Francis Chan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Francis Chan
Francis Chan
Personal details
Born (1967-08-31) August 31, 1967 (age 52)[citation needed]
San Francisco, CA
SpouseLisa Lundgren[citation needed]
ChildrenSeven, incl. Rachel Chan (musician)
OccupationChristian teacher, preacher, and author
EducationBA, The Master's University
MDiv, Master's Seminary

Francis Chan (born August 31, 1967[not verified in body], in San Francisco, California), is an American author on Christian subjects, and a teacher and preacher in evangelical churches and related settings. He is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California,[citation needed] which he founded in 1994.[1] He also founded Eternity Bible College, and served as its early chancellor,[when?][2] and has been a board member of several Christian and social justice organizations, including Children's Hunger Fund and Gospel for Asia.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Chan was born in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, California, at Tung Wah Hospital,[1][4] to recent immigrants Pak-sum Chan [陳柏森], a former minister at the Leighton Road Baptist Church in Hong Kong, and Wan-bing Mui [梅韻冰], a “Bible woman of the Hong Kong Baptist Church, Caine Road.”[1] He was their third child; his mother died during his childbirth, of “excessive bleeding”, leaving his father with sister Grace, brother Paul (ages 3 and 2, respectively), and newborn Francis [藩], who was named for the city of his birth and of the tragedy.[1][4]

Francis was sent to Hong Kong to be raised by a grandmother, a Buddhist, for several years, during which time his father remarried, and he and Francis’ new stepmother, Amy Law [羅笑容], gave Francis a half-sister, Gloria.[1] (The year of Francis Chan’s eventual return to San Francisco, from Hong Kong, is unclear from available sources.[4][1]) His stepmother, Amy Chan, also died when Francis was a child, after an automobile accident in 1976, when he was eight years old.[4][1]

His father then remarried again, to Josephine Leung [梁克閲], who “raised [the] four children lovingly with Godly influence.“[1] In raising the four, his father and new stepmother 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] He also stated he didn't understand the love of God well until he became a father himself.[citation needed] In 1979, when Francis was twelve years old, he lost his father to cancer.[1][4]

Chan graduated high school,[where?][when?][citation needed] and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Master's College, and a Master of Divinity degree from Master's Seminary.[5][third-party source needed] As a high-school and then junior-college student,[where?][when?] Chan was active in Christian youth groups, which helped develop his faith in Christ and his interest in ministry.[1][verification needed]


After earning his seminary degree, "Chan landed a youth pastor position" in Chatsworth, California, at the Church at Rocky Peak.[6] Christianity Today, reporting in 2009, has Chan characterizing this as a period where his personal life was not lived consistently with his religious ideas, stating "Those were the worst years of my life... a sinful, hypocritical time."[6] For reasons not explained further, Chan left that pastoral position for a job at a restaurant, waiting tables.[6] Before becoming a senior pastor, Chan has described that he worked for a variety of other employers, including Taco Bell, Mic Pizza, Kirby Company, Ralphs Market, Broadway Men's Clothing, as well as with hardwood flooring contractors.[citation needed]

Chan, his wife Lisa, and 30 others founded Cornerstone Community Church in 1994.[citation needed][clarification needed]

After a three-month leave from Cornerstone, ca. 2008,[verification needed] Chan said he felt convicted to sacrifice more for God. Chan gives away about 50 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. All of it goes to organizations which rescue sex slaves in foreign countries.[6][verification needed] Furthermore, in 2008 it was reported that Cornerstone would give away 55% of its income to charitable causes.[7][verification needed]

In September 2014, Chan joined the board of elders of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship;[citation needed] as of August 2016, he was no longer an elder at that congregation.[8][better source needed]

Non-ministry income[edit]

In 2015, Chan noted in a sermon at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship that he owns restaurants, a marina, and a hotel that he uses to finance his current mission work.[9][third-party source needed]

Cornerstone and other ministries[edit]

