New Chapel will be at the heart of TWU

President Emeritus, Dr. Calvin Hanson, TWU’s first president gave the message at the new chapel’s Land Dedication Service held on Sunday September 20, 2009.

On October 9, 1961, ground was broken on a piece of land located at 7600 Glover Road. The building to be constructed on this land? The Calvin B. Hanson Chapel.

From its inception, the Chapel was the epicenter of Trinity Western University. It housed worshipers, lectures, concerts, performances, weddings and funerals. But when mold was discovered within the walls in 2004, the building could no longer be used. Where it once held song, worship, prayer and teaching, it now held only memories. The empty chapel still stands on campus as a reminder of the days when TWU’s founders—motivated by hope, belief, and a vision of something much greater than themselves—established the University. That vision holds strong today.

Recognizing the importance of a spiritual landmark at the epicenter of the University, TWU President Dr. Jonathan Raymond worked with alumni, architects, the founders of TWU, and staff to begin plans to create a new chapel. On Sunday, September 20th, five years after the Chapel was permanently closed, more than 200 guests gathered on the lush lawns of TWU, soaking in the last of the summer sun as they dedicated the land to God for a new chapel in the heart of the campus.

With an opening address by Dr. Jonathan Raymond, and choral performances by the Trinity Western choir under the direction of Dr. Wes Janzen, the audience heard stories of the original chapel shared by Dr. David Squires, Dean of the FPSPA, Dr. BennoHansonChapelDedication-1 Friesen, and Professor of Music, Dr. David Rushton.

Then taking his place on the podium, TWU’s first president, President Emeritus, Calvin B. Hanson, after whom the new chapel will be named, gave the message. The 84-year-old looked strong and confident as he told the story of how the first chapel came into being and the dreams of a vibrant future for Trinity Western University. 

Continuing he said, “I believe that I can with integrity, affirm that this (plan for a new chapel) is in fact the Lord’s doing. How can I say this? Well ask yourself what does a chapel represent? I would suggest three things that God commands of his people. Three things that will please the almighty God.”   With this introductory statement, the seasoned preacher expanded on the essence of what a chapel is, describing it as a place that represents worship, song and praise, and a place of teaching.

“My heart has been really warmed over the last several months as several people without any prompting or questioning on my part have volunteered to me that there is on this campus a fresh sense of mission,” says Hanson.

HansonChapelDedication-7Concluding the land dedication ceremony, the TWU choir sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness as audience members made their way to stand in the lawn where the new chapel will be built. With the old Chapel in the distance, its roof highlighted by sunshine, and its wooden beams resembling arms reaching heavenward, President Raymond officially dedicated the future site of the Chapel to be the spiritual centre of the University.  The ceremony also marked the official launch of the Chapel fundraising campaign.

For more information on the Calvin B. Hanson Chapel check out “Projects & Events” at

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


HansonChapelDedication-9The original Chapel’s architect Will Wilding stands with architect Gord Klassen of Site Lines Architecture – the new architect on the Chapel project (click on photo to enlarge).


Last Updated: 2009-09-25
Author: Erin Mussolum