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CHAPEL STORIES

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"It was fall, 1997. I’d been a pastor’s wife, non-profit professional, church and presbytery volunteer for a decade before finally answering the call to ministry I felt as a young single adult. LPTS accepted my application into the M.Div. degree program, offered a scholarship, and we put things in motion to move to Louisville. When our house didn’t sell, I delayed enrollment. The second academic year was about to begin; still our house had not sold. We took a leap of faith and moved to campus with our daughters, ages 3 and 5. My husband didn’t have a job and we continued to make a mortgage payment for several months until we found a renter. It had been 16 years since I graduated from college. Meeting my family’s needs while learning Hebrew, Old Testament, other rigorous academic courses while doing field education, writing daily reflection papers and other writing assignments was a bit overwhelming. I found solace in a very special place that helped me find my way. The Chapel at night is beautiful. When I studied in the library after dinner, I would sit across from it for a brief time of reflection & prayer prior to returning to on-campus housing. That time restored my balance each day. I experienced God’s presence and reassurance that what seemed hard would be possible to accomplish. I recall moments of immense gratitude for the opportunity to be at LPTS during these evening meditations. In our family of four children, only my father had a college degree, thanks to the G.I bill. I never thought I would have the opportunity to earn both a bachelors and a master’s degree. I continue to give thanks for the symbol of the Chapel at LPTS, and for all the wonderful experiences I have had outside and within its walls. It is the heart of the campus…. Kind of like God’s sacred heart for all to experience."

- Amy Claire Helwig

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"Polly and I were married at the chapel on the campus of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on September 10, 1965, just days after my first semester there. The campus was brand new and the seminary had relocated to it from the former downtown location before we moved to Louisville.

From the parking lot, a person entered a quadrangle with classrooms in a building on the left, the dining hall and bookstore in a building to the right, the library across from the classroom building, and the beautiful A-shaped chapel at the end and the focus of attention.

 As you enter the quadrangle and walk directly across it, you are led to the front doors of the chapel. However, off to the left side, out of sight if you enter the chapel, but very visible if you bypass it, is a metal sculpture depicting a rooster.  The sculpture, by Barney Bright, recalls an ancient Christian symbol of warning. In the Bible, three times the cock’s crow signaled Peter’s repeated betrayal of Jesus. (The sculpture has been stolen at least twice, maybe more times over the years. Each time it was, eventually, discovered in someone’s apartment. After the last theft, several decades ago, a friend on staff at the seminary said that he could not tell me what the seminary had done to assure that it would not be stolen again. “But,” he said, “I advise you not to touch it!” I understand it has not been tampered with since)."

- Rev. Kenneth MacHarg '68

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