(July 18, 2006) -- LBReport.com is saddened to report the passing of Rev. Joe Chaney, Jr., a beloved and respected figure in Long Beach religious and civic affairs.
Rev. Chaney led LB's Antioch Missionary Baptist Church (1535 Gundry Ave.) from its inception with five members over forty years ago to today's powerful membership of roughly 1,600.
Reverend Chaney passed away on Sunday morning July 16, son Wayne Chaney told LBReport.com...and within hours, Sunday morning services at his church were marked by multiple community members speaking publicly of the ways in which Rev. Chaney touched their lives...and the lives of others in Long Beach and beyond. "It was very moving to hear so many people speak of the love and respect they had for my father," son Wayne said, adding "It meant a lot of our family."
Rev. Chaney was a founder of the Long Beach Ministers Alliance, an interdenominational alliance of ministers, directing the organization for five years and later serving as its President Emeritus.
The LB City Council adjourned its July 18 meeting in his honor with words by 6th district Councilwoman Laura Richardson.
"[Rev. Chaney was] just an incredible man of integrity and just did so much good for so many people, and many ministries were born out of his hard work, improvements in our city were born out of his hard work. He was one of our [Fire Dept.] chaplains, a long time member on the Long Beach Transit Board, just so much commitment to this city. So I ask that you join me in keeping Mrs. Chaney in our prayers. The entire family has been a blessing to this city. Their son, who's one of our firefighters but just down the line the entire family has been a blessing...Just an incredible Man of God...loved the city and wanted to make it better and was truly a part of that," Councilwoman Richardson said.
Rev. Chaney leaves his wife, Maxine Moss Chaney and a family blessed with five children (in photo, Rev. Wayne Chaney, Jr., sister Sophrano Cannon, Wayne Chaney, Rev. Joe Chaney, Jr., spouse Maxine Chaney and daughter Regina Chaney), nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Son Wayne Chaney (center in photo, next to his Dad) is familiar to LBReport.com readers, having served for a considerable period as LBFD's Public Information Officer and photographer; he helped pioneer use of the internet to convey news rapidly with compelling words and pictures.
Pastor Chaney came to Long Beach in 1953 from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He pastored the First Baptist Church in Fontana while working for the City of Long Beach and later served as an assistant to the late Reverend N. J. Kirkpatrick of the New Hope Baptist Church. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earning a B.A. degree in Business. He studied three years of Theology at Billips Seminary in Baton Rogue and finished his theological studies at Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, CA.
The Southern Baptist General Convention (SBGC) selected Rev. Chaney as the first African-American to serve on the Family Services and Childcare Board of Directors for California and he was elected for two terms as the SBCG's First Vice-President for California. He also served as President of CASBAAN (California Southern Baptist African-American Network), was Director of Missions for the Long Beach Harbor Southern Baptist Association (LBHSBA), elected multiple times as its Moderator and served five years as its Finance Committee Chairman. In 1993, he received the NAACP's Image Award (Long Beach Chapter).
Pastor Chaney co-founded the Community and School Tutoring (CAST) program and served on the Board of Directors for multiple organizations including Long Beach Transit (where he was recently inducted into LB Transit's Hall of Fame) and was also a Boardmember of LBPD's DARE Program and the LB Civic Light Opera.
Rev. Chaney was a Chaplain for St. Mary’s Hospital...and Chaplain for the LBPD and the LBFD...and served on the LBPD Chief's Advisory Board.
In photo right, Rev. Chaney is seen in LBFD Chaplain's uniform at LB's annual Sept. 11 firefighter memorial, a grassroots event created by LB Firefighter Gary Biggerstaff, who turns the lawn of his Belmont Heights home into a grassroots memorial. Rev. Chaney attended and delivered an especially moving prayer.
In photo left, three generations of Chaneys. Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr. (who has taken over grandfather Rev. Joe Chaney's pulpit at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church) alongside grandfather Rev. Joe Chaney and dad, LB Firefighter Wayne Chaney.
Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr. will be officiating at services for his grandfather...which will take place on Saturday, July 22, noon, Grace Brethren Church north of Wardlow Rd. between LB Blvd. and Atlantic Ave.