When David Black stuck a prayer card in the chapel wall at the last service in the Stephen L. Rusk Memorial Chapel, he didn’t expect his old friend John Moore to find it.
The card was left in the chapel wall in memory of the many years spent at the chapel where his family attended church together on the military base. He served as an altar server there, and his mother, Delores Black, served as sacristan for over 30 years.
When John Moore arrived with his crew to remove the chapel cupola and steeple before the bulldozers demolished the building, they found David Black’s card in the wall. It turns out John and David knew each other years ago and reconnected through the prayer card.
John Moore salvaged the original cupola and steeple from the WWII Army Air Base chapel and moved it to his home in Thornton Park Historic District. The chapel at the Orlando Naval Training Center was bulldozed to make way for the Baldwin Park residential community.
ABOVE: May 12, 2012 photo of the Stephen L. Rusk Memorial Chapel Steeple and Cupola in its present location in Thornton Park Historic District.
According to David Black: The chapel meant an awful lot to a lot of people and if it hadn’t been for John’s efforts – and John has minimized, I think, the time and money and the effort that he invested. But had he not done so there’d be no tangible reminder of what that chapel actually is. So I’ve always appreciated what John did.
Learn more about the meaning the chapel had as the center for community life on base in this excerpt from an oral history interview with David Black and John Moore on May 10, 2012.