Chapel renovations enable ministry

1/10/2014

Scaffolding surrounds the south side of the chapel. Upper left, a craftsman repairs glass.

The chapel building on the campus of Oklahoma City University is a very busy place. Each week it hosts three worship services, a lunch, Bible studies, classes, and organ lessons and rehearsals. It’s also home to special concerts and recitals, student group meetings, and other special services. During 2013, renovations were made that benefit the chapel’s ongoing vital ministry.

Three primary spaces — the Sanctuary, Harris Chapel, and Watson Lounge — received new lighting, installed as part of the university’s energy plan. The assistant facilities director and electrician, Larry Eck, worked diligently to replace the older, costly lighting systems with high-efficiency fixtures.

The chapel ceiling extends so high that a lift must be rented each time light bulbs are changed. The improvements reduced the number of fixtures from 48 to 24 and will extend the life of light bulbs in the chapel from five years to about 30 years.

University Chaplain Rodney Newman said, "We will spend less on energy week-to-week, and this will be a lot more efficient in the long run."

In just a few years, the university will fully recoup the project’s cost through energy savings, and OCU will receive a rebate from OG&E totaling more than $4,000. 

"We celebrated the new Sanctuary lighting in a worship service in October," Rev. Newman said. "Bishop Robert Hayes’ sermon, ‘Knocking Holes in the Darkness,’ inspired us to continue to let the light of Christ shine."

The south side of the chapel building also is receiving some tender loving care. A hailstorm in early 2013 damaged the beautiful stained-glass panels. Skilled craftsmen are restoring the glass and replacing weathered woodwork.


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