Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful


Worship Services

The chapel ministry at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary provides opportunities to praise and worship God, to grow spiritually, and to learn together about ministries of preaching and worship. There are many opportunities for Garrett-Evangelical students to be involved in the worship service as liturgists, musicians, preachers, and more.

Three patterns of worship in the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary address different needs, schedules, and traditions within our community, as well as providing rich worship and learning experiences for those who can participate in all three. They are:

Word and Table   Gospel   Contemporary

For more information, please contact:

Anne Ferguson, Dean of the Chapel, Anne.Ferguson@garrett.edu, 217-474-4257
Ron Anderson, Director of Music, Ron.Anderson@garrett.edu, 847-866-3875.

Word and Table Service - Tuesdays at 11:15 a.m. (To Top)

PH07_Chapel_Lallene_Speaks_at_Installation_H_3-07The Tuesday worship service in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful is a Service of Word and Table as outlined in The United Methodist Hymnal, The United Methodist Book of Worship, and in worship books of other U.S. Protestant denominations. Reflecting the growing convergence among these churches concerning the theology and practice of worship, it includes four key elements:

  1. Gathering
  2. The Service of the Word
  3. The Service of the Table
  4. Going Forth

The cycles of the Revised Common Lectionary and Christian year shape the prayers, sermon, music, and other arts in each worship service

The primary musical instrument in this service is the voice of the congregation supported by choir, organ, piano and other instruments. The United Methodist Hymnal and its supplement The Faith We Sing are the primary, though not the only, source for congregational song in this service. The Tuesday Chapel Choir also provides leadership for singing the psalms and presents choral music drawn from a wide range of the Church's musical traditions.

Gospel Service - Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. (To Top)

preachingWednesday evening worship in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful at Garrett-Evangelical provides students a more informal worship style and incorporates a glimpse of the African American church experience. With the belief that what is best in the African American church experience offers gifts to all people, this service features biblical preaching, extemporaneous prayer, and songs expressing the sorrows and joys of a people free in the Spirit who yet seek freedom from all forms of oppression in this world. The Eucharist is celebrated on the first Wednesday of each month

The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Gospel Choir, open to people of all races, is the musical ensemble for this service; it sings songs in the tradition of the African American church experience. The worship team for this service endeavors to cultivate an atmosphere of freedom in expression and individual worship style. Active participation in worship is encouraged. We gather expecting that God will meet us to provide sanctuary in the midst of busy lives and spiritual nutrition for the journey of faith.

Contemporary Service - Thursdays at 11:15 a.m. (To Top)

praisebandThe Thursday chapel service in Garrett-Evangelical's Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful sounds the rhythms of contemporary generations; it is "worship with a beat." Congregational song led by a praise ensemble including voice, keyboard, guitars, and percussion surrounds praise, prayer, and proclamation. The Eucharist is celebrated on the first and third Thursday of each month.

Video projection technology replaces bulletins in order to enhance the service with visual images and enable embodied participation. In this worship service the seminary seeks, through authentic preaching and liturgical creativity, to join relevance to twenty-first century life with deep theological reflection. We hope that this service will provide students with models for contemporary and alternative worship services in local churches.


 Weddings and Other Services in our Chapels

Both the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful and Howes Chapel are available to the public for weddings and other services.  Inquiries about availability and fees should be directed to Jacqueline Azpeitia, the Hospitality and Housing Coordinator, at jacqueline.azpeitia@garrett.edu or 847.866.3950

About the Chapel

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has a rich, intricate history behind its formation. Garrett-Evangelical's Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful also has a beautiful history. Beginning in 1924 with the dedication of original Garrett-Biblical Institute chapel, to the expanision in 1952, to the renovations and renaming in 1992, the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful has undergone a number of changes but continues to serve the Garrett-Evangelical community as a gathering space for the named and unnamed faithful.

The Original Chapel The Chapel Organ
The Expanded Chapel The Narthex Windows
The Chapel Windows Other Chapel Additions
The Present Chapel  


GbiChapelThe Original Chapel (To Top)

The original Garrett Biblical Institute (GBI) chapel was part of the new wing that was added to the main building during the presidency of Charles Macaulay Stuart, who served from 1912-1924. It was named Stuart Chapel and was dedicated on June 10, 1924. The original windows, described in a paper by Stuart, were made of white opaque glass decorated with biblical figures and symbolic emblems.



