FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern trustee Don O’Neal chose to honor his parents, Ray O’Neal and the late Ellen “Tommie” O’Neal with the dedication of the Prayer Gardens at the J.W. MacGorman Chapel on Dec. 1.

“They were not professors or missionaries or pastors or anything but just wonderful Christian lay people that taught Sunday School [and] served the church,” O’Neal said of his parents. “They always supported things financially without anybody knowing it—behind the scenes and all—so it's time that they get a little recognition.”

O’Neal said the completion of the MacGorman Chapel will serve as a valuable asset to those preparing for the ministry at Southwestern.

“It’s a great place I think to help future pastors to see and participate and learn how to preach and how to baptize. I think it’s just a great addition to an institution like we have and something that's been needed, I think, for a long time.”

The gardens will contain about 40 species of plants including shrubs, trees, perennials, annuals and herbs. Plants from each season will ensure that blooms and color can always be found in the garden, which has been designed for contemplation and prayer.

The Prayer Gardens are located between MacGorman Chapel and Pecan Manor.