Mississippi College’s Oldest Building
Provine Chapel is the oldest existing building on the Mississippi College campus.
Construction of The Chapel
Mississippi College started building the old chapel in 1858 as an auditorium for students with classrooms on the bottom floor, totaling 12,000 square feet. The Clinton Baptist Church contributed to the construction and was allowed to use the auditorium for church services.
Civl War Use
Finished in 1961, the chapel was the meeting place of Clinton Baptist Church until 1923. During the Vicksburg Campaign, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used the upper levels of the chapel as a makeshift hospital. The bottom level was used to stable Union horses.
The belfry was removed sometime in the early 20th century and later placed between Chrestman and Lowrey Hall. The chapel was used up until the 1940s, when the newer, larger Nelson Hall became available for service.
The Ceremonial Baseball Throw
According to a son of an old Mississippi College alumnus, one of the male rites of passage in the old days was for a student to be able to throw a baseball completely over the chapel roof (current MC students are not advised to try this).
Renaming and Dedication to John Provine
There was a “Provine Hall” where the student center patio is now to honor Dr. John Provine, past president of Mississippi College, but it was taken down around 1965-66. The college wanted to continue the name “Provine” on one of its buildings, so when the chapel (then old enough to be called the “Old Chapel”) was renovated, it was renamed “Provine” Chapel.