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The idea for an open air Chapel at Lake Toxaway started with Mrs. Reginald D. (Isabel) Heinitsh in 1963. The Reverend Fred Valentine took her proposal to the Vestry of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Brevard, N.C. which responded with enthusiasm and positive support.

The first service was held by Rev. Valentine on Sunday June 24, 1964 in the library of the old Moltz mansion - now the Greystone Inn - and subsequent services that summer were conducted by Rev. Valentine or lay readers from St Philip's.

Early in 1965, a formal resolution establishing a Mission Church at Lake Toxaway was passed by the vestry of St. Philip's. The Lake Toxaway Company donated a beautiful lot with a view of the lake, just off State Highway 281 and funds for the building were donated by St. Philip's, contributed by Lake Toxaway residents and supplemented by borrowing. Mr. Eben Morrow, Chairman of the Building Committee, supervised the clearing of the lot and building of the Chapel, much of which were done by volunteers.


The first service at the new Chapel was Sunday, June 11, 1967.


Mrs. Heinitsh and Mr. Morrow were largely responsible for the success of the Chapel in the early years with Mr. Morrow continuing his guiding efforts for almost 30 years. Rev. Valentine secured the spiritual and financial support from St. Philip's, conducted many of the early services and continued as a visiting minister.


Although the Chapel began as an Episcopal Mission Church, in the 1970's it took on a non-denominational character which it retains today. Ministers from different denominations conduct the services during the summer.


In recent years, significant funds were raised to establish gardens around the Chapel; expand the parking lot; purchase new pews, altar, lectern and new organ; build two meditation patios; make repairs to the building including a new roof; and to build a columbarium for the burial of ash remains. Also, the Chapel published two Hymnal/Psalm/Prayer books for use at its services.


The Chapel contributes about 25 percent of its revenues to outreach, almost exclusively to help support Transylvania County charities.


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