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‘Heartbeat of Asbury’

Estes Chapel in Wilmore undergoing renovations

Story by Glenn McGlothlin / The Jessamine Journal

Estes Chapel in Wilmore is receiving what officials say is a much-needed renovation.

The chapel, home to Asbury Theological Seminary’s chapel services, is also a popular wedding venue in Wilmore, according to Tammy Cessna, director of alumni and church relations at the seminary.

Renovating the chapel means a lot to the seminary as well as the city of Wilmore, she said.

“It really helps everybody to realize how important the chapel is to us. It emphasizes that chapel is who we are,” Cessna said.

Cessna has been an integral part of the renovation process serving as head of the chapel committee. Members of the committee range from the vice president of finance to the wedding coordinator. She said the process of meeting and discussing has been easy.

“We were in a consensus as we were going through this,” she said.

The renovations began Nov. 3 and are expected to be completed by May 8.

Cessna said the $1.5 million renovation includes a new oak platform, upgraded sound system, handicap seating and refinished and touched up pews, as well as new carpet and a fresh coat of paint.

Because Estes is so well known in Wilmore, Cessna said the chapel has a profound effect on people.

“It helps point others to God,” she said. “It really is the heartbeat of Asbury.”

Built in 1952, Estes Chapel is regularly used for seminary chapel services at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school semester and also for weddings throughout the year, she said.

In the meantime, McKenna Chapel at the Seminary has been home to chapel services and weddings while Estes awaits completion.

The seminary will celebrate the completion of six months of work at 11 a.m. May 8 with a special chapel service featuring the current and past deans of chapel. The public is invited and there is no charge for admission.