LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s
Carl “Chip” L. Stam, professor of church music and worship and the founding
director of the seminary’s Institute for Christian Worship, died May 1 after a
four-year battle with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma He was 58.
“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.
Said Randy Stinson, dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Church Ministries, “Chip
Stam was a gospel witness from beginning to end. 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.”
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.
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 degrees 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 several 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 popular, Internet-based weekly devotional —
Worship Quote of the Week — that shared interesting and
challenging quotes about the nature of worship and prayer in the life of the
“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 in Louisville
Friday, May 6. A private graveside service for the Stam family will be Saturday
morning at Cave Hill Cemetery. 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 in Louisville and Southern Seminary.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Compiled by staff of Southern Baptist Theological
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