Celebratory! We’ll gather together with all who are able to attend to celebrate the history and future of the Glisson Chapel in its previous form (as it was prior to being enclosed from its original open-air design), current form (as it’s been since 1950 to present), and future form (as it will be from Summer 2019 moving forward). Through songs, prayer, and meditation on scripture together we’ll give thanks to God for the decades of ministry on this special section of the Holy Dirt and for the decades to come. As part of the service, we’ll step outside to pray over and commemorate the groundbreaking of the expansion project. As visual references, the outline of the expansion will be roped off and large-print exterior and interior renderings will be on display. No RSVP necessary. Hope to see you at camp at 3pm on Sunday, September 16th!
In case you missed the open letter from our executive director, C. Russell Davis, announcing the gift and project back in February, here’s a link to the email or you can view the text copied-and-pasted below.
Biggest Gift In Glisson’s History Paves Way To Preserve
& Expand Use Of Chapel For Generations To Come
February 24, 2018
Dear friend of camp & retreat ministries,
It is my joy and honor to share with you that Glisson has received an incredibly generous gift – $1.5 million – to fund the expansion of our beloved Glisson chapel.
Coming on the heels of expanded lodging (additional cabins) and dining capacity (new dining hall), this largest gift in Glisson’s history was given to keep that momentum going and growing.
More specifically, the gift was given to allow all of main camp to worship together – something that’s been challenging for two decades and increasingly so in recent years as Glisson’s summer attendance has increased by nearly 1,000 campers just since 2010.
The news of any possible change to the Glisson chapel may catch you by surprise – and I apologize if this is the case. Our staff and board of directors have been prayerfully engaging with the need for larger worship space at Glisson since our significant Master Plan Update in 2010. Back then our reaction to the consultant’s suggestion of the need for chapel expansion or replacement was “Not on our watch!”
As demand for Glisson’s ministry has continued to grow, however, we’ve realized that our chapel situation is well past “pleasant overcrowding”. And without a plan for better accommodating worship during summer camp and retreat season, we risk having to abandon our sacred chapel space with its long history at the heart of the Glisson experience for services in the Holland Building, whose history as camp’s gym is far more, well, common.
Our staff and board, joined by our partners leading annual conference retreats, have worked diligently and creatively, with the guidance of our architect, to design an expansion of Glisson’s chapel capacity that works to preserve those aspects of worship there that make it unique and meaningful for so many…while expanding to accommodate the new max capacity of Glisson’s main campus, thereby ensuring the chapel will continue to serve as camp’s primary worship space for generations to come.
If interested, you are invited to attend a listening session to hear more about the plans to extend the life and use of the Glisson chapel and about future potential Glisson projects: Saturday, March 10th @ Chamblee First UMC ( More Details & RSVP ). Or, if you are unable to attend in-person that day, feel free to call (706-864-6181) or email me directly (email@example.com).
Again, it’s an honor to get to share this exciting news with our extended camp and retreat ministries family, and to join together in praising God for this generous gift and incredible opportunity.
Grace and Peace,
C. Russell Davis
North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries
Our goal in this project has been to preserve as much of the existing chapel as possible, while renovating and expanding it to serve the new max capacity of Glisson. The expansion essentially removes three of the existing chapel’s walls, extends one end, and then encapsulates it with glass.
The existing pews will be put to use elsewhere in camp. We’re currently looking into ways to incorporate as many as possible into our upcoming Outpost Chapel project.
The existing Path of Silence will remain intact, with plans to expand it either as part of this project or shortly thereafter.
The expanded chapel will seat 450.
Our strong inclination, which was affirmed by feedback from current and alumni staff and campers, was that maintaining the existing, rustic look-and-feel of Glisson’s iconic camp chapel in the woods would be key to the expansion design. With the help of our architect and with an eye for good stewardship of resources and sustainability, we’ve threaded the needle of rustic and modern every chance we can. For instance, there will be new lighting, but the fixtures will be mostly tucked away from view. There will be a way to project video on a screen, but the screen will not be prominently featured. There will be accommodations for a sound system, but the primary design is to facilitate the congregational singing that’s been so core to Glisson’s worship culture. There will be central heating and air conditioning for comfort and for protecting the building from the elements over time, but there will also be tons of windows that will be opened when the HVAC unit is turned off when the weather permits and for events such as night chapel serves – the soundtrack of which has been chirping Cane Creek crickets for generations.
No worries! Feel free to contact our executive director, C. Russell Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 864-6181.