Celebrating a Legacy of Worship within the BSC Community
Today, October 2nd, Birmingham-Southern celebrated Yeilding Chapel’s legacy with a service led by Chaplain Rev. Julie Blackwelder Holly with a homily delivered by Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson Jr., an ’84 BSC alum. Levenson is rector of St. Martin’s in Houston, Texas, the largest Episcopal church in the USA. Former college chaplains also participated in the rededication: Rev. Steward Jackson, Rev. Jack Hinnen and Rev. Brian Erickson (’97). BSC Trustee Richard Yeilding (’73) and BSC President Emeritus, Dr. Neal Berte, also made remarks. BSC music professor and alum of ’79, Dr. Lester Seigel, played the chapel organ.
The Yeilding sons funded the chapel’s construction in 1967 in honor of their father, Frank B. Yeilding. They hoped this spiritual haven would provide worship opportunities for BSC students of all faiths. Since its beginning, service projects, Bible studies, small group discussions and retreats have all played a role in the chapel, promoting faith development through a variety of religious experiences.
“Yeilding Chapel is open 24 hours a day so that even when there isn’t a scheduled event or gathering in the space, students can go there to play the piano or organ, to pray, sing or to meet up and talk with a friend,” emphasizes Chaplain Rev. Julie Blackwelder Holly (’01).
The chapel’s nave symbolizes the Holy Trinity and the religious calendars with four stained glass windows. The gold window represents God the Creator (Easter); the purple window, God the Son (Advent and Lent); the red window, God the Holy Spirit (Pentecost); and the green window, the Holy Trinity (Epiphany).
“It has been and continues to be, a very meaningful place for BSC students,” explains Holly. “Half a century of students [have been] gathering to worship, pray and just spend time together there as they go through all the ups and downs of their college years.”
The Yeilding brothers and their father all attended Birmingham-Southern College, and their family has been a part of the Hilltop for over 90 years.
Holly says, “The Yeilding family is very pleased and gratified knowing that the investment made by their family members in the past continues to have an impact on students and campus life 50 years later.”
More information regarding the rich history and symbolism in Yeilding chapel can be found at www.bsc.edu/campus/religious/chapel.html
Feature photo courtesy of the Birmingham-Southern College website.