The Village Chapel
Wedding at the Chapel
The Village Chapel is a place of worship. It stands as a visible expression of faith in God for island residents, their guests and visitors. Its services and ministries are based on Judeo-Christian traditions. A volunteer Board of Trustees and its committees provide the guidance and direction for the fulfillment of the Chapel’s mission.
Easter Sundays provided the milestones in the early religious life of Bald Head Island. The first worship service was held on Easter Sunday, 1984, in the lounge of the former Bald Head Island Inn (no longer in existence). A sunrise service at Old Baldy Lighthouse was held on Easter Sunday, 1985, which led the George and Cynthia Mitchell Family (developers of the island) to donate the land adjacent to the Lighthouse for the construction of the Chapel. Groundbreaking ceremonies followed the 1986 Easter sunrise service. On Easter Sunday, 1987, the Chapel, although not complete, was dedicated after the sunrise service.
Texas architect Clovis Heimsath designed the building in keeping with a Carolina coastal architectural style. His inspiration came from the designs of existing lifesaving stations and the structures on Bald Head that date to the early twentieth century. The Chapel layout is a traditional cruciform floor plan, with seating for 130 persons. A deep bay of windows behind the altar table overlooks the marsh so that worshippers are able to look out at the natural beauty of Bald Head Creek, Middle Island and, in the distance, Bluff Island.
The stained-glass windows were designed by Heimsath’s wife Marianne. The window at the rear of the nave,with its tripartite fish design, is a memorial to J. W. “Buck” Timberlake. The three fish are in an equilateral triangle, which is the symbol of the Trinity and conveys the concept of three equal parts joined into one. The fish were the sign of the early Christians and are also particularly appropriate for an island surrounded by water.The second stained-glass window, located above the organ, is a single dove with wings spread, surrounded by twelve golden rays, each symbolizing one of the twelve Apostles. The dove window was inspired by the Bernini Window in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is dedicated to the memory of John Messick.
The Bell Tower
In June, 1990, Dr. John Hamrick pledged major funding toward the construction of a Bell Tower on the Chapel grounds in memory of his wife Mary. Family and friends also contributed, and in 1993, the Bell Tower was dedicated. After the original bell was broken beyond repair, Gelynda and Aaron Capel donated in 2002 the eighteenth-century brass ship’s bell that currently hangs in the Tower. The plaque at the base of the Tower contains the words of a Gaelic Blessing selected by the Hamrick Family as part of the original design. The Blessing is sung at the conclusion of all Chapel services. The words also appear on the cover of Sunday bulletins and other Chapel documents (see below).
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ - of Christ, the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.
Services are held each Sunday at 8:30 a.m., with an additional service at 10:00 a.m. during the summer months. Communion is distributed the first Sunday of each month. Visiting ministers from various Judeo-Christian denominations lead Chapel services. Each has been recommended by an Island property owner. Baptism, weddings, vow renewals, memorials and other special services are scheduled through the Chapel Office.
(Deposit in Prayer Box in Chapel Narthex)
Offerings to the Chapel support its various ministries. In addition, the Chapel contributes to many outreach programs in Brunswick County. Funds are also needed for the preservation, operation and maintenance of the Chapel as well as the visiting ministers’ condo.
Island. Contact: Call or text (910) 540-3383.
Donations are welcomed and should be marked “Pastoral Care.”