Chan, his wife Lisa, and 30 others founded Cornerstone Community Church in 1994;[citation needed] within two months, the church had grown to have 100 attending.[citation needed] The church continued to see increases in attendance, and by the year 2000, it had received approval from local officials for building expansion to double its capacity, in support a 1,600-member congregation.[10] As of January 2008, Cornerstone was one of the largest churches in Ventura County, California.[11] Chan started Eternity Bible College in 2004 as a ministry of Cornerstone Community Church, with 100 students.[12] In 2008, Eternity launched an abroad program in Ecuador.[12][verification needed] As of 2009, the college had 47 graduates serving in various parts of the world.[12][verification needed]

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".[verification needed][This quote needs a citation] In June 2011 he stated he felt called to San Francisco, CA.[citation needed] He moved to Northern California,[citation needed] and as of 2013, Chan's website said he was "working to start a church planting movement in the inner city of San Francisco and also working to launch a countrywide discipleship movement."[This quote needs a citation]

As of 2016, Chan was serving as an ambassador for Care for Children.[13]

Significant speaking engagements[edit]

In 2005, Chan was the featured speaker in a Stop And Think video.[clarification needed][14][relevant? ]

In December 2015, he spoke at the Chinese Mission Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.[citation needed]

Stated theology[edit]

Chan frequently talks about "What the Bible is really saying" "and really living our lives that way." According to one author,[who?] he is not afraid of confronting "lukewarmness" in the Christian life.[15][needs update]

With regard to the sacraments, Francis Chan has affirmed the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a view which is taught by the Catholic tradition.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Chan is married to Lisa,[who?] a singer.[citation needed] They wed in 1994,[citation needed] and as of December 2014, they have seven children.[17] Their eldest is singer Rachel Chan.[18][better source needed]