1951ChapelAdditionToRecitationBld.2The Expanded Chapel (To Top)

In 1952, the chapel was expanded and dedicated during the tenure of Horace Greeley Smith, who was president from 1932-1953. It was used extensively during the seminary's centennial festivities.



1951ChapelAdditionToRecitationBldIn 1954, GBI hosted the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches. The theme, "Christ the Hope of the World," inspired Professor Georgia Harkness to write "Hope of the World," which appears in the United Methodist Hymnal. The hymn is traditionally sung each year during the recessional at the seminary's commencement.





The Chapel Windows (To Top)

The three chancel windows were given in 1952 by Evaline Howes, who also provided funds for the Howes Chapel. They are in memory of her husband Frank Howes, a longtime supporter and trustee of the seminary, who died in 1933.

Each of the three windows is crowned with a heroric figure of Christ. Below are scenes of important events in the gospel story. At the sides and in the center of the windows are a series of half-circles and armatures presenting various Christian teachings or symbols.

On the right, in the window of invitation, Christ stands upon the shore of Galilee and invites us to "come." Above him is a dove, representing the Holy Spirit. The main panels below present The Temptation, Call of the Fisherman, and Christ and the Children.

At the left, in the window of teaching, Christ is seated on the Mount and asks us to "learn." Over him is the creative hand of God. Beneath are scenes that depict The Lord's Prayer, In the Synagogue, and The Beatitudes.

In the center, or commission window, the resurrected and ascending Christ commands us to "go." bove are the praying hands of human devotion. In the panels below are The Great Confession, Baptism, and The Lord's Supper.

The windows along the chapel walls were installed from time to time between 1954 and 1962. The names of those memorialized are shown beneath each window.

On the north (right) side of the chapel the windows represent forerunners of the gospel. The upper panels are selected from the Old Testament while the lower series is chosen from the history of the church before the Reformation.

They are, from east to west (back to front): Creation, The Martyrs; Abraham, Augustine of Hippo; Moses, The Eastern Churches; David, Missionary Expansion; Amos, The Mendicant Orders; Isaiah's Vision, The Scholastics; Jeremiah, Faith and Art; Job, Pietism; John the Baptist, John Wycliff.

On the south side are the windows that witness to the gospel. The upper panels are selected from the New Tesament while the lower sections show persons and movements in church history since the Reformation.

These windows are to be read from the front to the rear (west to east): Peter's Confession, Luther at Worms; Pentecost, The Reformed Churches; (above exit door) St. Paul; The Four Gospel Writers, The English Reformation; Faithful Laypeople, The Free Churches; The Epistles, The Evangelical Revival, and American Methodism; The Fourth Gospel, Missions (Isabelle Thoburn, Methodist missionary to India and John Stewart, first Methodist missionary to the Indians); Revelation, Unity (WCC Second Assembly in 1954).



The Present Chapel (To Top)

Renovations for the present chapel began in 1991. On May 28, 1992, the completed chapel was dedicated "to the glory of God in memory of the Unnamed Faithful."

chapel3_copyThe chapel is designed to express the seminary's understanding of corporate worship, where brothers and sisters in Christ gather, not as observers but as family members around a common table. Moveable chairs and liturgical furniture make possible a variety of seating arrangements. This flexibility allows for creative worship settings. It also accommodates lectures, concerts, drama, and other events.

Encounter with God occurs in a real world, a world as real as the stable of Bethlehem. The warm materials and subtle tones of the floor, furniture and liturgical elements - and the colors used on the walls, ceiling, and trim - suggest the earthly rather than the exotic. Yet the majestic stained-glass windows seem completely at home. In fact, they appear more brilliant than ever in their muted setting. Along the walls on both sides of the chapel new indirect lighting adds a soft glow.

The clay quarry tile on the floor harmonizes in both appearance and performance. It provides acoustical excellence for the new pipe organ and other musical instruments, as well as for singing and speaking.

The addition of air conditioning also serves more than one purpose. On the feeling level, it provides relief during the warm-weather gatherings. Throughout the hot and humid months, the chapel now offers cool comfort for students attending services and classes during summer school and pastors' course of study school. Functionally it preserves the organ, which needs controlled humidity and temperature for optimum performance.



The Chapel Organ (To Top)

In February 1992, a truck bearing the pipe organ's thousands of parts arrived at the seminary from Quebec, Canada. It took weeks for artisans and technicians from Casavant Freres Limitee to put all the pieces together.

