Community love for Jake Chapman – 2021 Man of the Year

Editor’s Note: This is the introduction given by Scotty Blackwell as he announced Jake Chapman as the 2021 Minden Man of the Year. The Journal featured the Woman of the Year in Tuesday’s update.

Well thank you! What a joy, privilege and honor it is to be with you all this evening. As Tracey said, I’m Scotty Blackwell and I am the Minister of Music at Minden’s First Baptist Church. As “one year” residents of Minden, my wife Jessica and I would like to offer our thanks to this wonderful community for welcoming us with open arms. We look forward to raising our family here.

I have been asked to introduce to you this year’s “Man of the Year”!

When I think of the heading “Minden Man of the Year” a few things come to mind:

First, wow! What a title! Right!? I mean, being recognized as the “Man of the Year” should swell a guy’s heart with pride knowing that his peers have chosen to honor him as being the exceptional stand out amongst the rest of the field of candidates. I’m confident that many names were enthusiastically submitted and much deliberation went into this decision and this particular man rose to the top with a general consensus that he is very well deserved.

Secondly, I think of extraordinary & observable qualities. The Man of the Year for a city must been seen. Although he may (and does) love his home life and time with family, he’s most certainly needed to be involved in numerous functions and events for people to notice his hard work and dedication. So naturally, this means that he is a champion of his town. I know personally, in this individual, there is a deep love for his neighbor and he is very much loved by his friends and acquaintances.

The third thing that comes to mind would be the word community. This year’s Minden Man of the Year absolutely loves his community. If it’s happening in Minden, this guy is usually right in the midst of it. Being a community-focused man gives evidence on where the man’s heart really lies. He takes great pride in his city, its friendliness and cleanliness. He wants the best for his community and it shows in more than his words but also his actions.

Now, onto who this Man of the Year actually is.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve only been here for a year, which means I equally know each of you for maximum, one year! However, with this guy, I feel like we go back decades.

He is a very well deserving man with a servants’ heart. He’s the father of three awesome children that are all very active in their church’s children and youth groups, which is reflective of his leadership in the home. He is a committed and devoted husband. He’s a deacon at the First Baptist Church here in Minden and when you consider the Biblical qualities found in a deacon, he embodies the very description.

Let me take a moment and read it to you:
1 Tim 3:8-13 “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. The men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach…Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”

This man is also an outstanding musician and vocalist serving the church weekly, without fail, as a vital member of its music ministry, of which I am very grateful.

He loves the city of Minden and has served her in many ways. He’s a former Lion’s Club president, a member of the Webster Parish “Top 15 under 40”, was involved with the “Next Generation of Minden”, serves the Chamber of Commerce and very involved in the planning and function of city-wide events.

He has served as Emcee for several events including the St Jude 5&10K’s, various tournaments, and other Main Street functions. In addition to all of that, he has attended several ribbon cuttings, performed the National Anthem and the list continues. He invests not only his money but his time and energy into many programs that benefit the City of Minden. He is well-deserving.

This man BLEEDS “crimson and white” (this is slightly hard for me to say but, Roll Tide!)! He’s an avid donor and booster for Minden High School and Minden High School Athletics. He worked with a close friend to compile an Athletics Record book for Minden High that spans from its inception to today. He’s also the color commentator for Minden High Football having called more than 100 games.

These past two years have been difficult ones, to put it mildly, and his role in the workplace was challenged, but our Man of the Year rose to the task. He was charged with the oversight of the Paycheck Protection Program also known as PPP that helped an enormous amount of people retain their businesses and livelihoods. His success in this endeavor was so great that it resulted in his promotion to a Vice Presidential role at Gibsland Bank & Trust.

This is but a small, condensed list of the accomplishments, leadership skills and work ethics he possesses. So when you mention Minden’s Man of the Year, for many people, their minds go to one man, and I’ll repeat once more, he is well-deserving.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this year’s Man of the Year, Jake Chapman!

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