130 years of faith and prayer

Published Jun 19, 2017 at 4:00pm

Summer officially arrives Wednesday, but one widely known icon of our region is already up and running for the season.

The Sylvan Beach Union Chapel had its first summer service yesterday and will continue with 10 a.m. services until Sunday, Sept. 17. Organists include Yancey Moore, Marion Scoville, Stephen Mata, Lucetta Barber and Skosh Fearon.

It’s the 130th season for the landmark non-denominational church.

The Spencer family donated land for its construction in May 1887 and it was completed in July.

In 2009, the chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, ministers from around New York, Florida and Chicago have held services there. The chapel has also become a popular place for weddings.

The chapel grabbed the national spotlight when scenes were filmed there for the 1968 movie “The Sterile Cuckoo” starring Liza Minnelli. She was nominated for an Oscar for the role and it is regarded as one of her best performances.

In recent developements, church officials expressed gratitude toward chapel member Linda Palmer and the Stewart family for hosting the 2016 fund-raiser which will make it possible for a new roof.

The chapel provides a serene location for personal reflection and prayer during the busy summer months.