 years. Beginning 2002, he served Louisville’s Clifton Baptist Church as the minister of music and worship.

“Chip Stam was such a great gift to Southern Seminary and to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “He was a gifted musician, as indicated by all of his musical accomplishments. But Chip Stam was so much more. He was a warm and faithful friend, an energetic faculty member and a wonderful worship leader. To know Chip Stam was to know a warm-hearted artist with a deep commitment to Christ.”

“Chip Stam was a Gospel witness from beginning to end,” said Randy Stinson, dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Church Ministries. “He taught us how to live and maybe more importantly, he taught us how to die. His impact on students at SBTS will reach generations with the Gospel as we worship the Lord Jesus in spirit and in truth. He will be greatly missed.”

Before coming to Southern Seminary, Stam was pastor of worship and music at the Chapel Hill Bible Church in Chapel Hill, N.C., from 1991-2000, where he also conducted the Chapel Hill Carrboro Community Chorus and directed music for The Raspberry Ridge: The Chapel Hill String Camp. From 1981-91, he was the director of choral music at the University of Notre Dame.

Stam, who earned both the bachelor of arts and master of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and pursued additional studies at several institutions, also served as the national chair for American Choral Directors Association’s Repertoire and Standards Committee for Music and Worship. He conducted numerous all-state choirs and festival choruses, and served on the advisory councils for Reformed Worship magazine and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

Beginning in 1995, Stam published a widely popular, Web-based weekly devotional that shared interesting and challenging quotes about the nature of worship and prayer in the life of the Christian church, Worship Quote of the Week (

“Chip mentored countless pastors and musicians from a distance through his Worship Quote of the Week, which has been an indispensable resource from my earliest days in ministry to the present,” said Lange Patrick, music and worship pastor at Louisville’s Highview Baptist Church. “Chip Stam not only knew God and loved to praise Him, but his passion for Christ was equally matched by the integrity of his life. When I think of Chip Stam, I think about Christ and am spurred on to make that my own legacy.”

A lifelong athlete, Stam played amateur tennis with the United States Tennis Association. He even earned a second-place ranking as a tennis player in the state of North Carolina as a high schooler.

Stam is survived by his wife of 35 years, Doris, and their three children: Michael, Martin and Clara. He is also survived by his mother, Jane Stam Miner, and siblings Karen, Paul and Billy.

“Chip inspired us all through his life, but he taught us even more about trust in Christ in the course of his illness and in the grace and trust in Christ he revealed until his death,” Mohler said of Stam’s battle with cancer. “Chip Stam will be sorely missed, and we grieve with his faithful wife, Doris, and his entire family. I am so thankful for all the lives touched by Chip Stam through his teaching at Southern Seminary and far beyond. His teaching legacy is in those students, and in the worship they lead.”

Visitation will be at Pearson’s Funeral Home on Breckenridge Lane, Friday, May 6, 4 – 8 p.m. A private graveside service for the Stam family will be Saturday morning at Cave Hill Cemetery. And Southern Seminary will host a public memorial service in the seminary’s Alumni Chapel Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Clifton Baptist Church and Southern Seminary.

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