Wayside Chapel

 
Wayside Chapel is located about two miles north of Sioux Center on Hwy 75.  The 10-by-14-foot square chapel has seating for six people and is heated and air conditioned throughout the year so it can remain open 24 hours a day annually.
 
The lights have remained on for visitors ever since the Evangelism and Mission committees of Bethel CRC built and opened the facility in early June of 1964 (according to the June 18, 1964, issue of the Sioux Center News).
 
Stop to pray, have a wedding or just sign the guest book — all are welcome!
 
For questions, contact Roger Feekes, 722-3652.
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HISTORY

Bethel CRC does not own the land on which the chapel sits; Dave Faber of Sioux Center currently owns the land. The land’s previous owner, John Broek, donated the space for the chapel after former Bethel CRC minister the Rev. Clarence Vander Plate brought up the idea to the Bethel congregation.

“Little chapels were being built like that in many places at the time,” said Del Broek, Bethel CRC member and chapel caretaker. “I’m not sure if ‘fad’ is the right word, but that kind of describes why such chapels were being built. There’s still one like it near Pella and on the way to Pipestone, [Minn.], but really there aren’t many left.”

The late carpenter Arend Wassink built the main body of the chapel while carpenter and Sioux Center resident John Vreugdenhil built the steeple to complete the project. 

“If walls could talk, it would have many tales to tell,” Broek said. 

 

Attraction

Many weddings have taken place at the chapel.

“There was one time I remember counting about 15 people coming out of that chapel for a wedding,” Broek said.

Bethel’s Evangelism Committee still maintains the little white chapel and remains the main contact for those looking to have a wedding at the chapel. Two weddings will take place this month.

“I think it’s the most wide- ly photographed object in all of Sioux County,” Broek said. “It’s kind of become an icon in Sioux County really.”

Broek can only guess what the icon may mean to others, but he is certain of what the chapel means to him.

“It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at in the evening before I turn the lights off in my home,” he said. “For me, every time I see that chapel or drive by it, it’s a silent witness to the presence of God.”

A witness Broek hopes will last another 50 years.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” he said. “As long as there are people who need the Lord, Bethel will have mem- bers caring for that chapel.”