Jay “JC” Chambers

chambers JC_ovalDecember 8, 1959 ~ July 8, 2018

Jamie Christopher (JC) Chambers, 58, died unexpectedly on Sunday, July 8, 2018, while doing one of the things he loved most—coaching girls’ basketball.

Visitation with family will be 5-7pm, Friday, July 13, 2018, at Central Baptist Church, 3102 W. Ralph Rogers Rd, Sioux Falls. Funeral Services will begin 11am, Saturday, July 14. Interment will be in Ellinwood, KS, 10:30 am, Monday, July 16.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made to the Thomas Club payable to Lorri Chambers.

JC was born on December 8, 1959, in Denver, CO, and was lovingly raised by his Grandmother Dorothy Thomas, along with his younger sisters Jodie Tootle and Felicia Davis. He attended Regis High School in Denver. Later, JC went to play basketball and attend school as an Art and Psychology major at Sterling College in Sterling, KS. While at Sterling, he met Lorri DeWerff. They married in 1984 after his first year at Sioux Falls Seminary. Following Seminary, he received his ED.D from the University of South Dakota and subsequently became licensed as a psychologist with special interest in at-risk youth, families, and chemical dependency.

Following a near-death experience in 1993, JC felt a calling to start a grace-based counseling practice in Sioux Falls called Stronghold Counseling Services named after Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and are safe.”

JC felt passionate about helping people find hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances and leading people to grace that is found in Jesus Christ. This grace was the basis for all that he did, and it was evident in the way he loved, parented, coached, mentored and worked. If he wasn’t with his family, he was coaching basketball. If he wasn’t coaching, he was fly-fishing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. If he wasn’t fly-fishing, he was creating works of art. Any other time he had left was spent blessing people.

JC was an artist, in what he created with his hands, the ways he loved people, and mostly the ways he loved the Lord. His bookshelves are filled with pages of sketches and drawings of anything that came to his mind, basketball plays, practice plans, sermon ideas, and brilliant pictures of what he imagined Jesus to look like. His writing led him to publish two books, “The Art of Kid Whispering,” and “The Stronghold Difference,” pieces that revealed his heart, wisdom and ability to foster authentic transformation. His hands created instruments, pieces of art, and sunk many-a-free throw in his lifetime. He showed up in peoples’ lives in the exact way that they needed and carried each person’s heart with compassion. Most importantly, he lived and died as a servant of God, supporting his family, playing drums, singing hip-hop, writing devotions, coaching and mentoring everyone’s children all for the glory of his Creator.

He is survived by his wife, Lorri; his daughters Alyssa Chambers, Carley (Spencer) Childs, and Haley (Tyson) Wiggers; he was a first-time “Papa” to his grandson, Oakley; two sisters, Felicia Davis and Jodie Tootle; brother, Jon (Lisa) Chambers; in-laws, Vernon and Marian DeWerff; many cousins, nieces and nephews.

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  • Carol Regier says:

    J.C. was an inspiration to many in the substance abuse field. He helped instruct many of our staff and was an excellent resource for us. He was an example to all of walking with his Savior and demonstrating spirituality in all that he did. He will be missed. Our prayers are with you, Carol Regier, CEO Keystone Treatment Center

  • Karla Mikkelson says:

    JC was great man he touched many lives. Prayers for Lorri and family.

  • Mildred Sanderson says:

    Rest in Peace, Jay. This is a nice obituary of his life to celebrate how he lived.
    In terms of the FINAL FOUR you are the winner with you life with Christ.
    Aunt Mil

  • Diane Rahn says:

    We were saddened and shocked to hear of JC’s passing. JC was our counselor when our son, who is now a youth pastor, was going through some difficult times. God has used JC to touch so many lives! Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Our prayers are with family and friends as you mourn this great loss.

  • Jim Chroust (Coach) & Carol says:

    To Lorri and family,
    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers! JC was a wonderful person with lots of personality. And, you were such a great wife, spouse and mother with him. He was a fine and fun athlete back in the SC days and he was such a pleasure to be around. He made everyone around him better and he was always so positive. No matter the situation he always supported the team and his teammates. He was a Warrior and he made coaching fun and rewarding when you have a young man such as JC in the program and made those SC days memorable. Please know we are thinking of you and praying for you and your family during this challenging time. It gives great peace to know of his love for his God and family and his exemplary life.
    Coach and Carol Chroust

  • Krystal Lohff says:

    Prayers for JC and his family. He was a great man and was an inspiration to so many. He khad the touch that was needed to reach individuals.

  • Karen and Larry Toft says:

    Lorri, we are so very sorry for your loss, we are thinking about you and your family during this shocking and difficult time. We used to see JC at the Wellness Center early in the morning on the basketball court, always with a big smile on his face. He always asked how we were doing. Such a great and talented man. RIP JC.

  • Michael E Litz says:

    This is such a tremendous loss. My heart goes out to JC’s wonderful family and friends. I haven’t seen much of JC since I moved up here but he is not a man who can be forgotten. He was “the real deal”, a man who practiced what he preached. A truly honorable man. Please accept my condolences

  • Shelby rolfs says:

    I’m so sorry to the family of jc I saw him every time I went to stronghold counseling he always said hi to you and could always make you smile.
    I’m going to miss him at stronghold counseling. He will be missed. Rest in peace jc.

  • Mark Patterson says:

    Lorri and girls and family: Our hearts are extended to you in the sudden death of JC. I know in the midst of sorrow you are rejoicing in the fact you know where he is. I am sure God is already using him to make a difference in the lives of people in heaven. May you have tons of great memories of your husband and dad and know that God is with you.


