Nestled at the foot of the Black Hills, on the western edge of Rapid City, SD, the Chapel in the Hills is a quiet retreat open to all visitors. As a special ministry of the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the chapel reaches out to vacationers and local residents alike, who look for a place to experience God's peace in their busy lives.
The chapel itself is an exact reproduction of the famous Borgund Stavkirke of Laerdal, Norway. Our chapel was built in 1969 as the home for the Lutheran Vespers radio ministry (see "History"). Today, visitors from all around the world find the chapel to be a place of beauty and inspiration.
Arriving visitors are greeted at the "Stabbur," which is an authentic grass-roofed store house, built in Norway and assembled on site. It serves as the visitor center and gift shop. Literature about the chapel and its ministry is available at the gift shop, along with an extensive assortment of items of a Scandinavian theme. Also on the grounds is an authentic log cabin museum. Built by a Norwegian prospector who came to the Black Hills during the gold rush, it houses articles brought over from Norway or made by Scandinavians in this country during the 1800's.
Visitors are welcome and encouraged to wander the chapel grounds, taking their time as they experience the presence of God in this beautiful natural setting. The most recent addition to the grounds is the Meditation Trail. This leisurely path winds its way into the hillside behind the chapel. Complete with benches and statuary, the trail provides an additional place for reflection, prayer, and meditation.
Worship services are conducted each evening at 7:30 in the chapel during the summer months, to which everyone is invited. Dress is informal.
Organized tours of the chapel and grounds are available for coach operators, tour groups, and other organizations. Please contact the chapel office to arrange specific dates and times.
The chapel, gift shop, and museum are open from 8:00 AM until dusk, seven days a week, from May 1st through September 30th. The grounds are open on a limited basis during April and October. However, if warm weather continues in to October, the chapel and other buildings may be open on selected dates. Please call or visit our Facebook page for further information as to hours and days.
There is no set admission fee to visit the chapel. The chapel is completely self-supporting, as no synodical or national funds are provided.