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[Alexandria, VA] – This afternoon, at 3:55 p.m., the Virginia Theological Seminary community became aware that the historic 129 year old Immanuel Chapel was on fire.
9-1-1 was immediately called, buildings were evacuated and the emergency services responded quickly and efficiently. It is clear that significant damage has occurred, including the loss of the stained glass windows and iconic words “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.”
“At this stage, the cause of the fire is unclear. The VTS Community is saddened and devastated by this catastrophe,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. “The buildings nearby are intact and safe. The ministry and mission of VTS continue, even as the community grieves.”
Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church.