Article By Andrew Collins
LOVE SPEAKS VOLUMES. I John Chapter 4 v. 7-8 says,” Dear friends, let us love one another, for those who love are born of God and know God, for God is love”. Visitors and newcomers to New Chapel United Methodist Church often comment upon the sincere love and compassion they feel during one of our services. Individuals are free to voice concerns, share blessings, and make prayer requests, knowing that their words will be taken to heart and taken to God by fellow members of what we feel is our extended family.
LOVE TAKES ACTION. New Chapel also extends this love to the surrounding community and beyond. Each week, one of the children in the congregation pulls a little red wagon down the center aisle and collects household items to be sent to the Community Clearinghouse, which is a centrally located collection and distribution point in Scott County for persons in need of assistance. Every year at Christmas time, donations of specific food items are collected and made into food baskets complete with a canned ham. These are either distributed by either members who know of needy families or given to the Clearinghouse. We have contributed to tsunami relief and hurricane relief, and have sent care packages to deployed troops. Sunday school collections are accumulated each year and donated to a worthy cause or project. In past years, collections were donated to New Life Missions to sponsor water purifiers. Recently, $820.78 was donated to We Care, which is an annual community project collecting money for winter clothing, going to children of low income families. Also, $820.79 was donated to the Community Clearinghouse. When it was learned that a complete church could be built in Russia for the sum of $5,000.00, it was decided to draw that amount from the building fund. Now a congregation in Russia, which formerly met in the homes of its members, has a church home to call their own. Considering the economic conditions of their region, as well as the stringent government mandated building codes they most likely would never have had the funds to make this happen on their own.
Church on hill south of Fairview- dedicated in 1886
New Chapel began life with a different name, in a different location. In the early 1800’s, a log church was built upon what is now the vacant southeast corner of Clark’s Chapel Cemetery, a short walking distance south of New Chapel’s current location. Services continued in what was called Clark’s Chapel until fire destroyed the structure. After some disagreement, a new site was chosen, on a hill just south of Fairview Church. The church was rebuilt there and dedicated with the name New Chapel. There is little known of the families that worshipped there except for the records of the Sunday School, which includes teachers, superintendents, secretaries, artists, and those who prayed. Church minutes indicate that some members attended New Chapel , while others attended services either at homes or at the school which was located just north of the site of the original Clark’s Chapel.
Over time it became more and more evident that people wanted a place of worship that was nearer the orginal location, nearer to Clark’s Chapel Cemetery, nearer to the graves and the home territory of their ancestors. They wanted their entire congregation to worship together in a place that was set aside for that purpose only. After much difficulty with permits and other necessary paperwork, the New Chapel structure was partially disassembled and moved to its current location. Though some consideration was made to changing the name back to Clark’s Chapel, the name New Chapel was retained. It was rededicated in 1925. In the late 1970’s a major renovation project was begun, adding a basement, classrooms, plumbing and a brick exterior. It was rededicated in1981.
When one passes the hill where the church was rebuilt and approaches the pastoral view of the valley below with New Chapel Church now visible in the distance, it is easy to understand why they to have their place of worship returned to where it had originally been. To some there is no more welcome site on Earth.
Present Church as dedicated in 1925
COME HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME.
New Chapel United Methodist Church is located at 6710 S. Bloomington Trail Road in Underwood, Indiana, just south of Scottsburg. Turn west off U.S. 31 onto County Line Rd., at Underwood. Go to the intersection. Turn left onto Salem Rd.,which will lead you to New Chapel. It may be a little out of the way, but it is well worth the drive.
Come and share God’s love and grace.