Summer on Bald Head is magical. Nowhere else is quite like it - in spite of the crowds, the lines, and some interesting behavior. I hope The Village Chapel is a meaningful part of everyone’s Bald Head summer experience. All are welcome, and the doors are always open.

            This issue of THE BEACON includes a wonderful history of The Village Chapel  by Charlotte Sorrell, one of the original Chapel leaders. After reading, please say a prayer of thanks for those brave, faithful, and generous visionaries who took on the challenge of building our beautiful chapel.  An important part of the history includes the medallions adorning the Chapel altar railing.  A source of Chapel funds since the beginning, each medallion memorializes an individual or family’s support.  If you would like to know more or purchase a medallion, more information is in this newsletter.  You may also contact me at the email address below.

            My son Jacob, now 26, once remarked that there is nothing better than being a 10 year-old boy on Bald Head. The freedom of rising early to fish at the point, riding a bike to the Market for Cheerwine and Skittles, swimming in the ocean and club pools, and dropping in at the Conservancy to talk turtles with the staff, were all definitely magical. Doing it all over the next day was both familiar and new.

 My prayer for your family and mine is that we experience Bald Head and The Village Chapel this summer through the eyes of a 10 year-old boy, and we all find both peace and exhilaration.


Mary Jo Walker
President, The Village Chapel Board of Trustees                                                             


Summer Sunday Worship Schedule:

Two interdenominational services are offered during the summer months at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. This schedule continues through Sunday, September 2, 2019.  In addition, Catholic Mass will be celebrated each Sunday between July 7 and July 28 at 5:00 p.m.  Additional masses may be added, so please check the website or call the office.

Island Catholics interested in praying the Rosary, please meet at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday in the Chapel.  Contact F. A. McLeod at (770) 238-6574 with questions.  All are welcome.


Southport Oak Island Interchurch Fellowship

The Village Chapel serves as an active member and committed financial supporter of SOIIF, an organization that sponsors projects fostering a united witness of Jesus Christ in the community.  It seeks to build bridges among denominations and people, and to meet human needs with:

·      Worship services during Lent, Easter, July 4th and Thanksgiving

·      Co-sponsorship of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

·      Sponsorship of the Inter-Church Fellowship Walk

·      The Food Pantry in Boiling Springs Lakes

·      Providing a forum for sharing the Christian faith in an ecumenical manner

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree program supports Southport Elementary by providing summer reading books for children.  Kathy McConnell led the Outreach Committee’s efforts to support this program and it was a tremendous success.  Thanks to Kathy for her leadership and to all who participated.
S.H.A.R.E.s - Supporting Hunger & Relief Efforts

The Outreach Committee is conducting a pilot food collection this summer.  Each week, renters can leave their leftover, non-perishable food in reusable bags generously donated by Bald Head Island Services and Outreach committee member Brandy Parker. The food will be delivered to the SOIIF Food Pantry in Boiling Springs Lakes.   Bill Hogue, a proud 87 year-old who manages the Food Pantry, is thrilled with this new program and island contributions. The Food Pantry assists over 1,000 Brunswick County community members each month.

Supporting Southport Elementary Teachers - Summer 2019

Many teachers, including those at Southport Elementary, are expected to fund the supplies and improvements needed for their classrooms each year. In communicating with school administration about how our island community can support the school, we learned that teachers often feel forgotten.  We are excited to turn our school Outreach efforts this summer toward a Teachers Wish List. Watch for details in our Chapel bulletin or contact Sherry Roese, Board Member and Outreach Committee Chair at


The Re-CYCLE project continues to exceed all expectations! Truly an island wide effort,  residents and businesses have donated well over 1000 bikes and countless parts. Thanks to the Bald Head Island Club, most of these bikes have been shipped to the Bicycle Man organization and are being refurbished for distribution in December. Other supporters of the project include Island Hardware, Bald Head Island, Ltd., The Maritime Market, Tiffany's Rentals, Riverside Adventures, Wendy Wilmot Properties, The Inn on Bald Head Island,  Coastal Urge, and The Village of Bald Head Island.
If you have bikes to donate, please drop them off at shipping container #14 in the Contractor lot on Edward Teach Extension – just past the Fire and Police Station.  Thanks to Karen Mortimer, the container is easy to find with the Re-CYCLE logo painted on the front.
The Re-CYCLE team will host representatives from the Bicycle Man organization, including Mrs. Bicycle Man,  in September.  Later in the fall, helmets  will be collected for Christmas distribution. Details for these efforts, along with more exciting information, will be available soon.
If you have questions about Re-CYCLE, please contact Gayle Sanders, or Anne Rex at

Prayer Chain

As the source of spiritual leadership of this prayerful community, The Village Chapel serves the needs of island residents, visitors as well as extended family and friends. Our island prayer chain is composed of more than thirty volunteers who pledge to honor the confidentiality of the charge to pray in earnest for requests. While some members of the prayer chain no longer reside on Bald Head, they clearly feel a connection through this  "single voice" of prayer being lifted up in supplication to our Lord. Confidential requests can be made through the Chapel office or by email to Judy Brawner at  

Pastoral Care

Rev. Dr. Garrett Albertson and Rev. Anne Rex are available to assist with the spiritual needs of all persons living on or visiting Bald Head Island. 

