By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — Brick, stone, mortar and wood. Founded in 1913, and burnt twice by fire, McMillan Chapel, sitting at the entrance to historic Knoxville College, closed and boarded up for decades, reopened this past weekend with a ribbon cutting and rededication
service. The chapel is the first building on the historic campus of Knoxville College to be restored as the college; closed for decades, reopened in the fall of 2018 with an initial on-line presence after being reaccredited thru the efforts of Representative Rick Staples.
The ceremonies were attended by local dignitaries, trustees who traveled from as far away as Alaska; and most importantly, former students from the past 60 years who had walked the Halls of this HBCU as students and professors They came to bear witness that the college, which once graduated the majority of the nations African American teachers would again produce great leaders.
McMillan Chapel is the site of great history. In it’s 106 years. Many distinguished African Americans have stood in it’s pulpit. George Washington Carver, James Weldon Johnson, and Langston Hughes are a few who filled the building built by the students of KC with bricks made on campus
The lunch counter desegregation in Knoxville started in the chapel as the students gathered there under the leadership of a young student body president named Bob Booker.
The ceremonies lasted two days. The recurring theme:
LONG LIVE Knoxville College!
WE ARE BACK!
The next building to be renovated is the library.
The Phoenix continues to rise.
Knoxville College: We are Back!