Christopher John Churchill was born on April 21, 1985 and passed away from complications arising from his battle with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma on March 16, 2016. Chris filled the thirty years in between by bringing laughter and joy, making friends everywhere he went, earning an incredible amount of achievements, honors, accolades and admiration for someone so young, and by serving as a role model and inspiration for many, throughout his life and up to his last day.
Chris worked as a trial lawyer for the Department of Justice and served as a member of the DOJ's Constitutional Torts section. He was a proud and thoughtful American who took great pride in serving his country and defending it and its officers, officials and enforcers nationwide. His work permitted him to be involved in complex litigation across the United States; he frequently addressed novel situations and many of the cases he worked on raised issues that are currently being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. Prior to serving his country with the Department of Justice, Chris was proud and honored to have been a judicial law clerk for the Honorable William C. O'Kelley, senior federal district judge in the Northern District of Georgia. In addition, Chris previously worked as an assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia Attorney General's Office, as an associate at King & Spalding LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, and as an assistant district attorney in Hall County, Georgia, under the Third-Year Practice Act.
Chris was a 2010 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class, was a notes editor on the Georgia Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. While a student, he authored a note that was published in the Georgia Law Review about mental health and disparate insurance benefits. He was a proud alumnus of the University of North Georgia, class of 2007, where he graduated as co-valedictorian of his class. While at UNG, Chris was elected Mr. North Georgia by the student body, was elected to multiple terms on student government, served as Pro Consul and Magister of the Theta Epsilon chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, was a sweetheart for the Phi Mu Fraternity, was voted a homecoming court representative, served as an INTRO new student orientation leader and served as an officer of numerous campus organizations, including as president of Commuter Council and Psi Chi Society. After graduation, he continued to proudly serve Sigma Chi. He was appointed to the Theta Epsilon House Corporation and mentored younger brothers as a volunteer educator at the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop, winning numerous accolades and commendations for his service. Prior to his college career, Chris was the salutatorian of the class of 2003 at North Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia.
Above and beyond these personal, scholastic and professional accomplishments, Chris was known, and will be remembered more, as a man of exceptional character, strong faith, unmatched intelligence and insight and a kind, generous spirit and heart. Chris was well-loved, respected, and looked up to by everyone that he came into contact with. He was kind, thoughtful and considerate, always thinking of the interests of others before his own. He was an unselfish man with a servant's heart, frequently giving of his time and his gifts to help family, friends, colleagues, or strangers if they had need. Chris was an honest and loyal friend, brother and son. Moreover, despite his great intellect, prestigious standing, and a raft of accomplishments, he was one of the humblest men on this Earth.
Chris was incredibly knowledgeable and well read. He was a patient, brilliant, and insightful writer and scholar, equally adept at writing legal briefs and formulating arguments as expositions and discussions of the Bible or the historical context of the first-century world. Enhancing the context of the ancient world to prevent modern misinterpretation was one of his passions and he spent many happy years engaged in intensive research on the subject, including an ongoing project to learn koine Greek, the original language of the biblical manuscripts. His main research area of interest was his work on the dating of the composition of the books of the New testament. He was the author of a blog containing introductory posts intended to increase modern readers understanding of the Christian faith, the ancient world and to form an interface point with other non believers by engaging in intellectual discourse on topics of modern interest, If you are interested, you can read some of his writings here: http://inthespiritofirenaeus.blogspot.com/. Family and friends will continue to gather, organize and post some of Chris's unpublished writings at this site.
Chris did not just have purely intellectual interests. He spent time leading and mentoring small groups of young adult men and also led forums for seekers of all backgrounds at Buckhead Church. He was an incredibly charitable person. He was a volunteer at the Atlanta Furniture Bank and the Atlanta Union Mission. He gave frequently of his legal skills to help various veteran organizations and other groups needing legal advice but lacking means to procure it. He mentored and took many young men under his wing, particularly younger members of the Sigma Chi fraternity at North Georgia, leaving a lasting legacy.
Chris's case presented originally as back pain which was diagnosed as muscular pain for which he was referred to physical therapy. By the time he received an MRI, it revealed that he had a primary tumor on his left kidney that had metastasized to his spine, resulting in multiple fractures and bursts along the vertebrae. He was hospitalized for treatment at Emory University Hospital, where he received excellent treatment from a team of physicians, including most notably Dr. Mehrdad Alemozaffar, an exemplary urologist and surgeon.
Chris's RCC was determined to be a rare, extremely aggressive unclassified RCC. He received radiation treatments, chemotherapy combination therapies, and targeted therapies to treat his disease, which proved extremely grueling to his body but ultimately did not have any effect on his disease due to its extreme resistance to treatment and aggressive metastasis throughout his body. Tumor growth in his spine eventually led to paralysis from the chest down.
Chris was allowed to go home July, 2015, where he was cared for by his parents in Gainesville, Georgia and continued treatment until he was placed on hospice care in October 2015 after his condition continued to worsen and not respond to treatment. He passed away in March 2016 from complications due to his cancer and medications.