Wesley Memorial Chapel

Wesley Memorial Chapel interior

Chapel history

Since 1951, Wesley Memorial Chapel has been a place for prayer and worship.

In 1944 one of the dreams of the Women's Association of Wesley Hospital was the construction of a new chapel. The Foster Chapel was inadequate for the needs of the growing number of student nurses and was not accessible to patients and family members. A new chapel would provide a place of worship for nursing students and a place of prayer for patients and families.

The plans for the chapel included a slate roof and silverdale stone walls to set it apart from the rest of the hospital. The cost of the chapel was $71,000. The cornerstone was laid in 1950. The Service of Consecration of Wesley Memorial Chapel was held on October 18, 1951. The Rev. Dr. Armour H. Evans, Wesley Hospital superintendent (chief executive officer) from 1947-1957, presided at the groundbreaking and the consecration. Kathryn Millsap, Deaconess in the Methodist Church, served as Wesley's chaplain during this time (1927-1959).

Members of the Women's Association placed great importance on the windows. More than twenty stained-glass windows were designed to add peace and meaning.

The chapel windows

In the lobby, the theme of healing is seen in the windows: Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, and St. Luke, the Beloved Physician. As you enter the chapel, the eight windows on the left depict women of the Bible. The windows span more than 1,100 years of history. Ruth, Naomi and Esther, women of the Old Testament, are included with significant New Testament women.

  • Esther, a Jewess chosen as the new queen of Persia, became the liberator of her people through intercession with the king. (Esther 5:2)
  • Ruth, a young widow, left her native land to make her home in Bethlehem with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. (Ruth 1:16)
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus, was responsive to the working of the spirit in her life. (John 1:14)
  • Martha waited on Jesus by preparing a comfortable place for him in her home. Martha waited upon the words and teaching of Jesus. (Luke 10:42)
  • After touching Jesus' robe, a women who had experienced bleeding for twelve years heard Jesus pronounce words of healing to her: "Thy faith hath made thee whole." (Matthew 9:22)
  • Having wet the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair, Jesus forgave the woman of her sins. (Luke 7:47)
  • Mary stood by the cross of her son, Jesus, and heard him say to the beloved disciple, "Behold thy mother." (John 19:27)
  • When the women arrived with spices to anoint Jesus' body, they heard the proclamation of Jesus' resurrection: "He is risen!" (Mark 16:6)

The windows above the altar show Jesus blessing the children saying, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God." (Mark 10:13-16)

Continuing clockwise, the eight windows on the right depict Jesus' ministry of healing. Through touch and the spoken word, Jesus calls forth wholeness amid the conditions of sickness.

  • Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
  • Jesus instructed a man with a paralyzed hand to stretch out his hand; his hand was made whole. (Matthew 12:13)
  • Jesus told the story of the Samaritan who bandaged the wounds and cared for a man who had been beaten. (Luke 10:34)
  • Jesus restored sight to Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus to have mercy on him. (Mark 10:52)
  • Jesus asked a man sick for thirty-eight years if he wanted to get well; Jesus told him to pick up his bed and walk. (John 5:8)
  • Jesus assured a distraught father, who had left his dying son to seek Jesus' help, that the son would live. (John 4:50)
  • Jesus raised a young girl at the request of her father. (Matthew 9:18-25)
  • Jesus commanded a man who was paralyzed to get up and go home; he did so praising God. (Luke 5:24)

The Rose Window at the back of the chapel filters the afternoon sun.

If these walls could speak...

They would give thanks for the vision turned into the creation of this chapel by people dedicated to serving and glorifying God.

  • They would speak of God's presence to patients, families, employees and volunteers who come for sanctuary.
  • They would pray their blessing on those:
    —baptized at the baptismal font,
    —joined in marriage before the altar,
    —remembered in memorial services beneath the vaulted ceiling.
  • They would wail for the sorrow and rejoice for the gratitude that fill people's hearts as they enter to pray.
  • They would give thanks for the students who have graduated from the educational programs and have become channels of God's healing.
  • They would remember the special services of worship marking important days in our year.
  • They would rejoice over the service of worship and sacrament of holy communion offered through the years.
  • They would invite us to be God's people—a people dedicated to serving and glorifying God