BE Modern Man: Meet ‘The Chaplain’ Azariah Terrell

BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.


Name: Azariah Terrell

Age: 28

Profession: Chaplain/Spiritual Advisor

One Word that Describes you: Innovative 

Social Media handles: Instagram: @chaplainazariah Facebook: @ChaplainT


What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?

It means a great deal to me. It is such an honor to be recognized by a blacked-owned multimedia company with such a historic presence in the black community. I do not take this for granted. It pushes me to continue to thrive in excellence and continue to grow in my purpose. 

What are some examples of how you have turned struggle into success?

For a long time, I struggled with belief in myself. I did not think I was good enough to pursue my purpose with the gifts that I have been given. In result, I would be silent and not use my voice when I knew I should have. I allowed people to take advantage of my gifts. In 2013, I was led to seminary, which, to me was a reconstruction of my identity. I found my voice and began to own my identity. This led me to become a mentor to young African American teenagers, traveling and speaking to people about knowing who they are and not being afraid to unlock themselves. Now, I am in a position to inspire and give others hope in who they are called or destined to be. We all have a gift inside of us and if we listen to the negative and believe it, we will never unlock our full potential. So my message has been and will continue to be ‘unlock yourself’ and be authentic in your being. 

What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?

Authenticity. I believe that is the most important quality one can have because for me it builds trust knowing that the other will be real with me no matter what. In this world we stay in today, many people are wearing a mask trying to fit in or hide who they really are. I believe the ones who are authentic are the ones who will really have my back in tough situations. I don’t want to be surprised by thinking I know someone but really don’t. So again, an important quality I look for is authenticity. 

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Wow. I have heard many great things, but if I had to pick the best advice, it would be from my parents. My father who has and still tells me “Love God, love yourself, and love others” in that order because “if you can’t love yourself then how do you expect to love anyone else?” My mother says “Be yourself son.” Those two have given me that advice since I was a kid.

What advice do you have for other men who want to make a difference?

Trust who God has called you to be. You have that vision burning inside of you for a reason. Be authentic in your walk and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and transparent. That does not make you less of a man, it actually makes you more of a man. Lastly, know that our young men and women are watching us. How we treat each other, our kids and our women means everything!

What is your “Extraordinary Impact”?

Extraordinary is a great word. My profession as a chaplain requires me to be a listening ear and provide a ministry of presence. Too often we are telling each other what we should do, but are not listening to each other. Not realizing our brothers and sisters are hurting. Whether it’s helping those who are on their death bed in a hospital, supporting those who serve in a military capacity or having a one-on-one session with someone, my greatest impact is being present with others as they find themselves. I believe in helping people unlock the answers deep within.


It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.

Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.