Happy Anniversary!



Pat and Bryan


On September 7th , 1984 Patricia and Bryan  Nolan celebrated their wedding ceremony at the Little Chapel in-the-Woods. As a young girl Pat joined TWU. I enrolled in and attended TWU right after high school.  I was a dance major there at TWU for a few years.”


As their 32nd anniversary arrived, the married couple took some time to reminisce on their beautiful celebration. Pat and Bryan shared a gimplse of their advenutres as a family “We had our first son, Bryan Christopher Nolan II (goes by Chris), in summer of 1991.  He is now a police officer after graduating from UNT two years ago.  Our second son, Carl Dakota Nolan (goes by Dakota), was born on Sept. 18, 1996….he is a sophomore at UNT in engineering now.”



Let us share our congratulations and best wishes to Patricia and Bryan Nolan as they continue their wonderful adventure as a married couple!

“That might be the girl God intends for me to marry.”


Tom and Elaine


Our Story:

 After graduating from TWU in 1963 with a degree in Music, I taught band and orchestra in Dallas and lived in a garage apartment in the Highland Park area of Dallas. One late afternoon in September 1965 as I waited for a date, Tom knocked on my door looking for the owner of the estate, who had placed a want ad in the paper for a “theological student to rent a room in exchange for work on the grounds”. I quickly dismissed Tom, pointing to a back door at the estate. As Tom walked back down the steps from my apartment, he thought, “That might be the girl God intends for me to marry.Scan0004

Tom took the room in the basement of the estate across the pool from my garage apartment, and we soon discovered that one of his
friends from earlier college years in San Marcos was also the boy who took me to the senior prom in Falfurrias. Our frequent contact as neighbors changed to friends and then changed to the realization God did intend for us to marry. Seven months later, April 30, 1966, we were at the Little Chapel in the Woods where we had told our families and the minister to meet us at 9 a.m. It was the perfect place for us to have a small wedding with only 10 family members, leave for a brief honeymoon, and be back two days later for Tom’s seminary and my orchestra classes.

There were heavy rains in the area the week before our wedding date, and a portion of I-35 was closed briefly from high water the day before. All of the wedding guests were traveling to the wedding, and we weren’t sure if everyone would make it. They all did. But one of the memories we laugh about was our unrest as we waited for the minister. He arrived five minutes late.

Our Vow Renewal:

Our return to renew our vows was even a better experience than before. Fifty years ago, the anticipation of the ceremony produced an anxiety that hindered us from fully enjoying the aura of the occasion and the chapel’s beauty itself—which was mentioned by the minister at the time. On the return visit, we both realized even more the loveliness of the setting. When just the two of us stood, as before, in the same spot of light at the front of the chapel and renewed our vows, it was perfect.  Both inside and outside, we relived wonderful memories of the day.

Advice to Other Couples:

Our advice for all young couples who plan to marry at the Little Chapel in the Woods is to enjoy an intimate, charming, romantic setting that will live in your memories, and then plan to come back and renew your vows as you grow old together.

We both feel that the secret to achieving 50 years of marriage is a strong belief in the Christian virtues of commitment, patience, forgiveness, and of course, the supreme virtue of love. We never forgot the minister quoting the love chapter from 1Corinthians 13 and have revisited that scripture many times through the years.

New Things About Each Other:

Elaine: “Recently Tom surprised me after his retirement by writing a romantic novel. Since he has always been an academic (professor and minister), I thought it was just a pipe-dream when he first mentioned it. I was totally and pleasantly surprised with his wonderful story.

Tom: “In my retirement, I recently published a novel, my first.  It was self published, and Elaine not only contributed advice and ideas along the way, but she was my primary editor.  Her many talents have amazed me throughout our married years, but I had no idea a music major was so gifted in that area.”

Happy 50th Anniversary Tom and Elaine!!

A very special thank you to Tom and Elaine for sharing their love story.

Farewell Seniors

Farewell Seniors

As graduation fast approaches, we know many of our seniors are excited for what the future has in store for them. Do you have a job waiting for you? Have you been accepted into grad school or a doctoral program? Or are you still trying to figure out just what you are going to do with this degree you have earned? No matter your path, you should be proud of this great accomplishment.

As you look back on your time here at TWU, we hope that you are proud to call this your Alma Mater and we hope that you will return to visit this place that holds such special memories. Before you go, there are a few traditions that we hope you take part in and treasure as your last memories here at TWU.

Senior Breakfast and Lunch

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While the senior breakfast and lunch are a newer tradition, it is certainly one that we love the see here in Hubbard Hall. This is a time for the graduating seniors and their friends or families to come together and enjoy a last meal together as students. This ceremony is a beautiful way to honor those students who shined bright during their time here and those faculty who truly made a difference in these students lives. With great speakers, delicious food and great company, this is one or our favorite new traditions here at TWU.

The Oak Chain Walk

Oak Chain Walk

A beautiful tradition dating back to 1906, the Oak Chain Walk is a proud moment for our graduating seniors. Originally known as the Honor Chain Walk, this TWU tradition is meant to symbolize the senior’s last walk through campus as students. Traditionally, the seniors wore their cap and gown as they made this walk from the Gymnasium to the College Auditorium holding an oak leaf chain.

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Unfortunately, this tradition was abandoned in the 1980’s, but brought back in 2010 with a more modern twist. Now lead by a bag pipe player, the seniors make this walk after the senior breakfast/lunch. They no longer wear their cap and gown for this walk, but still feel the same pride as they make their way from Hubbard Hall around campus.

