Jerry Chism

First post: Jan 24, 2023 Latest post: Jan 31, 2023
Jerry Chism was born on August 12, 1953 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. He was adopted at birth by Leroy and Louise Chism of Colleyvile who preceded him in death.

          He grew up in North Richland Hills and Colleyville where he graduated from Grapevine high school in 1971. Jerry was a member of Future Farmers of America, and won awards showing animals at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Jerry played drums in high school and in college. Soon after graduating high school he met the love of his life, Elizabeth Chism, and they married in 1976.

          Jerry attended Tarrant County Junior College and later transferred to Texas Wesleyan University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies. He then attended Southern Methodist University, and earned a Master’s of Divinity.

          After completing seminary, Jerry became an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. In the 1970s Jerry was a youth pastor at William C. Martin, United Methodist in Bedford, Texas and Saginaw United Methodist Church.

          Jerry’s first appointment as senior pastor was at St. John’s UMC on University Drive in Fort Worth. In 1982 Jerry was appointed senior pastor of Benbrook UMC. In 1983 Jerry and Liz had their first and only child, Daniel Chism, who they always loved and adored.

          In 1985 the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist church, asked him to launch a new congregation in the growing suburbs of southwest Arlington, Texas Jerry was the founding minister at St. John the Apostle UMC in Arlington and oversaw construction of the church. While at St. John the Apostle Jerry earned his first doctorate from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City Mo., focusing on ministering to children.

          In 1993 Jerry became senior pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Haltom City, where he served for nine years. While at Saint Luke, Jerry earned his second doctorate from Oxford University in England through the Graduate Theological Seminary Foundation.  Around that time that he began his 20-year tenure on the board of trustees at Texas Wesleyan University. It was also around that time that he began to serve as a trustee for the Harris Methodist system of hospitals.

          In 2002, Jerry was appointed senior pastor at Arlington Heights UMC in Fort Worth. Jerry joined the faculty of Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University where he taught methodist doctrine and polity for nearly a decade. Eventually, he was appointed to William C Martin UMC, in Bedford, Texas, which would be the final church where he would serve a senior pastor.

          In 2015, Jerry received his third and final doctorate from Oxford through the Graduate Theological Seminary Foundation. His thirst for knowledge and love of the academic setting lasted until the final days of his life.

          Jerry retired from full-time ministry in 2017. In the last years of his life, Jerry went through many struggles. Rev. Mel Bishara and the members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Haltom city graciously invited Jerry to be an associate minister for the last two years of his active ministry.

          Jerry is survived by his son, Fort Worth attorney Daniel Chism, his daughter in-law Chanda Chism, his ex-wife, Elizabeth Chism, his cousins, Janice Chism and Gary Russell of Mount Pleasant, Texas, his former sisters-in-law, Nancy Guirgus, Patricia, Thresher, and Mary Ann Hart and his former brothers-in-law, Curtis Thresher, Robert Hart, Waguih Guirguis and Wes Hart. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Jesse Hart, Michael Hart, Joy Mershon, Sara Fiddler, Joseph Guirguis, Patrick Guirguis, and Hunter Hart. Donations in Jerry’s honor should be made to Texas Wesleyan University.

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