The organ has three manuals. There are 28 stops, 40 ranks, and 2242 pipes. The console, which is detached from the organ, is mounted on moveable casters. Its versatility of position is in keeping with the seminary's concept of creative worship settings.

More important, however, is the story behind the organ. In 1923, during the presidency of Charles Macaulay Stuart, Murray and Dorothy Leiffer began their studies at GBI. After they graduated, the Leiffers taught at the Chicago Training School for two years and in 1929 were invited to join the GBI faculty.

During the decades that followed, their consuming passion was the preparation of ministers and scholars. They frequently entertained students in their home. After they retired in 1973 to LaJolla, California, they continued to support the seminary through their prayers, personal friendship, and financial gifts.

In 1987, the Leiffers collaborated on Enter the Old Portals, a book of reminiscences that spanned their 50 years at the seminary. In October 1990, they were installed in the Founder's Society, their names etched in stone on the wall of the library archives.

Generous support from the Leiffers, who were two of the earliest advocates for the remodeling of the seminary chapel, helped make the project possible. In the summer of 1990, during their regular evening devotions and hymn-sing, the Leiffers decided to gift the chapel with a new pipe organ in memory of their only child, Donald J. Leiffer, who died in early adulthood. Their hope was that they would live to hear the organ played.

But Murray's death on February 1, 1992, and Dorothy's advanced illness prevented them from realizing that dream. The organ arrived a week after Murray died. In the words of President Fisher: "It is consoling to know that Murray the new organ in anticipation. 'Those all died in faith.' says the author of Hebrews, 'not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar... Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for (God) has prepared for them a city.'" (11:13,16 RSV)

The Donal J. Leiffer Memorial Organ and the renovated chapel were dedicated on May 28, 1992. Said President Fisher, "As in past years many experienced the Leiffers' friendship, so in a real sense present and future generations (of students and faculty) who gather in this place dedicated for worship will continue to enjoy the Leiffers' hospitality."



The Narthex Windows (To Top)

On the west wall of the narthex at either side of the center doors are four windows that were added as part of the 1992 renovation of the chapel. They illustrate women of the Bible; church leaders who reflect the seminary's commitment to ecumenism and inclusiveness; and women historically related to the seminary.

Window one (south to north) depicts Miriam and Ruth of the Old Testament; Mary Magdalene and Phoebe from the New Testament.

Shown in window two are Maceo DuBoise Pembroke, Sr., 1919-1981, Garrett alumnus, trustee, and churchman who nurtured countless young African-Americans in the Christian faith; Mortimer Arias, seminary president, bishop emeritus, Evangelical Methodist Church, Bolivia; Margaret Hawk, Sioux Indian lay women at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and mentor to many Native Americans; Okgill Kim, 1921-1990, second president (1961-1979) of Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.

Window three includes Leontine T.C. Kelly, first Black woman bishop of the United Methodist Church; Luisa Garcia Acosta (Gonzalez), 1908-1977, who devoted her life to education as author, school teacher and principal in Havana, Cuba; Peter Gordon Gould, 1900-1988, first native of Alaska to become a fully ordained Methodist minister, a founder of Alaska Methodist University; D.T. Niles, 1908-1970, of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), cross-cultural missions pioneer, evangelist, college principal, and a president of the World Council of Churches.

The fourth window shows Eliza Clark Garrett, 1805-1855, founder of Garrett Biblical Institute in 1853; Georgia Harkness, 1891-1974, first woman to teach in a school of theology in the United States, professor at GBI from 1939-1950; Marjorie Matthews, 1916-1986, visiting professor at G-ETS, appointed to the United Methodist episcopacy in 1980, the first woman bishop of any major denomination in modern times; Lucy Rider Meyer, 1849-1922, founder of the Chicago Training School in 1885 and its principal until 1917.



Other Chapel Additions (To Top)

The renovated balcony contains an enclosed booth that permits regulation of a variety of lighting and sound. The new sound system allows for audio and video recordings from any location in teh chapel. Also upstairs is a refurbished classroom and TV studio as well as storage space for choral music and choir robes. A second stairway has been added for easy access to the balcony from the sanctuary.

The media center, in which there is a video viewing room, and another classroom/studio are located off the narthex. Also added is a sacristry that includes water, a sink, and extensive cabinetry for storage of worship materials.

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.