The Gano Chapel auditorium seats more than 800 people and has been used for weddings and symposiums. The alumni and nonprofit rate for Gano Chapel is $200 for the first hour, $150 per additional hour or $800 for the day. For all others, rental fees are $200 per hour or $1,000 for the day. Contact Jewell Facilities Office for reservations.
About Gano Chapel
In 1926, Kansas City resident Elizabeth Price Johnson funded the construction of Gano Chapel and named it after her great grandfather, Rev. John Gano, founder of the First Baptist Church of New York City and chaplain to Gen. George Washington. It was during this time with Washington that some believe Gano baptized George Washington by immersion. There are an equal number of historians who do not believe it happened, and this issue sparked a national debate in the 1930s after an article appeared in TIME Magazine discussing this question. The painting depicting the baptism still brings visitors to the campus from around the country. In 1996, another descendant of John Gano donated a sword reportedly given to Gano by Washington, who received it from Major-General Marquis de Lafayette. The sword is also on display in the chapel.
Built on a solid foundation of blue limestone, Gano Chapel has a basement and two floors. Major renovations were completed in 2000, including an assembly room and the Walter Pope & Blanche Binns steeple, which holds the Carolyne Hester Carillons. The original stained-glass windows in the Thomas and Virginia Fields Convocation Center were designed by long time professor J.E. Davis. Bearing the college seal and motto, Deo Fisus Labora, they depict the life of Christ. It is the site of speeches by Presidents Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, as well as the professional recital debut of tenor Luciano Pavarotti in 1973.
Gano Chapel is also home to a 55-rank, three-manual-and-pedal pipe organ. It was constructed by the Quimby Pipe Organ Company of Warrensburg, Mo., and made possible through the generosity of many donors, including a major gift from the Pillsbury Foundation.