Nineteen forty-four was a difficult time for the United States and for the world at war.
Locally, there were grave concerns about the things children were no longer being taught in the public schools. So a group of pastors and educators came together with the goal of reaching third, fourth and fifth graders of Peru that did not have a church home. On June 6, 1944, the Peru Council for Weekday Religious Education was brought to life and begin operating as the Peru Rolling Chapel. Our first chapel and every one since was a mobile classroom that rolled around town from school to school to bring the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our initial curriculum was similar to today’s and included the book of Genesis for the third graders and the book of Exodus for the fourth and fifth graders during the first semester of school and the New Testament for all three grades during the second semester. The 1944 class begin with 52 children. At one time, enrollment reached as many as 1,200 children each week during the school year. The Chapel currently has about 200 fourth- and fifth-graders enrolled from Blair Point School.
The current Chapel teacher, Mrs. Krysten Moon, has nurtured appreciation for our vital ministry, especially through the annual concert which typically fills the Peru High School auditorium. Various awards for excellence and improvement are given, and the children assemble as one choir to recite and sing what they have learned throughout the year.
The impact that Chapel has had over the years is difficult to assess but is obvious in our community. Several generations very fondly remember their time learning the Bible from the various teachers throughout our 75-plus-year ministry. Please pray that God will bless us with many more years of faithfulness to Him and to the children of Peru, Indiana and beyond!