Hymn fest to mark 150th anniversary of Mississippi College’s oldest building|Religion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baptist hymns from the 19th century to the present will be used to mark the 150th anniversary of Mississippi College’s Provine Chapel.

The free, Sunday afernoon concert will mark the first of two to observe the chapel’s birthday this year. The second is set for 7:30 p.m. April 6.

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Mississippi College in Clinton will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Provine Chapel, 200 W. College St., by hosting a fall hymn festival at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Call 601-925-3440.

The concert will be presented in three periods — 1860-1910, 1910-60 and 1960-present. Performers will include the chancel choir of First Baptist Church of Clinton, led by Bill Bacon, director, and L. Graham Smith, director of the Church Music Department for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

Accompanists will include MC music faculty members Robert Knupp on organ and Carol Joy Sparkman on the piano. Some hymns will be sung a cappella.

Provine Chapel, built in 1860, is MC’s oldest building, said Lynda Street, chapel coordinator. She said the chapel was originally called the Old Chapel until 1969, when it was renamed for former MC president and professor John William Provine.

During the chapel’s first year, it played a role during the Civil War. The second floor of the chapel served as a hospital for wounded troops of Union Army Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

The chapel was also home to Baptists in Clinton, until 1922, when First Baptist was built. “The church had used it when the school didn’t use it,” Street said.

It is now home to MC’s music department. The venue is used for concerts and special events.

“The chapel has a sentimental place in the hearts of MC alums,” Street said.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at mchan@vicksburgpost.com