On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, after 81 years of life, Doyle Chauncey went home to heaven. On February 21, 1942, he was born the fifth child and only son of Horace and Hannah Chauncey. Doyle was a late surprise for them, and as a result, he found himself with four doting older sisters ready and willing to help raise their precious little brother. His sisters, Dorothy Duff and Norene Jackson, have gone to heaven; his other sisters, Audrey Conner and Jean (Jack) Kinser, live in Chattanooga, TN.
Doyle married his high school sweetheart, Sharon (Collier), nearly 60 years ago. They have two sons, David and Jeff Chauncey. David and his wife, Sara, gave them five grandchildren: Andrew, Caleb, Luke (Savannah), Stephen, and Hannah. Jeff supplied three more: Brooke (Samuel) Yang, Mason, and Parker. Doyle is also survived by his sister-in-law, Virginia (Collier) Bales, along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Doyle graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management. By the age of 29, he was a successful and rising businessman in the community and had begun serving as a deacon at White Oak Baptist Church in Chattanooga. But also rising within his spirit was a strong sense of calling to vocational ministry. This passion for Christ began at the age of 17 when he accepted Christ as savior at a weekend youth event—one he attended in pursuit of the pretty young lady who eventually became his wife.
Humble Servant of Christ
In the summer of 1971, Doyle gave up his business career, packed up his wife, his two little boys (who were five and three), and set off for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. While there, Doyle was ordained by Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where he had served as business administrator. In 1974, having earned his Master of Divinity, Doyle and his family moved to Virginia, where he was called to pastor Liberty Baptist Church in Appomattox.
In 1978, Doyle moved his family to Richmond to become the treasurer of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. He returned to the pastorate in Richmond, serving New Covenant Baptist Church and planting a new church called Christian Life Fellowship. In 1989, he was called to serve on the pastoral staff of First Baptist Church in Norfolk.
When the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia constituted in 1996, Doyle was unanimously elected to be the first full-time executive director-treasurer. He led the convention of churches in this role until 2008. Doyle then transitioned to focus on the development of the SBCV Foundation and continued as treasurer until 2014.
Doyle was known for his passion for evangelism, missions, and particularly, planting churches, which became one of the SBCV’s core objectives. He often said that “the future of the SBCV was tied to church planting.” Doyle was also on the planning team that pioneered and implemented the decentralization concept to place state convention field staff across the state to make them more accessible to churches and leaders. He was an entrepreneur at heart and helped start Innovative Faith Resources, providing financial and media services to churches and organizations across the nation.
Faithful and Fruitful
In 2014, Doyle and Sharon moved to Gainesville, FL to be closer to family. For the past eight years, Doyle continued finding ways to serve the Lord. He was the senior adult coordinator, a deacon, a Lifegroup leader, and most importantly, a husband, father, and grandfather.
Doyle’s was a life well lived. He was not afraid to follow the Lord, make sacrifices for the Gospel, and start new and often untested ventures. He was an effective and beloved leader. He possessed a unique combination of qualities: administratively gifted, hard-working, and yet gentle, kind, and loving. Even as the effects of declining health affected his mind and body, his joy, his quick humor, and his engaging smile never diminished. Although he is gone from us, the fruit of his ministry and life will live on and on. He will be deeply missed by so many.
A celebration of his life was held at Westside Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL on Friday, March 31. ■