Campbell University stretched a “thrilling and most enjoyable moment” over four days to dedicate its new, $8.5 million Anna Gardner and Robert B. Butler Chapel Oct. 12-15.
The 12,000-sq.-ft. facility features an elegantly spartan, pine paneled sanctuary with lavish light, premier instruments, glass walls, creation and resurrection stained glass windows, a bride and choir room and the admissions office for Campbell University’s divinity school.
Other outside features include a memorial garden, meditation garden, memorial pool and memorial walk.
Construction on the red brick building began in May 2008.
Originally planned as a smaller facility, funding support was overwhelming, enabling a larger vision, according to Dwaine Greene, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
The new facility will seat 450. Turner Auditorium will continue to hold large student body events.
Butler Chapel, named for 1940 alumna Anna Gardner Butler and her husband, whose estate provided a $3 million lead gift toward the project, culminates a dream of Mrs. Butler who said, even as a student, that the Baptist university needed a chapel.
The chapel, with a 20-bell carillon tower above an intimate prayer room, commands the first view on the academic circle, a location placing it central to scholarly life at Campbell.
Greene said in his remarks Oct. 15 that “academic pursuit and faith commitment are like one hand washing the other and almost indistinguishable in this place.”
Allan Schuyler, pastor of Candle-wyck Baptist Church in Charlotte, said, “The God of the universe is neither contained nor containable,” but Christians construct such sacred places in which to meet Him.
“This chapel will speak to students as they walk by and give testimony to the hope of God leading us in his own way to all those who enter,” said Campbell President Jerry Wallace at the Oct. 14 service.