Michael Gynn Chappel Jr., affectionately known as ‘Big Mike’ and ‘Treez,’ was born on March 1, 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to his loving parents, Judy Carter Chappel and Michael Gynn Chappel, Sr.
Michael accepted Christ at an early age at Greater Morning Star Baptist Church where his father was a deacon and his mother served on the usher board. The family later worshipped at New Light Missionary Baptist Church where they were members for many years. He attended Ben Davis High School, graduating in 1988, and embarked on a remarkable and diverse journey.
After high school, Michael enlisted in the United States Army, dedicating nearly a decade of his life in service to his country. He served overseas in Europe and Saudi Arabia and was stationed domestically in Texas and Washington. During his military service, Michael distinguished himself as a behavioral specialist, demonstrating unwavering commitment to the well-being of his fellow soldiers.
After his honorable discharge from the military in 1997, Michael transitioned into the music and entertainment industry, where he made a lasting impact. As an entertainment consultant, he nurtured and mentored countless talented artists, helping them launch their careers and reach new heights of success.
Michael’s passion for music and community outreach culminated in the creation of the popular online radio show, ‘Stop Beefin’ Radio. This program featured artists from across the country, providing a platform for them to share their artistry and connect with a wider audience.
Through his platform #WellConnected, Michael became a pillar of the community, initiating thought-provoking conversations, advocacy efforts, talent shows, resource fairs, and social activations aimed at improving the quality of life for all residents of Indianapolis.
On April 2, 2022, Michael married Christell Monique ‘Moe’ (Berry) Chappel. Their union was a testament to his commitment to love and family. Michael is also survived by his children Ebony Chappel and Renee Davis. He was also a great stepfather to his wife’s children from a previous marriage, Amorie and Bryce Porter. He was not only a loving husband and father but also a source of inspiration and support to his family.
In addition to his contributions to the music industry and community engagement, Michael served as the Vice President for the Friends of Belmont Beach board, a pop-up park in the Haughville neighborhood, where he grew up. His dedication to revitalizing his childhood community demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the betterment of Indianapolis.
Michael could be seen on Instagram each week sharing inspirational videos as he worked to support food access efforts through his role at the Indianapolis Urban League. He was so proud of that initiative as well as the work he did as an outreach specialist with Maximus.
Michael Gynn Chappel Jr. will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, and friend, whose impact on Indianapolis was immeasurable. His kindness, generosity, and unwavering dedication to his community leave a lasting legacy that will continue to inspire and uplift those who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his wife, parents, children, siblings Marcus Chappel and Daniel Harris as well as a host of relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Homer and Ruth Chappel (paternal), Luther and Lurlene Carter (maternal), and brother Marcus ‘Juan’ Taylor.
A memorial service to celebrate Michael’s life will be held on September 23 at Kingdom Apostolic Ministries located at 4900 E. 38th Street Indianapolis, IN 46218. Viewing will be from 9:30-Noon. This will be the only time attendees will be able to view. The services will begin promptly at noon with a repast being held from 4-6 p.m. at The Amp at 16 Tech.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the following charities in honor of Michael’s dedication to community service:
- Friends of Belmont Beach – https://donorbox.org/friends-of-belmont-beach
- Gleaner’s Food Bank – https://www.gleaners.org/
- Indianapolis Urban League – https://crm.bloomerang.co/HostedDonation?ApiKey=pub_e8cc2bca-65c7-11e4-b8ac-0a8b51b42b90&WidgetId=331776
Letters of support can be sent directly to Sprowl Funeral Home.
Michael’s family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. Your presence and kind words bring comfort to their hearts as they remember and celebrate the remarkable life of a beloved husband, father, and friend.
Michael Gynn Chappel, Jr. may have left this world, but his spirit and impact on Indianapolis will forever echo in the hearts of those he touched. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
For more local news, click here.