We are a church that is Christ-centered, built on a foundation of faith, love, and community service.
Kapel was born in Jackson, Tennessee, son of the late Bishop Chester Arthur Kirkendoll, Jr. and the late Mrs. Alice Kirkendoll. He was educated in the public schools of Jackson, Tennessee, graduating from Merry High School in 1964. Afterwards, he attended Lane College, where he received a B.A. degree in History in 1968. Kapel worked at Lane College for 48 years and retired in 2016.
Kapel professed his belief in Christ at an early age and was an active member of St. Paul Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, where he served faithfully and provided leadership on all levels of the CME Church. Locally, he served as Chairman of the Steward Board, Department of Lay Ministry President. He also organized the Christian men’s fellowship breakfast; and served as church photographer. On the district level, he served as Department of Lay Ministry Advisor and District Conference Church delegate. On the Annual Conference level, he served as Lay Leader of the East Tennessee Region, Church delegate, and co-coordinator of Annual Conference quarterly training workshops. On the Connectional level, he served as a member of the CME Judicial Council; General Conference delegate; past General Conference committees/commissions (Episcopacy; Itinerancy; Social Justice and Human Concerns; and the General Connectional Board).
Kapel also faithfully served in several organizations. He was a Life Member #6931 and 50-year brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and served as campus advisor to the undergraduate Beta Pi Chapter for many years. As a result of his outstanding leadership, he received the President Chester Kirkendoll Award for his leadership and boldness while serving as advisor for Beta Pi Chapter. Kapel also served as advisor to the students of the college chapter of NAACP and the Chess Club. He was a part of Toastmasters International, where you learned how to become a public speaker. He also served as County Commissioner for Jackson Madison County and was a member of the P.B. Pegus Lodge #358 Prince Hall Affiliated -- 32nd degree Mason.
He was a member of the Zarah Temple A.E.A.O.N.M Shrine #151. He was a strong believer in obtaining an education, as evidenced by his tenure as Career Placement Counselor at Lane College and State Director of Education with the William R Bell Elks Lodge #454. He was a member of the East Jackson Star #37 Knights of Pythias, Lane Chapter #16 Royal Arch Masons and the Lane Commandery #24, Knights Templar. Kapel deeply loved his family and loved to talk about his grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends. According to his grandchildren, he provided them with much advice and many life lessons. He leaves to cherish his memories; his loving wife of 48 years, Tommie Jones Kirkendoll; his children, Leland Kapel, Jr. (Wendy), Memphis and Chester Arthur (Heather), Baltimore; seven grandchildren, Kendralyn, Leland III, Dakota, Layne, Kynli, Riley and Chester V and two siblings, Chester Arthur III (Ruthie), Memphis and Loretta Jean Jones, Jackson. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.