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Hearing impaired CU Harrodsburg student helps the deaf feel the word of God

Hearing Impaired CU Harrodsburg Student Helps the Deaf Feel the Word of God
From left are Marsha Noel, Chadwick Noel’s mother; Noel; and Sarah Bottom, Noel’s grandmama. (Campbellsville University Photo by Dan Yates)

By Katie Neal, freelance writer

HARRODSBURG, Ky. – When Chadwick Noel preaches in-person on Easter Sunday for the first time since COVID-19, he will give thanks for God’s promise of rebirth and renewal – using sign language and wearing a face shield for lip-readers.

As the pastor of Danville Deaf Baptist Mission, Noel helps the hearing impaired receive the word of God.

He also knows a thing or two about miracles. Noel was born with kidney issues that led to multiple transplants. He was diagnosed as deaf at five years old and sustained a traumatic brain injury in a life-threatening car accident 10 years ago.

“That did not stop me from pursuing His plan because He wasn’t done with me,” Noel said.

Noel felt determined to pursue his call to ministry, so he enrolled in the School of Theology at Campbellsville University Harrodsburg. With the help of an interpreter, he expects to complete his certificate in Christian ministry Fall 2021, which teaches the advanced skills for biblical and theological studies, ministry and leadership.

“Going back to school felt like I was in college all over again, and CU Harrodsburg is a spectacular place to learn,” said Noel, who graduated with a B.A. in history from Eastern Kentucky University in 2010. “God works in mysterious ways that we sometimes don’t understand.”

Noel’s faith, perseverance and resilience inspire everyone in his orbit, including congregants, fellow students and faculty.

“His story helps him to engage others with the story of Jesus. His passion for sharing and proclaiming the love of Christ is authentic and inspiring,” Dr. Tommy Valentine, assistant professor of Theology, who also teaches courses in the undergraduate and Master of Theology programs, said. “It’s an honor to walk with Chadwick as he grows in God’s calling on his life. He is pure joy.”

Since COVID-19 forced churches to transition to virtual services in March, Noel has been sharing sermons and Bible studies with Danville Deaf Baptist Mission mostly through Facebook. Though the congregation is relatively small, it has an outsized impact in the community that is home to the Kentucky School for the Deaf.

“It’s awesome to know God has a purpose for you to either preach the Gospel or do a mission work for the Lord,” Noel said. He also recalled Romans 8:28: “And we know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. They are the people He called, because that was His plan.”

“We are delighted that the Lord led Chadwick Noel to Campbellsville University Harrodsburg. His testimony is a living example of our motto: ‘Life Change Happens Here,’” said Dave Walters, associate vice president for regional administration. “No matter what your higher education aspirations may be, CU Harrodsburg offers high-quality academic and technical programs that are affordable and convenient for students in Central Kentucky.”

To hear more about Noel’s story, visit

The certificate in Christian ministry is one of nearly 40 academic programs offered at the Conover Education Center at CU Harrodsburg, the institution’s fastest growing regional center. Applications are being accepted now and on a rolling basis.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is