Oliver's Ozarks: Chapel in the Woods Offers Peace, Prayer

By David Oliver | doliver@kolr10.com

Published 05/21 2014 08:47PM

Updated 05/21 2014 08:52PM

STONE COUNTY, Mo. -- A lot of people come to the Ozarks to enjoy its natural beauty, and a popular pastime is walking in the woods.

Now, those who take in a trail near Notch, next to Branson, have a special place to seek solace for their spiritual soul.

"We call it a little chapel making a big difference,” says Lynda Lynn, founder of Chapel Woods.

Long-time Stone County residents Bud and Lynda Lynn are behind the small sanctuary, which sits on a walking trail in Notch Estates.

"Everybody is welcome to come and enjoy the atmosphere and environment,” says Bud. “It's a real special environment here."

"It holds 22 people and a skinny preacher,” says Lynda. “Or 21 people and a chunky preacher."

The Lynn’s built the tiny chapel to give locals and tourists a peaceful place to take a break and perhaps pray.

The community pitched in to help put up the walls on this 14-by-16 foot building. The pews are 106 years old.

"There are people who stay in these cabins that need a touch from the Lord and the Holy Spirit, and when you go inside the chapel you feel that,” says Bud. “That's what we're working on and striving for."

Many of the religious relics inside have been donated or even hand-made.

Since it first opened about a year ago, the Lynn's have seen lots of people stop inside. Some come back to help with upkeep too.

"There will be people, who come in here, and I see them drive off, and they've left flowers on the pulpit,” says Lynda. “They'll dust. I'll walk in and smell varnish on the pews and they look so shiny. And they sweep. And they take it upon themselves to take care of the little chapel."

The Lynn’s keep the chapel unlocked during the day and they've formed a non-profit corporation with the goal of building similar small chapels across the country.

They hope this humble house of worship can be a light in the dark.

“Right now, with the times in our world the way it is, people are searching for an answer,” says Lynda. “And there's only one answers to lead a peaceful and fulfilling life, and God is that answer."

The Lynn’s have plans to build another Chapel Woods soon in Hawaii.

If the couple looks familiar, it's because Lynda owned a booming beauty shop in the Branson area for years and Bud was an actor at Shepherd of the Hills for more than 30 years.

If you'd like directions to the little chapel in the woods, send David Oliver an email at DOliver@kolr10.com.

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