Corolla in Currituck County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
In 1885, the Corolla community formed an inter-denominational congregation in Corolla Village and built the original one-room chapel. Circuit-riding preachers were sent to the Village by horse and buggy by way of the beach front or by crossing the Currituck Sound by boat.
By 1938 the Great Depression had taken a tremendous toll on the country and caused the circuit-riding preachers to stop coming. The community then used the chapel for Sunday school and worship services whenever a preacher was in the area. Use of the chapel became sporadic, and it eventually fell into disuse around 1953.
By 1962, the property was to be sold as abandoned property and John W. Austin purchased the property in effort to preserve the structure's intended use as a church Mr. Austin and his wife, Virginia, continued to watch over and care for the chapel until it was passed down to their son, Norris. Mr. Austin believed the chapel would once again be used by the community for worship services and his one desire was that when it was restored to use it would be an inter-denominational chapel.
The Corolla Chapel was not used again until the 1980s, when an assortment of groups came to minister a few weeks each summer. In 1987, Pastor John Strauss and his wife, Ruth, came to Corolla and began holding year-round services in 1988 at the urging of local parishioners.
By the late 1990s, the chapel was expanded to accommodate the increase in attendance at the Sunday services. Norris Austin then donated the chapel to the local congregation and property was purchased across the street from the chapel's original location. In 2002, the little chapel was lifted, moved, and abutted to the new structure where it stands today. A fellowship hall was added to the south side of the structure in 2007. In keeping with the wishes of John W. Austin, Corolla Chapel remains an inter-denominational chapel.
Ruth Strauss Memorial Window
A beautiful stained glass window depicting a mother pelican feeding her young was incorporated into the expanded Corolla Chapel. The window was designed and commissioned by Pastor John Strauss to honor his late wife, Ruth Strauss, who played a pivotal role in the development of the chapel in the late 1980s.
The early church used a mother pelican feeding her young as a symbol of Christ. Legend stated that if a mother pelican could not find food for her young, she would cause blood vessels in her pouch to rupture and feed her young from her own blood. The early church saw this story as a wonderful metaphor of Christ and adopted the pelican legend as an early symbol of Christianity.
Corolla Chapel Timeline
1885 The Corolla community formed a congregation and two local carpenters to build the original one-room chapel.
1885-1938 The chapel was included in the Missionary Baptist Conference and supported by circuit-riding preachers.
1938-1958 The circuit-rider preachers ceased coming to the area. The congregation appreciated visits by preachers from neighboring cities and others passing through; however, services eventually ceased.
1962 The chapel was listed to be sold on a tax sale as an abandoned property; John W. Austin as allowed to pay the taxes and granted the deed to the property.
Early 1980s Groups came to minister at the chapel for a few weeks each summer, but none stayed.
1987 Pastor John Strauss and his wife, Ruth, came to minister at the Corolla Chapel during the summer season and began year-round services the following year.
1992 Due to increased tourism, a vestibule, restroom, and porch were added.
2001 Plans were drawn to increase the size of the chapel. The growing congregation purchased a lot across the street and began construction.
2002 The chapel was moved across the street and affixed to the new construction, forming a crucifix.
2007 Construction of a new fellowship hall on the south side of the structure was completed.
2008 Pastor John Strauus retired.
Erected by Currituck County Historical and Cultural Landmark Project.
Location. 36° 22.78′ N, 75° 49.95′ W. Marker is in Corolla, North Carolina, in Currituck County. Marker is at the intersection of Corolla Village Road and Persimmon Street, on the left when traveling north on Corolla Village Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1136 Corolla Village Rd, Corolla NC 27927, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Corolla Schoolhouse (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Corolla Historic Village (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Corolla Schoolhouse (about 600 feet away); Kill Devil Hills (about 700 feet away); Boats And Blinds (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to a Wetland (approx. ¼ mile away); Currituck Beach Light Station (approx. ¼ mile away); Currituck Beach Lighthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corolla.
Also see . . . Historic Corolla Chapel. (Submitted on December 23, 2015.)
Categories. • Churches & Religion •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 23, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 389 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 23, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.