Contact:  Dr. Albertson at (910) 540-3383 or, and Rev. Rex: at (910) 899-7918 or

The ideal spot for an intimate wedding, The Village Chapel is serene and calming.  Located adjacent to the Old Baldy lighthouse, exquisite views of the marsh are a part of The Chapel’s natural charm and feel.   Wedding planner Shauna Gartz describes the Chapel as “…the perfect environment for couples to come together, in front of their closest family and friends, to make promises to one another, and begin life anew, together.” Wedding guidelines may be found on the Chapel website.  For more information, contact Pattie Caban or Jeannie Rodbell in the Chapel office.
(Photos courtesy  of KMI Photography.)

A wonderful way to honor or remember family and friends, altar medallions have been an important source of funds for The Village Chapel since it’s beginning.  If you would like to purchase a medallion, please contact Mary Jo Walker at  Each medallion is engraved, and requires a $2500 donation to The Village Chapel.  All monies raised will be placed in the restricted Endowment Fund.


Jeannie Rodbell assists The Village Chapel in many ways.  She works both remotely and in the Chapel office.  Originally from Frederick, Maryland, Jeannie and her husband, Ivan, moved to St. James five years ago.  They are the parents of three daughters and grandparents to six.  In her spare time, Jeannie volunteers for many local groups, and the closest to her heart is Make-A-Wish Foundation.  She has personally helped more than 50 children have wishes granted.  Find Jeannie on the golf course when she’s not volunteering or helping the Chapel.

On Easter Sunday 1984, the first organized worship service of the Bald Head Island property owners was held in the now extinct Bald Head Island Inn. At the conclusion of the service, Mr. George Mitchell was approached on the need for a center of worship on the Island, at which time Mr. Mitchell promised that his family would contribute the necessary land for such a structure.

Throughout that summer, a small nucleus of interested property owners worshipped in the lounge of the Bald Head Inn.  These very simple and informal services were organized by Harper Peterson and Carolyn Fleming, and for the most part were conducted by The Reverend Jan Smook, a Presbyterian Minister.

During that summer of 1984, a chapel committee, consisting of John Messick, Kent Mitchell and Charlotte Sorrell was officially appointed to study the need, desirability, and possibility of building and maintaining a center of worship on Bald Head Island. The decision was made to let it be a project engineered and financed by the property owners rather than a project of the developer.  

 The idea was presented to the property owners on the Easter weekend of 1985. With more faith than logic, the committee proceeded as originally planned, and the deed to the property was presented to the property owners at a ceremony on the first weekend in October of the same year.

The ground-breaking ceremonies took place on Easter of 1986 with one hundred and fifty property owners in attendance. In October of that year, on the weekend of the Smith Island Social, a fund raising project was held on the sub-flooring of the new structure.

A loan was readily obtained after Sam Bell, a dedicated property owner, secured the loan at United Carolina Bank.  To pay off the loan became the immediate objective.  Fund raisers, including barbecues, fashion shows, bake sales, quilt raffles, art shows, the publishing of the first telephone directory on the island and the sale of copies of the first known map of the Bald Head Island Cape Fear River were participated in enthusiastically.  However, the success of selling inscribed medallions to be placed in the altar rail was the major method that allowed the loan to be amortized very quickly.

On Easter Sunday 1987, only three years after the first Easter Service was held in the Inn Lounge, The Village Chapel was dedicated on Bald Head Island.  

(This history was written by Charlotte Sorrel shortly after the completion of the Chapel, and edited for length for this publication.)
The Village Chapel Board of Trustees

President: Mary Jo Walker*
Vice President: Karen Mortimer*
Secretary: Gayle Sanders*
Treasurer: Tom Watjen*
Building & Grounds:  Keith Bradley
Technology:  Ben Comer
Worship:  Emily Hill
Altar Guild:  Elizabeth Kinney
Communications:  Open
Hospitality:  Robin Prak 
Outreach:  Sherry Roese
Wedding Guild:  Debbie Ward
Ex-Officio:  Elizabeth Beam & Bob Porter

* Members of the Executive Committee


The Village Chapel of Bald Head Island provides all people an opportunity to worship God, express faith, and observe Judeo-Christian traditions to connect with God, connect with others, and connect others with God.


We are a people of the Word, people of Faith, and people of Love. Thanks be to God.


Interested in more information about The Village Chapel? Find everything at or by clicking here. You may also reach us by email at and by phone at (910) 457-1183.
Office 910-457-1183
105 Lighthouse Wynd
Bald Head Island, NC

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The Village Chapel of Bald Head Island · 105 Lighthouse Wynd · Bald Head Island, NC 28461-3982 · USA

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