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New Prescott Prayer Chapel coming in fall 2016

BY BRIELLE BUDROE | STAFF WRITER

Last spring, students and administrators came together so they could design a new Lyle and Grace Prescott Chapel.

Vice President of Student Development Mary Paul said that it needed to be rebuilt due to its weak structure; however, moving the structure elicited challenges.

The chapel is not being paid for directly by the school.

“The funding for the prayer chapel is coming from donors who are interested in supporting a vital prayer ministry,” said Vice President of External Relations Joe Watkins.

Since Prescott Chapel is being rebuilt, Paul voiced her concern for protecting the structure’s authenticity. “If we want to move it, we have to tear it down,” Paul said. “How can we salvage the feeling of it?
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According to www.pointloma.edu, in 1969 students were protesting against the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, Pasadena College students desired a different means of expression; they wanted a place to pray.

Between 1969 and 1970, plans to build the chapel were put into motion. “Four of us headed up the effort,” said Lead Consultant for Mission Resources and Pastoral Relations Ron Benefiel. “We worked with architect Rick Conklin to design the building and then raised the funds necessary to build it.”

The original structure was built at the Pasadena College in 1971. Through fundraising, students accumulated $30,000 to finance the chapel. Lyle and Grace Prescott, who the building was named after, graduated from Pasadena College.

“[Lyle] was a dedicated Christian, a masterful pianist and a brilliant man in many ways,” said Benefiel.

Benefiel said Lyle and his wife, Grace, manifested their faith and love for others in their years of service as missionaries in the Caribbean.

According to ASB President An- drew Borland, Prescott Chapel is the only preserved building from Pasadena College.

Regarding the reconstruction of the new chapel, Paul shared her concern in maintaining the original structure’s ambience.

“How can we create a space in which people always have access to it for individual prayer or even small gatherings?” Paul asked.

Paul said powerful spiritual moments have taken place in Prescott Chapel.

“Those of us who originally had the idea that we needed a prayer chapel on campus have been gratified to see how much students have used it as a place of prayer over the years,” Benefiel said. “I often hear stories of people who made life decisions while praying in Prescott Chapel.”

Aside from the university’s desire to maintain the chapel’s robust spiritual atmosphere, the stained glass windows were set aside to be implemented in the new building.

“With the construction of the new building, I am most looking forward to just a new place for students to en- counter God,” Borland said.

The new building’s completion is expected by Fall 2016.

 

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Jordan Ligons

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