The Final Farewell


The final and probably most important tradition, GRADUATING! While, yes, you can graduate without ever walking across the stage, why would you want to miss out on this long standing tradition for all college graduates? You have studied hard for four (or five) years and earned this opportunity so take advantage of it. This is your moment to shine! Put on your cap and gown and make that walk across the stage that tells all of your friends and family “I did it” I finished college and I am ready for all of the challenges that the future has in store. We can’t wait to see all of you make that final walk.

If you cannot make it to see a friend or family member graduate, click here to watch the live stream of the graduation.


Best of Denton 2016

Denton’s Best Wedding Venue

BOD DRC Post 2016


Thank you Denton!

Last week the Little Chapel in the Woods was honored to be named Denton’s Best Wedding Venue for the third year in a row! This past year has been a great one for our chapel and we are so happy to have shared this time with all of our brides and grooms. We could not have done it without your love and support of the chapel and without your votes. We love you Denton! From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for such an amazing year. 

A few highlights from this past year:

  • In 2015 the Little Chapel held  7 memorial services, 6 music recitals and 64 weddings
  • The Little Chapel in the Woods is listed as one of the top 2 things to do in Denton according to Tripadvisor
  • We created a new brochure for The Little Chapel in the Woods so all visitors could learn the history of this amazing building
  • TWU hosted hundereds of brides at the “I Do” Denton Bridal Show
  • The Little Chapel in the Woods was named Best Wedding Venue in Denton for the third year in a row!

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A Strong Testimony of True Love

David and Peggy married at the Little Chapel in the Woods 9/27/1951

David and Peggy married at the Little Chapel in the Woods 9/27/1951

David and Peggy 


This September it will be 65 years since David and Peggy were married at the Little Chapel in the Woods in Denton, TX. In a time where some marriages only last a mere 72 days, David and Peggy’s love has continued to grow for six and a half decades. David and Peggy’s daughter Leslie said their strong devotion has been evident throughout the years, and more so now as David takes tender, loving care of Peggy in her long battle with advanced stage Alzheimer’s.

“I asked my daddy what he remembers most about The Little Chapel in the Woods.  He said, ‘Well, it was just like the name, It was a small chapel in the woods with many trees and no houses nearby.’  Knowing this is no longer the case due to the expansion of TWU, it was nice to have daddy reminisce on the beauty of the Chapel grounds.” -Leslie

David and Peggy with their two daughters

David and Peggy, 64 years later, with their two daughters

Leslie said her mom and dad have been such a strong testimony of true love, integrity, faith and family.  They lived their lives to be pleasing unto God and openly shared their faith with those they met.  It’s so fitting to know their life together began in a beautiful small quaint Little Chapel in the Woods. 

David and Peggy’s story is one of true love and dedication. May their marriage be an inspiration to all of our future brides and grooms. 

Happy (almost) 65th Anniversary David and Peggy!

A special thank you to Leslie (daughter) and Celeste (daughter-in-law) for sharing David and Peggy’s story with us!

A Lucky Day For A Wedding


A toast to Tod and Casey

A toast to Tod and Casey


Tod and Casey


Tod and Casey met in Santa Barbara, California in the summer of 1996 and waited 19-years until it became legal for them to marry. They had  heard about The Little Chapel in the Woods, but had never actually seen it in person it until they booked it for their wedding ceremony. It was everything we dreamed of and was the perfect size for the number of guests we expected. We love the chapel’s history and the amazing architecture.

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Tod and Casey’s ceremony in the Little Chapel in the Woods

They say when your with the one you are meant to be with, on your wedding day nothing else will matter. Luckily this was the case for Tod and Casey. While most people would have been upset that it was pouring rain on their wedding day, Tod and Casey thought that the rain was good luck. We had a lot of luck that day! It poured rain just as the wedding ceremony started. Everyone was drenched. It seemed to relax the mood in the chapel somehow.

Their favorite part of the day was the ceremony and the music. The chapel has great acoustics! They had a great time at their ceremony and reception. Who knew getting married would be so fun? We were not nervous and were so happy to see so many family and friends.

Photo Credit to Kristen Watson Photography

Love is Love

Harry and Tommy in balcony

Harry and Tommy


“My spouse and I were the first same-sex couple to be married in the Chapel (an historic event to be sure).  I know the Chapel has seen several “firsts” over the years, and Tommy and I are proud to be a part of that history.” -Harry

Us exchanging rings

When the US Supreme Court upheld the Marriage Equality Act on June 26, 2015, it was just two months later that Mr. Harry L. Winn and Mr. Tommy L. Howell were married in the TWU Little Chapel-in-the-Woods.  Holding the position of program coordinator for the Department of Family Sciences for the past eight years, Harry started making plans earlier that year in anticipation of the nation’s high court ruling by asking Mr. Michael Elias, ordained Lutheran minister, Department of Psychology academic adviser, and family sciences doctoral candidate to officiate the ceremony. The ceremony was held on Thursday, August 27th at eleven o’clock in the morning before a small gathering of family, friends, and coworkers.

Congratulations Harry and Tommy!!

From A Love Of Knowledge Grew A Love For Each Other

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Rachel and Mark


Rachel and Mark met at Penn State where they were both graduate students. That summer they had a summer fellowships through the Institute for Arts and Humanities together where their love continued to grow. 


“We chose [to have our ceremony at the] chapel based on online pictures. When we actually went to check it out we completely loved it. I especially loved the stained glass windows, with the amazing women on them – a perfect mix of traditional and very modern. And as a history professor, I was obsessed with the fact Eleanor Roosevelt had dedicated it, and that we would get to put our invitations in the archives!” -Rachel

Congratulations Rachel and Mark!!

Photography by Lauren Lindley Photography