As Chapel Pointe celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2019, many themes vie for attention: the legacy of Founder Rev. Fred Henry, the love of people, the joy of service, and the growth of a continuum of care that offers a lifestyle of security.
However, one person emerges at the forefront, bringing the heart of Chapel Pointe into focus: God.
“The ministry of Chapel Pointe is built on the foundation of that Gospel message. On a consistent basis, every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year, Chapel Pointe graciously seeks to meet the needs of those who can no longer provide for themselves and comes alongside of those to meet their needs,” said Pastor Tim Keller during the Diamond Anniversary Celebration on June 14. Chapel Pointe residents, staff, volunteers, family members, and supporters packed into the chapel for a special worship service to commemorate the anniversary. Others watched the in-house television broadcast from their homes and offices.
Pastor Keller’s observation during the service mirrors the truth by which Chapel Pointe’s founder lived his life. Rev. Henry’s favorite verse was Matthew 25:40, “I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.” (Message) Life was only beginning at age 56 for Rev. Henry and his wife, Elsie, who founded The Alliance Home (renamed Chapel Pointe in 1996) with the help of Christian and Missionary Alliance churches on their wedding anniversary, June 15, 1944.
Since then, Chapel Pointe has seen:
- The number of residents grow from one (Gula Brubaker) to nearly 200 people.
- The hiring of the first nurse in 1954, which evolved into a three-wing health care center by 1985. From 2011 – 2013, the culture and building transformed to become three households where residents live purposeful lives and build lifelong relationships.
- The building of eight independent living apartment buildings, and a brand new neighborhood of 12 townhomes at Pointe Place being constructed across town in 2019.
- The shift from originally requiring residents to volunteer with housework to offering residents a maintenance-free lifestyle with a myriad of spiritual, cultural, educational, and relational opportunities.
- The fingerprints of thousands of employees, residents, family members, donors, board members, leaders, and community friends who have shaped what Chapel Pointe looks like today.
“We’ve had 75 years of growing and learning. How do you celebrate that?” Debbie Sprague, CEO, asked to begin the Diamond Anniversary Celebration.
The rest of the worship service seemed to answer that question with scriptures of blessing, prayers of gratitude, words of praise, songs of thanksgiving, and offerings of joy lifted to our heavenly Father.
“It’s been 75 years of dependence on the Lord, complete dependence on him, because we know that what we are celebrating today is not our successes. It’s not our achievements. It’s what God has chosen to do here over 75 years,” Sprague said before the gathering burst into singing “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” and later “Trusting Jesus.”
The service included videos: a timeline of photographs and a greeting from John Stumbo, President of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Rev. Joel McGarvey reflected our community’s faith when he prayed, “You [God] have always been faithful. And from those earliest days, we see Your hand at work in Your provision, in the answers to prayer, in the people that you brought to be a part of this community, and the lives that were touched. And we thank You, that … as Chapel Pointe has grown and its ministry has expanded, that You have not changed and that You continue to be faithful.”
The Diamond Anniversary Celebration continued with an outdoor reception. Party-goers were greeted by sunshine, mountains of elegant food, friends, sparkling decorations, and a three-tiered cake. They also could write a prayer or memory to include in a time capsule scheduled for opening on the 100th Anniversary.
As a community, we will continue to celebrate throughout the year in small ways, always coming back to God as the heart of Chapel Pointe. With reminders of God’s provision tucked into our minds, we look to the future with hope and anticipation for years full of promise and faithfulness.