It’s what’s on the inside that counts By Amy Wise-Coble
While to some it may be an overused, dated cliché, I’m often struck by the fact that the only way sayings become overused, dated clichés is because of the poignant truth they hold. And so my tribute to what lies beyond the often celebrated and well-deserved architectural merit of the Seaside Interfaith Chapel, is the genuine and uplifting spiritual ministry that awaits inside.
When I went in search of what’s inside, I immediately thought of Glenn Seawell, a member of the board of directors for the Chapel Foundation. And he immediately gave most of the credit to Pastor Gary Wingo. He and his wife, Jan, moved to the 30A community in May of 2012 after serving in Vail, Colo., for more than 10 years. He and Jan have two daughters and a son-in-law. According to Seawell, “Gary says it all.”
Pastor Wingo’s passion for the chapel’s ministry to local residents and visitors alike is apparent within the first five minutes of meeting him. His laid back style and infectious smile would surely make first-time visitors feel as at home as he made me feel the first time I met him.
“People come to the chapel looking for grace and truth,” he explains. “At any given service we have people from all protestant denominations, as well as orthodox and catholic folks. We worship the same Lord, and the variety of people enhances the worship experience the chapel is able to create.”
As the pastor and I continued to chat, it is clear that the chapel’s primary mission is to offer locals a church home that provides ongoing spiritual growth, while also creating a place that transient guests can experience an uplifting service in which to celebrate their faith.
I had to ask what he found as one of the most inspiring aspects of his ministry in Seaside. “Folks who come who’ve been out of church for years who find themselves checking out God again because of spiritual needs related to a variety of
struggles,” he answers. “It is an amazing joy to hop on the journey with them relating the timeless, genuine truth of Christ and his amazing grace. Each Sunday there are new stories of people who are encouraged in their struggles. To re-affirm or deliver the message that God loves them unconditionally and see that their spirits are lifted once again gives Jan and I great encouragement in our own lives.”
The Seaside Interfaith Chapel holds its weekly service at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Additionally, they offer a weekly women’s prayer group, a women’s Bible study, and a men’s study on how to practically be a Godly man. The chapel is open throughout the week for prayer, and Pastor Wingo is available to all to support and assist with individual struggles.
“We do our best to provide a simple, interdenominational service that offers a safe environment for all people to hear the good news of Jesus Christ,” Wingo says.
The next time you stroll by the Seaside Interfaith Chapel and gaze up at its breathtaking beauty, I hope you won’t forget and, more importantly, you won’t miss, what’s on the inside.