The Chapel of the Holy Dove, 20 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona on 180to Grand Canyon

An iconic Flagstaff treasure and popular stop on the way to Grand Canyon is the Chapel of the Holy Dove, 20 miles north of Flagstaff, on Highway 180 to the Grand Canyon. Set at the edge of beautiful Kendrick Park, it is a favorite stop for locals and visitors from the United States and around the world. The Chapel sits on a parcel of land which was originally part of a small ranch purchased by Watson M. Lacy in 1960. He was the only physician at the Grand Canyon Hospital, which he operated with the help of his wife, Ruth. They came to the ranch for respite from the demands of the medical practice. The beauty of the peaks affirmed the goodness and majesty of God. Watson and Ruth wanted to give travelers the opportunity to share it. In the summer of 1961, with the help of his sons and a few hired hands, 41-year-old Lacy, without any building experience, used explosives to create holes in the rock beneath the Chapel to position and secure the large pine logs which created the original structure. Large panes of glass, with a cross as the center beam, frame the San Francisco Peaks. Local volcanic rock and petrified wood were used to build the walls. The Chapel was completed in 1962. The building was dedicated in memory of Dr. Lacy’s brother, George, and nephew, Randy Lacy, who drowned in 1957 in a boating accident. The original memorial plague read, “In memory of George and Randy Lacy, whose great love in life and great courage in death made known the glory of God.” Lacy’s profound grief from the loss propelled great soul searching, which led to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Once an agnostic, he discovered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me, John 14:6.” That new life could only to be found in Jesus.” The Chapel of the Holy Dove was named to acknowledge the third person of the Holy Trinity, described in Matthew 3:16, as descending like a dove above Jesus, in commissioning his earthy ministry as God incarnate. Dr. Lacy died in October of 1991. The ranch was sold, except the parcel with the Chapel. On March 8, 1999, the Chapel was destroyed by a transient’s campfire. Only the stone walls remained. Shortly after, Northern Arizona University student, Christen McCracken, obtained permission from Ruth Lacy to raise funds for rebuilding. Since the Chapel had become a popular landmark, the local public supported the project. Many materials were donated by Flagstaff merchants and a team of volunteers completed the current Chapel, which is almost identical to the original, in April 2000. The Chapel is open to all. Four of Dr. Lacy’s six children were married there, along with the daughter of an Arizona Governor, Christen McCracken and many others. It is the Lacy family’s prayer that all who visit the Chapel of the Holy Dove would experience God’s love and power. To read more about the fascinating story of Watson and Ruth Lacy, and other Grand Canyon pioneers: Saints and Scoundrels: Colorful Characters of Grand Canyon. Only a few print books left, available as an eBook for 99cents. Other Grand Canyon eBooks by Julie McDonald Honeymoon Disappearance: Glen and Bessie Hyde’s 1928 River Raft Trip through Grand Canyon Tails of Grand Canyon (Fun animal stories) Evolutionist to Creationist: The Spiritual Journey of River Guide, Tom Vail

Share this post