When Baptist Calhoun joined Baptist Memorial Health Care in the fall of 2016, it didn’t have any chapels on its campus.
Adding a chapel was a priority for Collin Cheek, Baptist Calhoun’s CEO and administrator, when he arrived at the hospital the following year.
“We are lucky to work for an organization that allows us to demonstrate our faith and follow a faith-based mission,” said Cheek.
He wanted to add chapels in the hospital and Baptist Calhoun’s nursing home. After receiving funding from the Pastoral Care Endowment Fund, Cheek moved forward to make that happen.
The Pastoral Care Endowment Fund was founded in the early 1990s for this exact purpose—to help build Baptist hospital chapels, pay for new furniture, refurbish carpets and make other improvements to make the spaces welcoming.
“The Pastoral Care Endowment Fund fits neatly with the spiritual mission of our organization,” said the Rev. Anthony Burdick, system director for pastoral care. “We consider chapels and prayer rooms an integral part of our hospitals. We want to provide a quiet place to pray and reflect, for patients, visitors and our team members.”
At the hospital, workers transformed the old ambulance office – which moved to the rehab building – into a chapel. They removed cabinets and added carpets, prayer kneelers and cross paintings on the wall, along with scripture plaques. On-site carpenters handmade a wooden cross to hang in the chapel.
An old office space became Baptist Calhoun Nursing Home’s chapel. Its features are similar to the hospital’s chapel, and Joe Young, Baptist North Mississippi’s pastoral care director, donated the brass cross from Baptist North Mississippi’s old hospital chapel.
Lastly, Baptist Calhoun added a prayer cross in its lobby.
The chapels and prayer cross were dedicated during an event involving the community and Baptist team members.
“There are a lot of decisions made in the hospital system, all of which are centered around our patients and God,” said Cheek. “It is appropriate that we have chapels in which to reflect and pray.”