News & Announcements

Envisioning a Way Forward for Wayfarers Chapel

A Message from the President

Most have heard about the dramatic closure of Wayfarers Chapel due to massive landslides and structural damage to the famous “glass church.” Despite geologic stability for three quarters of a century, two years of atmospheric rain waves compounded by water flow and drainage complications associated with local utilities have created land shifts on a scale hitherto unknown. Television and newspaper coverage of the story has been national, which attests to the cultural significance of the first transparent glass church in the world enjoyed and experienced by millions. The damage to date includes ten glass panes and innumerable cracks on the surrounding sidewalks, foundations, and grounds, including the visitors center. 

Ironically, Wayfarers Chapel was officially granted National Historic Landmark status this past December, literally days before the seismic shifts became alarming. The Chapel is considered the crowning achievement in Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr.’s career. Known as Lloyd, he was the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, Sr., and his own son, Eric Lloyd Wright, also was involved in ongoing landscape design as well as the Visitor’s Center built in the Nineties. 

Owned by the Swedenborgian Church of North America, Wayfarers is governed by a national board of directors and operated by a superb staff. Together we are vigorously engaging the unfolding story and formulating the next phase of the Chapel’s life. There’s a one hundred percent chance the extraordinary story of Wayfarers Chapel will continue. We ask that you join us in prayerful hope as we strive to preserve one of our national spiritual treasures.

—Rev. Dr. Jim Lawrence

Read the full issue of the April 2024 Messenger

Meet Jim Lawrence

Rev. Dr. Jim Lawrence is the president of the Swedenborgian Church of North America. He was the dean of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies for 21 years prior to being elected President in 2022.