If you look for tiny churches in the Roadside America app, you’ll find these miniature establishments in many forms, log cabins, teepees, and traditional chapels scattered across the country. I found several this way on a recent road trip from my home in Ohio to Oregon, but not this one. We passed this tiny church in Emigrant, Montana on our way to Yellowstone.
The Paradise Valley Chapel, an outreach of Bozeman Christian Reformed Church, is located a short drive from Yellowstone National Park. Situated in the parking lot of a gas station the sign outside simply says “Meditation Station”. I couldn’t resist a quick stop and my husband, who was driving, must have decided it was worthy of a closer look because he actually pulled the vehicle over without hesitation or much insistence from me.
The chapel, situated on U.S. Highway 89, was built in 1968 and has welcomed local residents as well as guests intent on visiting the national park for over 40 years. The small white wooden church with steeple is not the tiniest chapel I’ve seen in my travels but its small stature certainly piqued my curiosity.
My curiosity got the better of me and not content to admire the building solely from the outside, I turned the handle on the door and found the church open. Stepping inside the 10-by-14 foot sanctuary I found eight wooden seats facing a pulpit adorned with a simple wooden cross and open Bible. While the sides of the church hold stained glass windows, it’s the window behind the cross that offers the best view. Looking out on the mountains, it was hard to imagine a better location to pray, meditate and worship.
The church is open to visitors 24 hours a day and while I’m sure it’s been a place of refuge for weary travelers, it’s also been the location of more than one wedding.
You can find the tiny church in Emigrant along Highway 89, driving towards Gardiner, Montana.
This post is linked to Weekend Wanderlust.
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