  • Chan, Francis; Danae Yankoski (2008). Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-1-4347-6851-3.
  • Chan, Francis; Danae Yankoski (2009). Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-1-4347-6795-0.
  • Chan, Francis; Matt Daniels (2010). Halfway Herbert. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0-7814-0418-1.
  • Chan, Francis; Matt Daniels (2010). The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0-7814-0419-8.
  • Chan, Francis; Preston Sprinkle (2011). Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0-7814-0725-0.
  • Chan, Francis; Mark Beuving (2012). Multiply. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0-7814-0823-3
  • Chan, Francis; Bill Hybels; Eugene Peterson (2014). The Road We Must Travel. Worthy Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61795-291-3.
  • Chan, Francis; Lisa Chan (2014). You and Me Forever: Marriage in the Light of Eternity. Claire Love Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9903514-0-5.
  • Chan, Francis (2018). Letters to the Church. David C. Cook. ISBN 978-0-83077-658-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wellman, James K. (2012). Rob Bell and a New American Christianity. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. pp. 63f, 114–119. ISBN 978-1426748448. This author discusses the responses of Chan to the controversial Mars Hill pastor, Rob Bell.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lau, K.C. (November 7, 2012). "The Extraordinary Reverend Francis Chan". Evangel Literature (in English and Chinese). Archived from the original on January 26, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  2. ^ Chan, Francis. "about EBC: a message from our founder". Eternity Bible College. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  3. ^ "Why Gospel for Asia Got Kicked Out of the Evangelical..." Christianity Today. October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e D'Avolio, Lauren (September 19, 2013). "Francis Chan Urges the Church to Turn Her Eyes on God, Away From the Standards of Men". The Gospel Herald. Retrieved December 20, 2019. He was born in San Francisco's Chinatown, but his mother died as she was giving birth to him. His dad remarried, but when he Chan was 8 his step mother died in a car accident. Then, his dad died of cancer when he was 12. ‘By the time I was in junior high I was thinking, “Man, life is short,”’ Chan said.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d Brandon, John (October 16, 2009). "Crazy Passion: Francis Chan Keeps Pushing and Pushing to Make More and More Disciples" (online). Christianity Today. Retrieved December 27, 2019. [Ministries.] The first, Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, Chan started in 1993. The prestigious ex-urban city north of Los Angeles and just east of Ventura Beach attracts an upper middle class of Starbucks regulars. Today Cornerstone runs four services on Sundays, and Chan's preaching has attracted about 4,000 regular attendees who come to multiple campuses in the L.A. area. Its main church campus matches the Spanish mission style of the surrounding homes. Inside are few accoutrements—a small stage with a baptismal font, no banners or stained-glass windows, and no pulpit... // Chan's second ministry is less visible but more audible: weekly Simi Valley sermons that attract a worldwide audience of tens of thousands. His sermons consistently rank in the top 20 Christian podcasts on iTunes, in a group that includes Mark Driscoll and John Piper. In 2005, he spoke at his first Passion Conference, and since then has spoken at conferences almost every week (30 so far in 2009)... // Ask anyone at Cornerstone what has most shaped Chan, and they will likely talk about his early childhood. Chan's mother, Moy Won Chan, died while giving birth to him in 1968 in Hong Kong. He spent his formative years in Hong Kong living under the strict parenting of his father, Paul, who would, as Chan writes in Crazy Love, beat him for "disobeying or bothering" him, though he says it taught him discipline and respect. Paul remarried when Chan was about 7 years old, and moved the family to California. Chan's stepmother died in a car accident shortly thereafter; then, when Chan was in junior high school, his father died of cancer... // Chan eventually moved to Stockton, California, to live with extended family. There he became involved in a local youth group and came to Christ. After attending the Master's College north of Los Angeles, where he earned a seminary degree, Chan landed a youth pastor position at the Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth, California, a short drive from Simi Valley. During this time, Chan says he separated his religious views from his personal life. "Those were the worst years of my life," Chan told me. "I learned more intellectually than any other time of my life, but it was a sinful, hypocritical time." Chan left the youth position to wait tables at a local restaurant.
  7. ^ Schuchmann, Jennifer (October 28, 2009). "Francis Chan's Crazy Love: Why This Pastor's Church Gives Away Half its Budget". Christianity Today. Archived from the original (online) on February 16, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  8. ^ ALCF Staff (August 7, 2016). "[Elders]". Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. Archived from the original on August 8, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Why are we here? Meaning of life, Biblical Salvation – Francis Chan". Youtube .com. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  10. ^ Giordono, Joseph (March 28, 2000). "Membership explosion leads to expansion Simi church to double in size". Daily News of Los Angeles. Retrieved December 23, 2019. SIMI VALLEY—To accommodate an overflow of worshippers at its existing facility, a 6-year-old Simi Valley church is going ahead with expansion plans that would more than double its current size. Receiving unanimous approval from the Simi Valley Planning Commission last week, leaders of the nondenominational Cornerstone Community Church said the expansion is necessary to serve a membership that has grown from 30 people to 1,600.
  11. ^ Kisken, Tom (January 22, 2008). "1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade still polarizes". Ventura County Star. Camarillo, CA: Gannett. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2019. The Rev. Francis Chan leads one of the largest churches in Ventura County, Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley. He, too, argues that abortion is a hugely important issue but said many evangelicals are no longer pushing just one hot button. 'There are a mounting number of believers who are looking at other issues,' he said, listing social justice issues like caring for the poor.
  12. ^ a b c EBC Staff (2013). "The Story of Eternity". Eternity Bible College (EBC). Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "Patrons & Ambassadors – Who We Are – Care For Children – Family First in Asia". Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Just Stop and Think – inspirational Movies – Think About God". Just Stop and Think.
  15. ^ Dyck, Drew (November 4, 2008). "Who's Behind 'Crazy Love'?". Ministry Today. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  16. ^ "The Eucharist is Making Francis Chan More Reformed, Not Less". Theopolis Institute. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  17. ^ Smethurst, Matt; Chan, Francis; Chan, Lisa (December 18, 2014). "Marriage in Light of Forever: Francis and Lisa Chan on the Secret to Relational Success" (author interview, via email). TGC. The Gospel Coalition (TGC) (U.S. Edition, online). Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "Rachel Chan Artist Profile". News Release Today. Retrieved March 15, 2016.

External links[edit]