Preparation. Anticipation. Wonder. Unity. Praise. From the prelude by Dr. Albin Whitworth to the singing of “And Can it Be,” all who attended the Estes Chapel rededication service in Wilmore, Ky., on May 8, 2018, participated in an on-going story of faithfulness, grace, healing and ministry.

Four hundred seventy-eight people joined hands to say the Lord’s Prayer. Students recited the Apostle’s Creed in five different languages. The audience sang from the new Asbury Seminary Hymnal, containing hymns from the second century to the 21st century. Three hundred forty-five viewers joined the online service.

Dr. Timothy Tennent’s message Fire from Heaven compared the seven symbols within Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1-10) to the historic symbols of faith in Estes Chapel. He emphasized that the resurrection of Christ allows God to meet His followers, not only in Estes Chapel for worship, atonement and instruction, but anywhere His name is proclaimed today.

“The dedication of Solomon’s temple was really a story that climaxed in what only God could do,” Dr. Tennent said in his presidential address. “Yes, 30,000 laborers did this and this and this [in the Old Testament], but ultimately, it’s God breaking in to do what only He can do. The fire of God fell upon the people, upon the sanctuary, upon the sacrifices. Unless the fire of God falls on this generation and these students, we will never be able to transform the world.”

Special guests Richard and Barbara Barker were students at Asbury Seminary and Asbury University, respectively, when Estes Chapel was dedicated in 1954. They served as missionaries with World Gospel Mission in Japan for 20 years and were honored to represent their peers.

“Attending the Estes Chapel rededication is more significant this time than it was before,” Richard, 1956 M.Div. graduate, said. “In 1954, I was a first-year student, and I didn’t know the depth and meaning of this chapel. Sixty-four years later, I have the honor to participate in this service and appreciate it even more.”

The Seminary also welcomed Trustees and Trustees Emeriti, members of the Hundredfold Campaign Cabinet, all former deans of chapel, current and retired faculty, friends of the Seminary, alumni, faculty, staff and students. Following the ceremony, more than 500 guests gathered in the Stevens Pike Dining Hall for a celebration luncheon.

“May the God of tent and temple, the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire dwell with joy in this place for generations to come,” Rev. Jessica LaGrone, Dean of Chapel, said in the benediction. “Now go from this place. Enjoy. Giving thanks to God, proclaiming his goodness and celebrating his love.”