The Episcopal Church in Navajoland has received a grant of $262,500 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to restore the historic John Gaw Meem Chapel at Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Ariz.

The grant will enable Navajoland to make essential renovations to the chapel, including an updated heating and cooling system, electrical work, and restoration of the exterior masonry.

The Meem Chapel was built in 1954 by architect John Gaw Meem, considered the father of the Pueblo Revival or Santa Fe style. It is the spiritual home to hundreds of Episcopalians in the area, the majority of whom are Navajo. It is also the largest and most frequently visited Episcopal Church in Navajoland, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

The Rev. Davis Given was Good Shepherd’s priest from 1949 to 1963.

“The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have long supported Good Shepherd Mission and the early work of the Rev. Mr. Davis Given in support of the people of Navajoland,” said J.H. Dow Davis, chairman of the foundations’ board. “In making the recent grant to the Episcopal Church of Navajoland for the restoration of the Chapel at Good Shepherd Mission, the foundations are honored to meet an immediate need for the parish, invest in the long-term health of the mission, and honor the legacy of the Rev. Davis Given.”

“The restored building will provide an inspirational and safe space for members of the community to come together and worship for many years to come,” said Rt. Rev. David Bailey, Bishop of Navajoland. “We are grateful to be able to honor the legacy of Arthur Vining Davis and his prior support for the Navajo people through this partnership with the foundations.”

The foundations were established in 1952 by Arthur Vining Davis, former chairman of Alcoa.

Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs

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