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Historical Center Opens New Chapel

5 years ago written by

After months of construction and loud noises, one aspect of the Marston Memorial Historical Center has been completed. Everyone is welcome to stop by and see the renovated 1910 replica chapel.

On Oct. 13, the Zahniser Chapel in the Historical Center was dedicated in honor of the five Zahniser preacher brothers. The Historical Committee was joined by World Ministries Center staff, Board of Administration members and other guests to celebrate this event.

The dedication included an opening and welcome by Howard A. Snyder — grandson of the Rev. Jacob Jay Zahniser — who shared some remarks about the Zahniser legacy. Mindi Grieser Cromwell, chair of the Committee on Free Methodist History and Archives, read scriptures from Jeremiah and Acts. Cathy Robling, director of the Marston Memorial Historical Center, provided remarks about the Historical Center while Bishop David Kendall shared remarks considering the history for today. The dedication concluded with a prayer by A.H. Mathias Zahniser, grandson of Rev. A.H.M. Zahniser before the Zahniser Chapel’s official opening.

“I’m very exciting to see it all come to fruition,” Grieser Cromwell said. “The goal of the redesign is to use the space to tell the Free Methodist story.”

The Historical Center is increasing access of resources and material. Not only are all the historical books being digitized for online availability, but the library is slowly taking on its larger shape to house more books that have been donated by Free Methodists. Soon individuals will be able to review a full card catalog online.

Due to popular demand, the “Light and Life Hour” display has a new studio in the works. In the future, the space could be used by Light + Life Communications for recordings or visitors to share stories and experiences of the Free Methodist Church.

“More plans are coming together for the display area,” Robling said. “You may be able to use an iPad to view photos, read a sermon while standing at B.T. Roberts’ pulpit desk or listen to a sermon while sitting at Bishop Marston’s desk or standing at the pulpit where Bishop Ellis preached.”

The ultimate goal is for the Historical Center to be an interactive display area and a museum for individuals to come, experience and learn from the past.

“The Historical Center is here to tell the FMC story to all,” said Grieser Cromwell, who added the Historical Center is “a physical and digital space. Even if someone can’t get here, they can still see and hear from far away.”

Visit to support the Historical Center, to access the Historical Center resources online and to watch video of the chapel dedication.

Article Categories:
[History] · [News] · Culture · L + L December 2017 · Magazine · US & World

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