The ground-breaking for our Chapel was on July 19, 1977 and the target date for completion was set for Christmas Eve of that same year. What a leap of faith! The late Charlene Terrell, Chapel historian, writes: 12/24/1077 “Christmas Eve dawned to gray skies and chilly weather. There were workmen everywhere. The electrician was still hanging chandeliers. Outside a giant crane was waiting to hoist the Chapel bell into place. The weather remained cold and the skies gray.
Late in the day things came together and the bell was slung into position. In that same instant, the heavy overcast parted slightly and the sun broke through, illuminating the bronze bell and turning it into a blaze of gold. Then the overcast conditions resumed. Those who witnessed the event were very moved and felt in their hearts that the sunlit bell was a sign from above that God was well-pleased with the efforts of the people to build a place of worship for Him.
That evening about a hundred folding chairs were ready to be set up. The weather was still miserable by early evening and a thick fog in, obscuring the mountains themselves. Some debated if all the chairs should be set up or not. It was finally decided to put them in in place. When it was time for the service, down from the mountaintops and out of the valleys and across the ridges people came through the fog and mist to the gleaming, candlelit Chapel. The chairs were all filled, and some people sat on the floor. In Church in the Wildwood, author John Robert Smith said of the people’s reaction to the Chapel, “It was love at first sight.”