From the Worldwide Faith News archives

New Presbyterian Center Chapel Dedicated

Date 04 May 1996 20:40:53


95369        New Presbyterian Center Chapel Dedicated 
                         by Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Members of the General Assembly Council (GAC) joyfully 
celebrated the end of a long journey Sept. 29 with the dedication ceremony 
for the new Presbyterian Center chapel. 
     Construction on the $600,000 facility, which seats 200, ended this 
summer, and the third-floor chapel was first used for morning worship Aug. 
     Funding for the chapel was provided primarily by Korean Presbyterians 
in the U.S and Korea and a donation by Helen Walton of Bentonville, Ark. 
Fund-raising efforts were spearheaded by GAC member Youngil Cho of Raleigh, 
     Tough economic times, a $7 million deficit, and the elimination of 200 
jobs at the Presbyterian Center torpedoed the initial chapel fund-raising 
campaign announced in 1989, including forfeiture of a $60,000 down payment 
for an organ. The chapel's original design priced out at $1.8 million. 
     By October of 1991, the chapel was put on hold and one month later, 
the GAC voted to abandon the project. But zealous Korean congregations with 
significant historical and emotional ties to the PC(USA) ensured the 
chapel's eventual completion. 
     According to Cho, the Presbyterian Church of Korea gave $100,000, 
Korean churches gave $200,000, and Korean-Americans donated $70,000. 
Walton, the widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, donated $250,000.  
      Moreover, the Rev. Seung Young Lee, pastor of the 4,000-member 
Saephuk Presbyterian Church in Seoul, pledged an additional $50,000 for the 
purchase of a piano and electric organ. 
     "I give thanks to God for the dedication of this place on behalf of 
the Presbyterian Church in Korea," said Bong Ryang Chung, moderator of the 
80th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, at the 
dedication service. "It is a wonderful pleasure to be with you." 
     "Worship should be at the center of the church -- worship and 
mission," said Marj Carpenter, moderator of the 207th General Assembly. 
     Exceptionally beautiful are the chapel doors, which were carved by New 
Mexico artist Frederico Armijo. The doors' exterior carving greets visitors 
with outstretched arms and open hands.  In the background are interlocking 
circles that form a cross while representing the various cultures that make 
up the global community.  
     The skylights and large, arched window facing the Ohio River are 
supplemented by strategically placed prismatic glass, refracting natural or 
artificial light into a spectrum of ever changing rays.  
     "What a blessing for all of us -- staff and council members, friends 
from Korea and from all across the United States ... to be gathered in this 
holy place, listening for a word of encouragement from the living God," 
said the Rev. James D. Brown, GAC executive director. 
     "The history of the Presbyterians has really been at the heart of the 
fabric in our community," said Louisville mayor and honorary Presbyterian 
Jerry Abramson. "You can feel the spirit, joy, peace and inclusiveness here 
and we appreciate your good stewardship." 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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