Tabor College came into existence in 1908. The school was built when Mennonite Brethren and Krimmer Mennonite denominations decided to come together and worship. They started small with three professors teaching 39 students. After the 10th anniversary of Tabor it heartbreakingly burnt down. In just two years, Tabor College donors were able to build two new facilities for the small town college. The first two structures were the caf/dormitory hall and administration/classroom domicile. The locations the Tabor students called home is known as the Mary J. Regier and the H.W. Lohrenz buildings.

Mary J. Regier Building

H.W. Lohrenz Building

The school was based on broad liberal arts and strong Christian foundation. Liberal arts is the study of more arts and science classes for example teamwork and analytic thinking jobs. Rather than studying for particular profession, like managers and employees. Today Tabor has gone solo with the Tabor College Board of Directors. The board devotes themselves to Central, Souther, Latin American and North Carolina districts beliefs.

Up until December 9th, 2017, the H.W. Lohrenz was used as the place to gather for Chapel. It was a small room but it go the job done. Theatre classes used it for musicals, concerts, ect. People like Chris Glanzer(Any other important people)did great work making the chapel a welcoming place. After many years of donations, dedication and planning Tabor was able to have a open house for the largest architecture in Tabor history, December 9th. They dedicated the new facility to Shari Fleming. On opening night the Shari Fleming Center for the Arts held 40-piece orchestra and 160- members of the choir for the community.

Now that chapel is big enough, the students enjoy being able to have just one session where there’s a lot of space. “It has improved because everyone can be there at once so it gives the speaker more quality time to talk on there topic,” Senior Mason Fast said.

With the addition to the new building, it has gained recognition. Specifically towards speakers. The Richert Auditorium lets the speakers be free.

The stage is significantly bigger than that of the Lohrenz. They can act things out smoothly and the seating give the speaker all the attention. Most of the speakers have been great at engaging and connecting to the crowd, according to senior Morgan Ediger. The one session chapel also give the speaker an opportunity to have that chance of engaging with the students. One chapel students remember specifically was the chair demonstration. The speaker was loud and goofy and really caught the crowd’s attention, some faculty members who listened said. He had also previously spoke for college aged athletes. His previous experience with young men and women gave him an edge on how to speak to us. It was a different atmosphere at that chapel students replied. The excitement in his voice transferred to students as they listened intently.

“Freedom” was also added this year to chapels. “I think having a focus point is smart because it gives the students and the chapel speakers something to ponder and reference. Freedom is a good one because I think a lot of people struggle with the idea of being free,” sophomore swimmer Blake Smith said. As an administration, the Tabor director’s of chapel decided a focus point for chapel would increase satisfaction of chapel. As Campus Pastor, Ryan Lee said have a main point helps speakers.

Often times the speakers didn’t know what to talk about or what messages the students had recently heard. “Giving the speakers a chance to think about a certain topic and go their own direction with the topic helps them give a little bit of their own testimony,” Lee said. Pastor Lee has also brought up the idea of students testimony. Taylor Mires was the first person Lee went to. Taylor gave the audience an opportunity to hear her testimony and her own look on freedom. She spoke for about 15 minutes and the students really appreciated her message. Ryan plans to use the student testimonies in the future to improve chapel sessions. Thoughts from students Ryan were positive about the new testimony speakers. The personal stories of actual Tabor students really helps relate to other students. In this different generation, college students struggle with a lot of the same problems but don’t know it. Hearing stories of people struggling with the same issues can really get more students to listen and learn.

From students at Tabor, chapel has had an impact on their life. It gives them a specific time out of the day for no excuses to worship. “It’s has given me scheduled time for worship and to grow in my faith,” Fast said. It gives the students a chance to hear the word that maybe they’ve never heard before. Chapel has a lot of potential to change people lives. “Chapel has made an impact on my life because it keeps me going to church more frequently than not,” Smith said about her personal experience with chapel. Some people can only remember a couple chapels throughout the year. Even with that being the case that still means there are important messages coming from speakers that students relate to.

Not all students have the same view as chapel. Some don’t believe that chapel should be a mandatory requirement. It still brings some to think about their religious views as said by junior Seth Loyd. A few students talked about making the chapels more student centered. That way the speakers can connect with more of the audience besides the already believers. Sometimes the speaker just goes up and tells about all the good times without the struggles. It’s hard to relate to a young audience if the speakers didn’t go through some challenges the students can relate to. “Sometimes it’s hard for the older generation which is a majority of speakers to relate to students in today’s age,” an anonymous student replied.

A lot of students have responded positively to the new chapel set up. “My goal is to reach as many students as we can,” Lee said about his goal of chapel. Even with the positives from the students there is still some work to be done to reach out to a majority of the Tabor College students.