Firestone Baars Chapel is a landmark of the Stephens College campus.
Designed by architect Eero Saarinen, creator of the St. Louis Arch, the chapel was completed in fall 1956 as the culmination of a project that began 17 years earlier by students who wanted a place of worship on campus.
The chapel, which seats more than 300 people, is a site for weddings, weekly nondenominational church services and baccalaureate.
“A group of campus religious organizations and pastors of area churches felt that we could serve the Stephens students by holding weekly nondenominational praise and worship times on the Stephens campus,” said Stanley Elmore, one of five ministers who lead the weekly services.
Throughout its decorated history, the chapel has housed many memorial services. The two most notable took place in 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and in 1970 in memory of the students killed at Kent State University.
Bells still chime in the carillon to mark the changing of the hour. The chapel has entrances on all four sides to signify a person’s advance toward religion from every direction.
“It’s beautiful,” Elmore said. “It’s very conducive to contemplation, worship and prayer.