  • Mary Frederickson says:

    Lorri and family, My heartfelt sympathies to all of you. What a beautiful humble servant the Lord made of JC, he was a man of action, he walked the talk of the bible. I will miss him greatly as many will at Hope Community Church. His great love for the Lord and his family will never be forgotten.

  • Dan & Sandra Hoffman says:

    Our hearts go out to JC’s family. JC will never be forgotten in the Sioux Falls area. God has used JC to touch many lives with respect & dignity. Our prayers go out to you during this time of difficulty.

  • Deb Aden says:

    JC was a fantastic role model,awoderful human being, and a great community person. He gave and gave and gave…we all benefitted from him…he some how touch our lives. You will be missed by many.

  • Marcella Slater says:

    I Met JC threw Truth Seekers about 10 or 15 years ago. It was a Christian Fine Art group that got together for fellowship and making art. Every year was based on a theme and we would open our show up at Life Light Festival an outdoor weekend christian concert. JC was one of the original members and was always making people feel welcome. He took the time to talk to everyone no matter how big the crowd. He always made me laugh with his funny story or antic. He gave great art critiques to me and I learned a lot from his wisdom in the arts. He was so caring and such an amazing artist one of the best in the group in my opinion. The world is at a lost but I know without a dout that JC is in heaven. People say people go to a better place… this time I think it is definitely true. So sorry to the family I send my prayers to you as you grieve this great loss.

  • Ed and Kristi Irvin says:

    Lorri We are so sorry for your loss. JC was a dear friend and support over the years. Our prayers will be with you in the days ahead. Ed
    Lorri~ JC was such a noble, humble man, and you were his perfect compliment. Our hearts go out to you and your girls. Praying for your family, Kristi

  • Jean Davis says:

    Lorrie and girls- Thank you all for sharing your husband and dad with so many people. He was truly one of a kind he helped the broken with no judgement and was always straight up. He taiught me to never give up, He taught me grace and accepted me and my flaws. What I always admired about him was his love for God and the mad crazy love he had for his family! He would light up talking about you all! I know he will forever be with you all. You have the best guardian angel watching over you. Much peace and love to you all

  • Carla Werre says:

    JC was a seminary classmate. Lorri and family, you’ve been in my prayers. I celebrate JC’s joyful spirit and his commitment to serving the Lord by using the multitude of gifts God gave him. His death is a tremendous loss to so many whose lives he touched. May God’s love and comfort surround you and uphold you.

  • Larry Wilke says:

    My heart felt sympathy to Lorri and family. JCwas an inspiration. He touched the lives of many through his teaching, which lives on in our school. A colleague, but more important a true friend.
    Larry Wilke
    Little Red

  • Jamie Swenson says:

    I just can’t believe somebody so good for the Earth and so good for the people would vanish and I don’t understand that God can’t take somebody who was evil or full of crime and I know what JC would tell me on that thought so I will let that thought go but he was so incredible with people and he converted the worst of the worst and some how made them the best and not only that but in some mysterious way turned people into christians without even knowing it. What an impact to our community. I am deeply sorry. Hugs to his family. He made my family better people. Tgank you JC!

  • Billy Mercer says:

    My heart goes out to his wife and children first and foremost. I will never forget the time at Hyvee when he and his family were exiting out the door and the alarm bell went off. Many times that happened to me and I was motioned to go ahead. However, given his skin color he was stopped with his family and checked out. I looked over and said, it’s your skin color, JC! He just smiled and waved at me. This man knew the problems of the community and he knew the solution. He was a true example of a family man and that is what makes the pillars of the community. Thanks JC and thanks to his family for being selfless in giving up a little bit of him so he could help so many other. He will be sadly missed by all.

  • Val Putnam says:

    Lorri and family,
    My heart hurts for you in your loss this day. J.C. was a friend to so many because he was a giver of grace and hope. He was our counselor when our daughter went to alcohol treatment and he has remained a strong tower for us. I will be forever grateful for the day when J.C. said to me, “Val, I am so disappointed in you.” He called it like it was and broke through barriers to become authentic and do the hard work of turning your life and situation over to God. My prayers are with you as you remember his love and kindness. Peace, Val Putnam

  • Shauna Niedan says:

    Shock is all I can explain. I can’t say anymore amazing words Then have already been said Tracey was truly one of a kind man clearly a servant of the Lord. What a blessing he was to his family and those He’s helped selflessly. I to always ask God why are the good ones taken too soon but I have to believe with my face that someone like Tracey is only going in Body next year he’ll have too many seeds planted and too many people truly ever be gone his love strength will live on through this family. His amazing support believe In others his lifting of God words will live on forever in those who were blessed to be apart of JC life. Thoughts and prayers to all his friends and family🙏

  • Steve Nelson says:

    Dear Lorri and Family,
    I just learned of JC’s passing. My heart is heavy and I’m in shock. I always smile when I think of JC, but my smile will never be as wide as his! Truly a wonderful man with a tremendous spirit! God bless you during this time and know that you are in my kindest thoughts and prayers.

  • Daryl Simpson says:

    Condolences to JC Chambers
    family. John 4:34.
    A man of God.
    Well done and cheerful servant.
    Blessings Daryl. and Sandra

  • Deborah Essem says:

    He changed my life in so many ways. J.C. showed me compassion,love,understanding,and that God has a plan for me that was so much more than I could ever imagine. My life is so much richer for having known him.

  • Ruth Clark says:

    With Deepest Sympathy, your in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Henry Werth says:

    I met JC this winter. He led our Saturday morning Men’s Bible study.
    He was living the life I aspire too which was building into
    the lives of others. He loved fly fishing:). I appreciated his
    authenticity and sense of humor. I am shocked. The Lord
    sees the big picture and we trust His wisdom and goodness.

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