With all the mega-churches popping up all over, Newburgh has a nice surprise.
On Lincoln Avenue, Mike Collins put the Little Prayer Chapel on his property. It is on wheels and welcomes all. It is open 24 hours a day, every day, and has pews and an altar. If anybody needs time to feel they’re in a church to pray or meditate alone, they have their sanctuary right here.
Collins remembers once being stuck on an island while working for the Red Cross in Florida during a hurricane. He found a prayer chapel for refuge, and this is his way to give back.
“When the hurricane hit, it blew over the top of us,” he said.
It took about six months for Collins to build the “Little Prayer Chapel” with the help of volunteers from the First Christian and Living Word Christian churches.
He decided to make use of an unused trailer on his property. Just like most churches, it has stained glass windows, a cross that lights up, Bibles and prayer books. There are two distinct differences, however. There are only six pews, and it’s always open.
“He built it right here, on the side of his garage,” said Jim Carr, a fellow parishioner who helped Collins in the mini-church’s construction. “He’s had six to eight volunteers at different times.”
To the casual onlooker, the church appears finished from the outside, but Collins said there is more work to be done. “It’s meant to be like a little country church, bringing back memories,” he said. “We hope to pipe in music eventually.”
Collins doesn’t have grandiose expectations. “If it helps just one person, it will be worth it,” he said. “All I want to do is save at least one life. It’s a chance for people to talk and meditate if they want to be closer to God. It’s a good little church. I believe God inspired me to build this.”
Even though it’s a tiny mobile building, the stained glass windows and the six pews along with an altar and a Bible make it a real church. In the pews, the books were bought for 50 cents at Mother Theresa’s.
If you want a small wedding with just mom and dad or a private place to bring your new baby to be christened, “The Little Prayer Chapel” is there for you. It might be a church made for a tiny group, but it offers air conditioning so there is comfort, spiritually and physically. Visitors never have to be concerned about being alone because there is a camera to ward off vandalism.
In the middle of the night, many people can’t sleep because of worry, depression or sadness. Now they can just put on their slippers and bathrobe and have private time with God and their thoughts in the Little Prayer Chapel.