In a world with so much tragedy, pain, and suffering, holding on to the belief in a higher power is sometimes the way to survive the emotional and mental turmoil that comes with living in this kind of world. To do that, you need those who have walked the path ahead of you; those who have committed themselves to the service of bringing others through the walk of faith. One of the prominent men in America who have, and continues to serve humanity this way is Francis Chan, the American preacher born to Chinese parents. He has been in the ministry for over two decades. If you would like to learn more about Francis Chan, including how he got into his ministry and the difficult start to life he had, read on.
Who Is Francis Chan?
A lot of people abandon God after going through a difficult period in their lives, but that’s not the case with Francis Chan. His challenges led him closer to God. Francis lost his mother while she was giving birth to him. After Chan’s father got married to another woman when he was just a year old, he grew up with his stepmother being the motherly figure in his life. Unfortunately, he lost his stepmother to a car accident; he was 9 years old at the time. Before Francis was 15, he had suffered three major losses in his life, with the last being his father at the age of 13, who died as a result of cancer.
Chan was left to be raised by his second stepmother, who his father had married after his first stepmother died. Chan, along with his three other siblings were raised by Josephine Chan. Having suffered all those tragedies, it was the love shown to Chan and his family by the church that drew him closer to God.
He spent his high school and early college years as an active member of church groups. Francis has acknowledged that it was this period in his life that helped him become a strong Christian, building a solid foundation of faith in God and an interest to serve in the ministry.
As a young adult, Francis worked as a low-level worker for an array of companies before becoming a full-time pastor. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Master’s College, with a Master of Divinity from Master’s Seminary.
After a couple of years working for a variety of employers, Francis and his wife felt it was time to face the ministry fully and established a church in 1994. Cornerstone, the name of the church, started with just 30 people. The church has witnessed rapid growth since its establishment, recording a congregation of 1600 people in the year 2000. Today, the church is considered one of the largest in Ventura County, California.
Francis Chan’s ministry is heavily focused on teaching about the Bible and its real message. The ministry is also highly driven by outreach programs where it regularly donates to charity and has been a notable contributor to rescuing sex slaves in foreign countries.
Chan is also an author who has written several books, including his first book – Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God which was a best seller. So far, Chan has written nine books. He donates most of his books’ royalties to charity.
In a world where church leaders take more from the church than they give back, Chan donates half of his income from his businesses – restaurants, a marina, a hotel and refuses to take a salary from the church. His philanthropy isn’t limited to the church alone. He’s a member of the board of directors of Children’s Hunger Fund and World Impact.
In 2010, Chan took his uniqueness as a Christian leader to another level and resigned from his own ministry, citing that his popularity was getting in the way of the church’s mission. He is also an educator who teaches those who wish to serve in the ministry in his Bible College, Eternity Bible College which was established in 2004.
What Is His Net Worth?
Despite owning a hotel, marina and a number of restaurants, Francis Chan is worth a lowly $300,000. Chan has made a name for himself as a habitual philanthropist, regularly giving away half of his income.
Family, Wife, Daughter
Francis Chan is married to Lisa Chan, nee Lundgren. The couple got married in 1994 and have seven children together. One of their children, Rachel Chan, who is also the eldest is a singer. She is a recording artist in the Christian genre. She’s married to Justin and the couple has a child together.
Where Is He Now?
In 2010, Chan announced to his congregation at Cornerstone that was he resigning and stepping away from the limelight in order to give the ministry its focus back. Since then, not much has been heard about the American preacher but he’s currently believed to have moved to northern California where he’s working on establishing a new church for the inner city of San Francisco.