Williams Baptist University recently broke ground on renovations to the Startup Chapel. The university also announced the creation of WBU’s Center for Healthy Families.
“Startup Chapel is the one element that ties together every student who has attended college on this campus,” said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman. “Students throughout the wonderful history of Southern Baptist College, Williams Baptist College and now Williams Baptist University all share great memories from this chapel, and we are delighted to see it restored to new life.”
Construction is slated to begin this fall on the $1 million project. Startup Chapel is named in honor of longtime academic dean and history professor Kenneth Startup. The chapel is actively used for theater productions and other events.
The chapel project is to be fully funded by donors, including a $200,000 gift from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation.
The WBU Board of Trustees recently approved the Center for Healthy Families to be started this year at Williams. The stated purpose of the center is “to collectively build healthy communities in which restoration in the areas of intellect, emotion, spirit, and vocation are in line with the Creator’s intent for human flourishing.”
The center will be led by Dr. Stephen & Tracy Bell of the Williams faculty. Stephen Bell is director of graduate and professional studies, as well as professor of family studies and social work. Tracy Bell is associate professor of family studies and social work.
“In my mind, the family is our greatest mission field,” Norman said. “This center gives WBU an opportunity to reach out to individuals and families and help them restore relationships that are broken. It is intended to help both our campus community and those outside of the university.”