Remembering Twenty-Five Summers at The Boardwalk Chapel

by Ron Elwell

The Elwell Family at The Chapel in 2006.

For twenty-five years groups of young people and adults from Faith Church in Pole Tavern, NJ have traveled to Wildwood, NJ to participate in the ministry of the Boardwalk Chapel at the end of the summer. Truthfully, support and participation in the ministry of the chapel by Faith Church members extends back to the seventies and probably earlier. The current streak, if it is appropriate to label it that way, was begun by then-pastoral intern and current director, Jim Zozzaro who coaxed several individuals and families to join him to fill out the last week of the summer when most of the staff had left.

That was the beginning of annual summer weeks of ministry by our family and the church young people ranging in number from four to eighteen. The groups were called W.A.V.E. teams, and Faith Church became one of several New Jersey churches that have faithfully contributed to the ministry of the chapel for decades.

As the demographics of the congregation changed and there were not enough young people to form a team, the participants reverted back to family. Members of our family have spent much, if not all, of their lives coming to the chapel for a week of ministry. It has been a privilege and a joy to proclaim the good news of Jesus to a lost and dying world that swirls by the doors of the chapel each day: to sing His praises, to answer the challenges of unbelievers, to pray with the down trodden and lost who always seem to find the place. And, it has been a great encouragement to reflect on how the young people of the church (including our own) have supported and been engaged in this ministry with such enthusiasm and commitment over the years.

So, our week at the chapel this summer was a family affair representing three generations with good hopes for more years of service to come.


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