DAYTON, OHIO, October 19, 2016 — On Tuesday, October 11, at 2 p.m., United Theological Seminary dedicated the newly completed Richard A. and Nancy Zimmerman Chapel, a permanent worship space with capacity for more than 200, located on the seminary’s campus at 4501 Denlinger Road, Dayton.
The construction of the new chapel has been made possible through the generosity of Mr. Richard and Mrs. Nancy Zimmerman of Hershey, PA, who have been actively involved in supporting the work of United for more than 30 years. Mr. Zimmerman was a member of United’s Board of Trustees for 20 years, acting as Chair of the Board for eight. When he passed away in 2014, Mr. Zimmerman left a legacy of worship through a generous bequest to provide a permanent chapel at United.
Mrs. Zimmerman, her daughters Linda Billmyer and Jan Tulli, oldest granddaughter Hillary Marotta, and Mr. Zimmerman’s brother and sister-in-law Peter and Joy Zimmerman all attended the dedication. Former United President (2000-2008), Dr. Ed Zeiders of Stewartstown, PA, gave the dedication sermon, and remarks were made by current president Dr. Kent Millard.
Additional remarks were shared by Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald; Dr. Jay Rundell, President of Methodist Theological School in Ohio; Mr. Jim Tharp, Chair of United’s Board of Trustees; United Methodist Bishop George Bashore; and Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Assistant General Secretary for Clergy Formation.
Special thanks were given to all those that worked on the construction of the chapel: ALT Architecture, Barry Farmer Draperies, CSI Commercial Flooring, DRK Construction Services, Gary Hall Construction, Korrect Plumbing, Low Voltage Solutions, Ohio Valley Electrical Services, Ray Isaacs Plastering, Renaissance Glass Studio, Stull Woodworks, Worthington Building Products.
Mrs. Zimmerman expressed her joy saying, “This beautiful chapel is a dream come true since no seminary is complete without a place of worship, a place for students to hone their preaching skills, and, most importantly, a place to just quietly meditate and feel closer to God.”
Students will grow through the use of the chapel during twice weekly chapel services, spiritual formation groups, preaching classes and other seminary activities. The renovated space also includes a new dining area in the adjoining Thie Fellowship Hall, where students, faculty and staff gather for meals throughout the semester.
United Theological Seminary is the fourth largest of the thirteen United Methodist theological schools in the United States. It was founded in 1871 by Milton Wright, a Bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and father of Wilbur, Orville and Katharine Wright. United offers accredited, innovative graduate and non-degree education programs for both clergy and laity.
Now in its 146th year, United is serving 397 students this fall, including students from 40 different denominations and 12 different countries. United has an annual budget of approximately $7 million and has 49 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees.