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Preparing to participate in the new Concordia Chapel worship service are students, front, from the left, Courtney Pickens, Harvey Perez, Kendrick Wright, Kristy Pickens; second row, from the left, Russell Elser, Christopher Anderson, Marla Arrington, Joshua Stewart; and, back, from the left, Edson Darvile and Simon Ajak. -- Submitted

Concordia opens chapel

Published 10:44pm Friday, February 11, 2011

With a series of prayers and readings, the small white chapel on Broad Street became dedicated Tuesday to the spiritual life of Concordia College and the community of Selma.

About 100 people crowded into the chapel to witness the revival of the chapel on campus, now known as Christ Chapel.

The chapel is named so for two reasons, said Christine Weerts, director of development and communications for the college.

“First, of course, to lift up Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Second, because Christ (Lutheran) was the name of the first church Rosa Young, the ‘mother of Black Lutheranism in Alabama’ founded in Rosebud in 1916. It is still standing and Young, of course, helped found Concordia in 1922,” Weerts said.

Concordia president Tilahun Mendedo said the chapel would see services every Sunday for the college and larger community from 9 until 9:30 a.m., so as not to conflict with those who wish to attend services at their home churches.

Members of the Black Caucus of Lutheran Ministers and the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Rev. Matthew Harrison, attended the dedication.

“To think that the dream of a woman named Rosa Young, who first started educating children, children of sharecroppers in a building without a floor, which grew into a dream, Alabama Lutheran Academy and the dream continued to become Concordia Selma. a light that has flickered and at times has wavered and maybe some of us thought would be snuffed out at times — To see it now today to look at this beautiful chapel and this addition of the chapel.

“That is an unbelievable gift of grace,” Harrison said.

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