Who is Francis Chan?
Francis Chan is an American preacher. He is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, CA, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the Founder and Chancellor of Eternity Bible College and author of the best-selling book, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, which came out in 2009. He released his second book Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit in August 2009.
His other works include Erasing Hell in 2011, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples in 2012, and the Basic Series by Francis Chan, a DVD series started in 2010. He also sits on the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact. Chan is known for speaking at major national and international events and conferences.
Chan and his wife, Lisa, founded Cornerstone in 1994 with only 30 people. Within two months, the church had grown to 100 people, and by 2000, Chan was leading a $1 million project to provide for the 1,600 member congregation. Cornerstone is now one of the largest churches in Ventura County, California.
Cornerstone and Chan's ministry
In 2005, Francis was the featured speaker in a now international video called Stop And Think (JustStopAndThink.com) which went viral, landing in every state and 30+ countries. Chan regularly uses a variety of approaches to ensure his messages are engaging and relevant. Chan frequently talks about 'What the Bible is really saying' and really living our lives that way. He is not afraid of confronting lukewarmness. By 2013 Chan's teaching had developed heightened emphasis on baptism and the Lord's supper.
On Sunday, April 18, 2010, Chan announced to his congregation that he felt called to resign at Cornerstone in Simi Valley to pursue what God had laid on his heart. As of April 2010 he stated he was not yet sure what city God had called him to, but by June 2011 stated publicly he felt called to San Francisco, CA.
Chan is a self-described Hong Kong native, with his parents hailing from Hong Kong. Francis Chan's mother died giving birth to him. Chan's father remarried and his stepmother died in a car accident when he was 9 years old. His father remarried when he was 10. His father then died of cancer when Chan was 12 years old.
Francis Chan was then raised by his stepmother Josephine Chan along with his older sister Grace, older brother Paul and much younger half-sister, Gloria. He had family support from his father's younger sister and her husband, Marion and William Wong, along with a large extended family and church family.
He did not get along well with his father growing up, but says that his fear of his father has helped him understand a level of fear of God. He also stated he didn’t understand the love of God well until he became a father himself.
As a high-school and then junior-college student, Chan was active in Christian youth groups which helped develop his faith in Jesus Christ and his interest in ministry. Before becoming a senior pastor, Francis worked for a variety of employers including Taco Bell, Mic Pizza, Kirby Company, Ralphs Market, Broadway Men's Clothing, hardwood flooring contractors, and the Acapulco restaurant. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Master's College and a Master of Divinity degree from Master's Seminary.
After a three-month leave from Cornerstone, Francis said he felt convicted to sacrifice more for God. Chan gives away about 90 percent of his income, doesn't take a salary from his church, and has donated most of his book royalties, which have totaled about $2,000,000, to various charities. Much of it goes to organizations which rescue sex slaves in foreign countries." Furthermore, in 2008 it was reported that Cornerstone would give away 55% of its income to charitable causes."Francis Chan" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (with minor edits), under GFDL.