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Fergus Chapel - EAA’s Intersection of Faith and Flight
By Cam Martin
March 2018 - Each day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, volunteer chaplains from around the country gather at the Fergus Chapel to promote The Spirit of Aviation by supporting the spiritual needs of the family of flight. The chapel grounds are home to scheduled worship services, a daily aviation fellowship, and the annual EAA Memorial Wall Induction Ceremony. Each year at AirVenture people tell us they never knew the chapel was here! But at AirVenture 2017 — whether it was the result of word of mouth, the published daily schedule in AirVenture Today, the new road signage, or the EAA AirVenture App — more people came to participate than ever before.
The Fergus Chapel is located next to Compass Hill, between the Nature Center and Pioneer Airport. This 80-seat, old-time chapel was built in 1981 and was the first permanent building on the grounds beyond the flightline that was constructed by EAA. During convention week, it is one of the quietest places on the grounds and has a welcoming feel that comes from old wooden pews, aviation-themed stained glass, a large stone fireplace, and an organ.
Fellowship of the Wing
During AirVenture, the Fellowship of the Wing is a daily opportunity to gather, share an early cup of coffee, sing a song, listen to a Bible verse, hear from a guest speaker, and start the day energized at the intersection of faith and flight. What began a decade ago with a handful of people has grown to a regular group averaging 50 attendees. People gather to renew friendships and kindle new ones.
Oshkosh is a magnet for professionals from every facet of aviation, and it is these aircraft designers, homebuilders, aircraft restorers, air show performers, aviation artists, astronauts, aerospace educators, historians, exhibitors, jungle pilots, lawyers, photographers, writers, and test pilots who have come to Fellowship of the Wing to share what God has done in their lives, in the unique language of flight.
Worship Services at AirVenture
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during AirVenture, traditional services at the Fergus Chapel, the Theater in the Woods, and the Forum Pavilions, supported by musicians from local churches, provide several opportunities to worship for the people who have come to Oshkosh.
Memorial Wall Induction Ceremony
EAA’s Memorial Wall, next to the Fergus Chapel, is the place where families and friends remember and honor those who have gone before us and shared their talents and enthusiasm for flight.
The annual dedication service is held on the last Sunday of AirVenture. Each year’s Memorial Wall Registry Album can be viewed at the Fergus Chapel foyer during the week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
The team of chaplains at Fergus Chapel can be found not only on the chapel grounds, but also in every corner of Oshkosh throughout the week. We all share a passion for the people who share a bond in the world of flight and count it a privilege to serve the spiritual needs of this unique community.
And like every other place at Oshkosh, airplane is spoken here.
See you at AirVenture 2018!