KANSAS CITY – On April 19, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) reached a milestone in the construction of its 40,000-square-foot chapel complex: the “setting of the steeple.”
The steeple-setting ceremony signified the near-completion of the chapel building, a project that has been in the works since October of 2009.
Media representatives and spectators joined the Seminary family on campus to witness the towering 3,000-lb structure as it rose to the top of the chapel complex before being secured to a stabilizing base on the facility’s roof.
The ceremony came on the heels of the school’s spring trustee meeting and in the midst of celebrations over MBTS President Phil Roberts’ 10th year of service at the institution. As a result, many trustees and regents were able to watch the completion of this monumental phase in the construction process.
“Today is a special day in Midwestern’s history, and it is encouraging to see the steeple sitting atop our chapel,” Roberts said. “I’m grateful to our regents and to our trustees for their unwavering prayer and support in this project. It’s only fitting that they get to be here to witness the visible progress of their efforts.”
The steeple itself is approximately 51-feet high and is comprised of a copula and a spire crowned by a 10-foot cross. It was placed at the center junction of the complex’s roofs, over the congregational area of the chapel. The new addition will be gracefully lighted so as to be seen from the neighborhood, indicating clearly the seminary’s purposes.
Roberts said he was blessed by the opportunities the new addition affords.
“Now people across the Northland will be able to view the cross from any angle and be reminded of the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus made to forgive our sins,” he said. “Our neighbors will also be reminded on a daily basis that this is a place that serves Jesus Christ. They will know we are a place that trains future pastors and missionaries to carry out the Great Commission and spread the Gospel to Kansas City, to Missouri, to the United States and to the ends of the earth.”
With its new addition, the chapel complex now reaches to approximately 107 feet in the air, adding greater prominence to an already impressive structure.
The facility is to include a 1,000-seat auditorium, a welcome center, additional classroom space and corridors connecting the complex to the current administration and classroom buildings. The structure will allow for increased capacity at Midwestern chapel services, workshops and various other events.
The seminary’s board of trustees approved the chapel construction in October 2009, and groundbreaking ceremonies for the project took place on March 3, 2010. An influx of volunteers began arriving on campus in the summer of 2010 as
J.E. Dunn Construction and the Alabama-based Builders for Christ joined together with Midwestern to begin construction, and a second wave of volunteers will begin arriving on campus this summer with the aim of readying the interior of the chapel for the fall semester.
MBTS continues to recruit volunteer groups to help finish the project. Interested parties should contact the office of Lyndal Lovelace at (816) 414-3731 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
AUSTIN MAYFIELD/contributing writer