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Chapel Renovations Give Pews a New Life

by Rae McKee, Public Relations Writer

The old pews from the Jeremiah Chapel at Cedarville University might be gone from campus, but thanks to the work of a North Carolina company, the pews will get a second lease on life.

McPhail Church Services, a family-owned company based in Autryville, North Carolina is working with Cedarville’s physical plant to transport the old pews to its headquarters for refurbishment and resale.

Since 2004, McPhail Church Services has worked with churches around the country to provide high-quality pews and other furniture at a low cost. The company works with churches and organizations of any size in order to help meet their specific needs.

Because of the unique shape and large size of the pews in the Jeremiah Chapel, administrators originally saw no option other than to discard the pews, but McPhail Church Services was recommended by Series Seating, where Cedarville originally purchased the pews.

“Our pews were uniquely shaped, making it almost impossible to do anything but throw them out once they were removed,” said Rod Johnson, associate vice president for operations. “But when the opportunity to work with McPhail came up, we realized that these pews could serve a real need for others, and didn’t have to go to waste.”

Norman McPhail, owner of McPhail Church Services, is glad that he’s able to bring about a win-win situation. 

“It’s a wonderful setup we have,” said McPhail. “We take pews from those who don’t need them anymore, we fix them up, and then they get new life at another church – everybody wins. With the amount we received from Cedarville, we’ll probably be able to provide eight different churches with refurbished pews.” 

The removal of the pews, which began on April 18, is the first part of a $3 million renovation project to the Jeremiah Chapel, which will include upgraded audio and video equipment, new carpeting, theater-style seating and other updates.

A total of 298 pews were removed in just three days, thanks to the work of Cedarville’s physical plant team, employees from McPhail, and a group of students from the University’s Brock men’s residence hall.

The renovation project is slated to be completed at the beginning of August, just in time for Cedarville to welcome students back to campus.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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