Nashville General Hospital opens first-ever Chapel

Dr. Joseph Webb (center with scissors) cuts the ribbon to formally open the new NGH Chapel as Rev. Harold M. Love, Jr., Sharon Hurt, Joel Sullivan, Rev. Omaràn D. Lee (l-r on left) and Woods Wellborn, Sr., and Berkley Allen (l-r on right) look on. (Photo by Emanuel O. Roland II/ROLAND’S Photography)

The vision of Nashville General Hospital’s Chaplain Omaran Lee has been beautifully realized with the opening of the hospital’s first-ever Chapel. The historic hospital has had a Quiet Room before, but never a full-on chapel. The facility was made possible through the generous donations of various members of the faith community throughout the greater Nashville area, and is open to all religious faiths and denominations. On Tuesday, July 30, the Spiritual Care Services department of NGH hosted an Open House and Ribbon Cutting for their newly constructed on-site Chapel, where they will provide inclusive spiritual care for patients, families and staff, delivered with compassion and respect for human dignity.

“We are glad that you all have joined us today for this wonderful occasion,” said Rev. Lee. “This has been a journey full of joy and excitement.” He thanked “the great architect of the universe” and “the Hospital Authority Board, NGH Foundation Board, the visionary support of Dr Joseph Webb, Chief executive officer of Nashville General Hospital, the drive of our COO, Mark Brown, the tenacity of our Executive Director of the NGHF, Vernon Rose, the skilled labor of our Director of Facilities, Mr. Calvin Brinkley, the technological advancements of our Chief Business Development information officer, Ms. Melanie Thomas and most importantly, the financial contribution of our Donors the Friends of the chapel.”

“I am blessed to be the Chaplain of NGH,” Lee continued. “As the leader championing the development of this Chapel to service the Spiritual needs of our patients, their families, and our staff, it brings great honor and privilege to welcome you–the men and women of the “it city” — into our first ever, in 129 years of existence, a facility for worship. This place, a sacred and hollowed ground where God is present by whatever name you call Him or Her. It is our aim to provide this holistic healing place for you, whosoever will come and worship! I am elated to have the cadre of faith leaders here along side of me representing ecumenicism in its finest hour. So let us collectively usher in love, kindness, peace, patience, and joy to our community.”

In attendance at Tuesday’s overflow capacity event were several of the city’s public servants, most notably state representative Rev. Dr. Harold M. Love, Metro council members Sharon Hurt, Burkley Allen, Delishia Porterfield, Nashville Vice-Mayor Jim Shulman, and several of the newly formed Clergy Ambassadors group.

“Today is a great day for the city,” said council lady Sharon Hurt. “As I stand before you at my hospital, it reminds me of a quote by Max Lucado that says ‘ambition is that grit in the soul which creates disenchantment with the ordinary and puts the dare into dreams.’ The dream that Nashville General Hospital could and would once again provide a sacred place for families to gather in their time of need has come to fruition. Under the esteemed leadership of Chaplain Omaran Lee this place is blessed and now serves as a complete, compassionate and essential healthcare center for all of Nashville. Congratulations!”

The Clergy Ambassadors group consists of the following local faith leaders: Rev. W. Antoni Sinfield, Payne Chapel AME; Rabbi Saul, Congregation Sherith Israel; Bishop Jerry Maynard, Cathedral of Praise; Rev. David Latimore, 15th Avenue MBC; Rev. Brian Fesler, Church of Scientology; Rev. Justin Hogg (Hogue), Church of the Epiphany; Pastor Breonus M. Mitchell, Sr., Mt. Gilead MBC; Rev. Aaron X. Marble, Jefferson Street MBC; Imam Dr. Ossama Bahloul, Islamic Center of Nashville; Rev. V.H. “Sonnye” Dixon, Hobson Chapel UMC; Rev. Dr. Ronal Powe, Capers Memorial CME; Bishop Minnie L. Mitchell, New Life Through Christ Ministries; and the convenor, Rev. Omaran D. Lee, Sr., Pastor, St. James AME, and NGH Chaplain.

Chaplains are available in the hospital during hours 7:00 am – 2:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and are on-call for emergencies on the weekends. For more information contact Nashville General Hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care at 615-341-4408.

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