Collier Chapel, built in 1873 The chapel is one of the oldest buildings that remains standing on campus. It was renovated around 1994, but is currently under renovation. Many repairs are needed.
Behind Collier Chapel lies a nearly 100-year-old cemetery which is the resting place for many
As most of you know the Home Chapel is under renovation. The outside has had some noticeable work done and the inside is shaping up as well. It is important to understand how this project was initiated and moved to fruition. The following five paragraphs provide input from Morry Gilbert, Class of ’56, and help to clarify this process.
1) The Rooney Fund Board identified the need and the possibility of the restoration of the Home Chapel back in early 2015.
2) Bill Chavanne, President of the Rooney Fund Board, worked with the Athletes in Action (AIA) administration in developing a plan to implement. This initial work included a complex and thorough professional architectural assessment.
3) All of the initial funds for this renovation come from a Rooney Fund grant. This money paid for the first phase of the project, and was accomplished with the superb cooperation from AIA key personnel, appropriate legal advice, and plain hard work.
4) The AXP Chapel Fund was created after the restoration was in full swing. The restoration is expected to cost $1,000,000. The Rooney Fund Board has contributed $300,000 to this effort.
Once the sealing from outside elements is complete, i.e. roof, windows, doors, brick/mortar, steeple, and front door, the Chapel will be preserved for the next 50 years. The next step will be addressing the upgrading of the electrical system and the installation of new heating/air conditioning. Included in this important planning to make the Chapel habitable is, of course, the removal and replacement of the existing ceiling. Making this fine structure available for the community to use is an important goal of this total process. Thanks to the Rooney Fund, for the money that is restoring a very important part of the Home history, the Chapel is coming along very nicely. Having a restored Chapel is very important to a lot of people, me included. It is the first building that greets everyone who graces the grounds of the Home. So, what happens when the chapel gets restored? Many of you remember spending your Sundays in the Chapel, hearing Rev. Howard preach. Every time I have been honored to preach in the Chapel, I have always envisioned my mom & dad and aunts & uncles sitting in the yellow pew seats enjoying the church services of their youth. The Chapel was alive back then. I want it to be alive again. So, I have a question. For those of you living in the greater Dayton area, would you be interested in attending a weekly church service at the Chapel? It has been a dream of mine ever since Dave Mayfield, class of '87, mentioned to me one Reunion that I should get in touch with AIA about starting a church out of the Chapel. Imagine attending church in the same church you attended as a little kid. But my dream is not just about having a weekly church service, but having a full-fledged ministry that has a heart for helping people. Now, I have another question. For those of you living outside of the greater Dayton area, would you be interested in financially supporting a ministry out of the Chapel? Currently work is being done to establish a 501c3, so any support would be tax deductible. I have spoken with Jerry Dendinger, Vice President of Ministry Operations for AIA, about this, and he has no problem with me (us) starting a ministry out of the Chapel. He just mentioned two criteria that must be met to keep his support:
1) that I have the financial support to survive;
2) and this is the most important part that he kept repeating over and over - that we keep and protect the heritage and history of the O.S.S.O./O.V.C.H. Home.
I told him this is not a problem, because that is the whole point to our request. To start a ministry out of the Chapel is to keep a piece of us (the AXP) alive for generations. The Chapel is coming alive! Wouldn't it be great if it could be used again to spread the Love of Christ to a new generation? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject - CHAPEL SUPPORT to let me know if you would be interested in supporting a ministry out of the Chapel. Any and all support would be greatly appreciated.
God Bless you all!
Ronnie Wylie, Jr. AXP Chaplain, Honorary Member
Son of Ronnie Wylie, class of '68 and Carol Wheeler, class of '70