In most homes, if we can, we have a special room where we receive honored guests. In that room, we put our nicest furniture and when guests arrive, we put flowers and other kinds of treats out for them. We honor Guests because they honor us with their presence.
The “Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel”, was named for the 9th president of this College. Julius S. Scott Jr. was the 14th President of Wiley and Dr. Haywood L. Strickland is the 16th President. The Chapel is the center of this campus, geographically. It also symbolizes the ground of everything that this campus is and represents. The Chapel is the “Great Room”, our “Guest House”, where major guests have a permanent place to stay. For that reason, I would like to introduce you to something very special.
The ground on which the Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel was built is SACRED GROUND. Five Spirits live here. Every time you enter the Chapel, you are in their presence and influence. The Chapel has five corners. Let me introduce you to the Spirits that lives in the Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel:
In the place directly in one corner behind the podium lives The Holy Spirit: Yes, the Spirit of God Almighty, the one and only God. It is here in this sacred room, in this sacred building, the most beautiful on campus, is where we come to worship the God who constantly gives us life, sustains us and desires the best for each of us and for Wiley College. This ground is sacred because God is here.
The second corner to the right is the Founder’s Spirit: This spirit represents the purpose, the fondest dreams, the sacrificial investments, the work of those recently freed slaves and daring church men and women in 1873 and 1880, who knew that higher education (not just reading and counting), would bring true freedom to an oppressed race. This ground is sacred because of them.
The third left corner is the Legacy’s Spirit: This spirit is for the combined efforts of every teacher, administrator, maintenance man, cook and every person that ever planted a tree. For the past 136 years, each of these individuals made sure this College would be here as fine as it is today, long after they completed their labor. This ground is sacred because of them.
The fourth (left back) corner is the Here and Now Spirit of everyone who is here right now serving on this campus. Yes, including every student, teacher, assistant, administrator, every laborer in the offices of admissions, registration, IT, bookstore, purchasing, food service, and anywhere on Wiley’s grounds. Our combined best efforts, imperfect as they may be, are offered to us now in honor and for the glory of the spirits who dwell here. This ground is sacred because of them.
The fifth (right back) corner is the Spirit of Those to Come: This spirit symbolizes students, faculty, administration and staff; and all who will be here long after we are gone. They will build on what we built, repair what we missed, and keep alive the Wiley Light, the Wiley Place, and the Wiley Mission. They will have it ready for those who will come here ten, twenty-five or fifty years from now. This ground is sacred because of them.
God’s spirit and the other spirits are here at all times. It is for this reason we come here as a family, at least once or twice each week to worship, learn, honor, respect, look back, and look forward and up about who we are and what we shall become; about the holy purpose for which God in His power and mercy has brought us to this sacred place today and for the days to come.