The "Chapel Of the Winds" near Greenville, Ohio
Chapel of the Winds
The sign up close
Finding Chapel of the Winds
Just south of Greenville, Ohio, is a little known place called "Chapel of the Winds". If you weren't a local, and had never heard of it before, you would likely never run across it.
As you drive along Highway 36, a gravel lane leads off of the highway, to a small stand of trees in the middle of a field. Right where the trees begin, there is a sign welcoming you to "Chapel of the Winds".
Even then, you can't see back the lane, to see what the sign is welcoming you to. As you go farther in, the wildness of the growth surrounds you. To the right, you'll see a little gazebo-type structure, which turns out to be a pretty way to fence in an old well.
First glimpse of the Chapel
Then straight ahead, there it is--the "Chapel of the Winds"...a small red brick chapel, with the door standing wide open. A large wooden cross stands at the entrance to the path that leads to the chapel.
At first glance, your eyes are pulled to the plywood which covers what probably once was a stained glass window, and below that is a plaque above the door, which bears the words:
"CHAPEL OF THE WINDS" Oct. 1991...IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS".
In researching this, we found little information about it on the internet, including when it was actually built. I do know that this was here previous to the date on the plaque, which is 1991. It's possible that the original structure was re-built in brick, and then dedicated with the current plaque.
But it really doesn't matter how old it is--it's what is inside...simplicity, peace, and faith.
Simplicity because it is very small, with six small pews that would each sit two people. Rough brick walls are all it offers, with a cross painted in white on the back wall, in between two windows.
In front of the windows is a wooden railing, which has an cement-topped iron box set into the corner. There is a small slot carved into the cement top, with a small plaque that states:
"Donations are used for the upkeep and maintenance of chapel and grounds...Thank You".
The whole front area in front of that is chipped and broken, where vandals had most likely tried to break inside to take what donations were there.
Sitting on top of that were several filled notebooks, filled with hand-written prayers.
In front of the railing stands a small pulpit, where a Gideon's New Testament Bible was laid, along with more notebooks and pens.
Skimming through these notebooks, you will be in awe of how many people have visited this out of the way place...
Peace...As soon as we got out of the car there, that was the feeling we had. No noise other than what God blessed this Earth with...sounds of birds singing, and wind blowing calmly through the trees. And when we walked inside the chapel, the feeling of peace continued. We wondered how many others had come here just to find some peace in the middle of their hectic or burden-filled day...
Faith was very prominent, too. You could tell that this was a place where many had come for private talks with God, or quiet reflection. The notebooks were filled with others' pleas for His help, or to just thank Him for his blessings. How many people came to this chapel all twisted up inside emotionally, but left feeling a little less burdened?
Walking outside, the grounds around the chapel have been allowed to grow wildly, adding to the charm and rustic-ness of the place.
There is a slightly beaten down path that leads around the right side of the chapel, and circles completely around it. Scattered throughout this area are small handmade wooden crosses, memorials, and artificial flower groupings, left in memory of a loved one.
It was so touching to see these, and made us wonder how many more were hidden in the overgrown brush that surrounded the chapel.
At one spot, near the front is a large man-made symbol of some sort on the ground. It was approximately 12 feet long, and five feet deep, and made of stones and mortar. The only way to describe it is that it looks like a long line, which curves up on the right end, then what looks like three upside-down horseshoes "connected" to the underneath of it.
I wasn't able to find out what this symbol may stand for, so if anyone does know, I'd love to hear from you!
We had driven by this spot for many years, and talked about the chapel, but never turned in that gravel drive until today. And I am so very glad that we finally did...
But it is obvious that many people have visited this chapel...hopefully they found what they were looking for when they entered this wonderful little "Chapel of the Winds"...
I know we did.
Watch for small wooded area, south side of highway, sign is right at the woods' entrance.
Chapel of the Winds is just south of Greenville, on U.S. Rt. 36, between Rt. 121 and Rt. 127, although closer to Rt. 121.
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