A straightforward man of God who loves and nurtures his flock, Reverend Jerrell Walls founded Christ Chapel of the Valley in 1992. Raised in Northwest Texas by parents who were long-time Pastors, he was given the profound gifts of teaching and ministry at a very young age.
As a boy of 10 years old, Jerrell taught a Bible club for the neighborhood kids on Saturday mornings. As a teenager, he attended leadership seminars and conferences as the president of his church youth group. In 1982, he graduated from L.I.F.E. Pacific College with a Bachelor degree in Biblical Studies. Over the years, he has continued his commitment to lifelong learning through workshops, conferences, and seminars for clergy.
Jerrell’s early development was based on ministry as the District Youth Director for a five-state area and administrative work in the Foursquare Denomination’s headquarters. But as he came to realize that being gay was not a phase, he began his research to reconcile his faith and sexual orientation. After coming to a fuller understanding of God’s unwavering grace, love and acceptance, Jerrell felt a tug on his heart, a strong knowing that a great number of people—many of them members of the LGBTQ+ community—were denied the good news of Christ’s love and redemption.
In 1987, one of Jerrell’s mentors pointed him to Christ Chapel Long Beach, a predominately gay and lesbian congregation founded by Pastor Michael Cole. There, God brought healing. A few years later, inspired and restored, Jerrell began a Bible study in the San Fernando Valley. The Bible study quickly grew, eventually becoming the foundation for Christ Chapel of the Valley.
Today, Jerrell continues his pastoral work at Christ Chapel of the Valley, and is also a senior pastor of Christ Chapel Association of Churches. He co-chairs and chairs the LA Queer Interfaith Clergy Council and LAPD Community Police Advisory Board Clergy Committee respectively, as well as serves on both the Department of Mental Health Clergy Roundtable and the LAUSD Supervisor’s Clergy Council. To further spread the word of God’s love, grace and acceptance of all people, Jerrell speaks at conferences and workshops.
Despite his many responsibilities, Jerrell still manages to find time to work out with his partner, John, and spend time with their friends and family in San Diego.