Published on December 12, 2023 by Neal Embry  
Chapel Scaffolding.2
Hodges Chapel received a new lighting system and a fresh coat of paint this year.

Beeson Divinity School’s Global Center and Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel recently received some exciting renovations and additions.

The Global Center has added to its physical space, strengthening the center’s ability to train students for cross-cultural missions.

David Parks, Director of the Global Center and Contextual Learning at Beeson, said the project was split into two phases. The first phase, which is complete, includes the renovation of the physical space to accommodate the Global Center’s missions events, especially Global Voices. The renovation also features a large screen which Parks explains as a “window into the world” for visitors.

“Whether it is displaying a global population count, a video about unreached peoples, or a drive through Guangzhou, I want anyone who enters the Global Center to be reminded of a broader world, with all its beauty and brokenness alike,” Parks said.

Two smaller screens feature missionary alumni and current involvement of the seminary and university in global missions. One specifically displays content related to Beeson Divinity School and another screen focuses on Samford University in general.

“We want this to be a place that reflects Samford as a whole, not just Beeson,” Parks said.

Phase two includes the renovation of the hallway and adjacent exhibits, which also includes an additional two screens. The goal is to create an interactive experience that provides a grand narrative of scripture, which both explains the “why” of missions and provides a deeper understanding of the gospel. In addition, there will be a timeline of missions history that will help visitors understand how the gospel has spread since the days of the early church.

“Phase two will also include the offer of tours for guests, both off campus and on campus, to help them to learn about global missions, both past and present,” Parks said.

The renovations are part of the center’s desire to accomplish their mission of “encouraging, connecting, and equipping” the campus and the local church to local and cross-cultural missions.

Renovations are expected to be complete before the beginning of the Spring semester.

At Hodges Chapel, which opened in 1995, work was done to improve lighting and apply a fresh coat of paint for the first time in 30 years. Planning began in 2020, said Director of Operations Jim Pounds.

Before the lighting system could be upgraded, Pounds said leaks had to be resolved. During the summer of 2022, crews resealed and reroofed the chapel and then spent the next few months conducting inspections with a contractor to ensure that all leaking areas had been addressed.

The major upgrade to the chapel’s lighting system benefits those who attend services in-person, as well as those who view services online through the seminary’s livestream or YouTube channel.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.