History

A Story Unfolding in the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ

From a storefront at Five Points to a building at Brown and Vine Streets to Fir Hill and now on into all our other campus locations, The Chapel’s legacy has been built on two cornerstones: grace and truth. These are not random Christian concepts. They are the triumphant message by the Apostle John to the growing early church.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:14,17

January 15, 1934

Humble Beginnings

Founding Pastor Carl Burnham leads the first public Sunday gathering of The Chapel with 50 charter members in a rented storefront space on Maple Street at “Five Points.”.

1936, 1940

Brown & Vine

The Chapel purchases land on the corner of Brown & Vine near The University of Akron. Initially, the church met in a basement but was able to build a sanctuary for worship four years later. Membership in 1940 is around 450.

1955

The Move to Fir Hill

Membership grows to 1000. The Chapel moves to 135 Fir Hill and constructs the worship space now known as the Memorial Chapel. The cornerstone was laid on Palm Sunday 1954. On March 27, 1955, 1,000 men, women and children walked from Brown and Vine to The Chapel’s new home on Fir Hill. They sang hymns all the way.

1962

Pastor Dave Burnham

Pastor Carl Burnham passes away, and later his son David Burnham becomes the new senior pastor. Dave and his wife, Sue, wrote neighborhood Bible study materials and trained members who hosted more than 100 Bible studies in their homes throughout the Akron area.

1966

Camp Carl

The camp in Portage County with more than 350 acres is purchased and named “Camp Carl” in honor of our founding pastor. The vision is to establish a robust gospel-centered camping ministry for children & youth.

1973

Fir Hill Worship Center

The Worship Center at the Akron Campus is built and membership grows to some 4500.The Worship Center at the Akron Campus is built and membership grows to some 4500.

1975 + 1976

Church Planting Begins

1975 - The Dang family arrives as refugees from Vietnam sponsored by The Chapel.

1976 - Staff pastor Joel Cochran is sent out to plant The Chapel in Marlboro, our first Daughter Church.

1981 + 1982

More Church Planting

1981 - The Chapel begins to support pastors and church planting efforts in Vietnam.

1982 - Pastor Jim Colledge is sent out to plant The Chapel in Hudson, now known as Christ Community Chapel.

1982-1983

Pastor Knute Larson

Pastor David Burnham moves on to found Burnham Ministries International for training pastors, and Knute Larson becomes the third Senior Pastor of The Chapel. Under Knute’s leadership, Adult Bible Fellowships, ABFs, grew and the church helped more ‘sister’ churches get started.

With attendance hovering at around 8,000 and multiple services maxed out, ‘20/20: The Next Chapter’ was launched. In June of 2003, the Green Campus opened its doors and The Chapel officially became ‘One Church, Two Locations.

1985

The Chapel in North Canton

Pastor Dave Malick plants The Chapel in North Canton.

1991 + 1994

Riverwood + Valleyview Church Plants

1991 - Pastor Paul Sartarelling plants Riverwood Community Chapel in Kent, Ohio.

1994 - Valleyview Chapel is launched in Wadsworth, planted by Pastor Bill McClure.

2001-2004

The Chapel in Green

Through the 2020 Capital Campaign, the people of The Chapel pledge and give some $24 million for building the Green Campus as well as churches overseas and development projects at Camp Carl.

2003

The Green Campus Launches

The Green Campus launches with Pastor Doug Clark and some 2000 people sent out from Akron. In 2005, Mike Castelli becomes Campus Pastor.

2004

Church Planting Here + Abroad

The Chapel begins a key strategic partnership with the Good Shepherd schools and church plants in Northern India. Pastor Dave McClellan also plants The Chapel at Tinker’s Creek, the first ‘grand-daughter’ church at The Chapel.

2005

Mozambique Outreach

The Chapel partners with World Relief in Mozambique, Africa to adopt villages for gospel-driven humanitarian ministry & church development.

2006-2013

Pastor Paul Sartarelli

Pastor Paul Sartarelli returns to The Chapel to succeed Pastor Larson. In 2009, he becomes our fourth Senior Pastor.

2010

The Wadsworth Campus

Valleyview Chapel in Wadsworth is enfolded back into The Chapel as The Wadsworth Campus & Pastor Zac Derr becomes the Campus Pastor.

2014

Pastor Tim Armstrong

Pastor Tim Armstrong becomes the fifth Senior Pastor of The Chapel after Pastor Sartarelli’s departure in 2013. The Chapel also begins a strategic partnership with Mission House in the Yucatan, Mexico.

2015

Cambodia + Vietnam

The Chapel partners with Asia’s Hope to adopt orphans in Cambodia and help establish new houses to reach more at-risk children. The Chapel also established a renewed partnership and focus for church planting in the Thai Nguyen Province in North Vietnam.

2016

The Kenmore Campus

Pastor Jacob Ley is sent out to plant the Kenmore Campus as the first new campus in our vision to plant 10 churches in 10 years - the Saturate Movement begins.

2018

The Cuyahoga Falls Campus

Pastor Stephen Neumeyer is sent out to plant the Cuyahoga Falls Campus.

2019

Church Planters In Residence

Pastor Ben White becomes Lead Pastor of the Kenmore Campus. Pastors Alan Bowdler and Colin Mattoon join the Saturate Movement as church planters in residence, working toward opening new campuses in the Medina and Perry Township areas.

2020

The Nordonia Campus

Pastor Chase Jones is sent out to plant the Nordonia Campus.

PRESENT

Ready To Follow God's Call

We look forward, with expectation, to the way God will lead us in the months and years ahead.

We are committed to seeing every person: believing in Jesus, belonging to family, becoming a disciple, building his kingdom

Get in Touch

Address: 135 Fir Hill, Akron, Ohio 44304
Phone: 330.376.6400
Email: info@saturatemovement.life

Residency Training Church Vitalization