Learn about the humble beginnings and strong leadership that created the Veterans Memorial Chapel.
TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS.
- Chaplain Allan H Streett
(July 25, 1934 – January 16, 1978).
The chimes in the chapel are dedicated to the memory of Chaplain Streett and musically entice eyes toward the steeple, our house of worship and Jesus.
THE HISTORY OF VETERANS MEMORIAL CHAPEL
The building identification plate displays T-100 in an almost weary way. The “T” designation was given to temporary buildings constructed shortly before and during World War II. An urgent construction need existed to meet the ever increasing demand of a nation building its defenses. Wooden buildings were quickly built at a minimal cost on military installations across the United States to meet the anticipated mobilization needs.
Building T-100 was dedicated on October 11, 1941 as “Chapel Number Two”. The clapboard frame building was one of the first military chapels of its kind. It was intended to be reminiscent of the typical small church found in every community in America. Following World War II, the chapel provided spiritual support for soldiers convalescing at Billings General Hospital and later for the AG students barracked across the street in the 1950’s. It was renamed “Troop Brigade Chapel” in 1974. During August 1987, the chapel was part of “The Village” for the Tenth Pan American Games hosting 38 countries, 6,500 athletes, trainers and coaches. On October 11, 1991, the chapel celebrated its golden anniversary and was renamed “Lee Road Chapel” in 1994.
When federal cost-cutting measures brought a close to the active military installation of Fort Harrison and placed the future of the chapel in doubt, the “Let’s save the chapel!” initiative was started, but on Easter Sunday 1995, Lee Road Chapel closed its doors.
Motivation for the effort centered primarily on preserving the historical symbolism of the first chapel built on Fort Harrison, but also on a desire by members of the congregation to maintain a military chapel atmosphere into the future for the Indianapolis and Fort Harrison communities. Hundreds of families living near the Fort had attended non-denominational church services across the world in military chapels and wished to continue to have the same opportunity in future years.
The work, prayers and support of many individuals accomplished the saving of the chapel by relocating the building from Lee Road to the U.S. Army Reserve complex. The “T” which originally designated temporary now stands for a Tireless beacon of hope. It has weathered the test of time and it was God’s will that man cannot destroy. Veteran’s Memorial Chapel was dedicated on August 4, 1996.