Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



South 24th Street, Clear Lake
Lake Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

Jack KENNEDY says he built the tiny Guardian Angel Roadside Chapel as a witness to Christ. Ironically, the tragic burning and subsequent rebuilding of the tiny chapel has served as a much greater witness than KENNEDY ever imagined.

KENNEDY, along with his family, erected the church in 1991 just off Interstate 35 at Clear Lake exit 193. The large stained glass cross at the altar of the church was designed to serve as a beacon to Interstate travelers. Literally thousands of travelers have made at least a brief stop in Clear Lake to see the church named in memory of KENNEDY'S aunt, who believed her life was once saved by a guardian angel.

The original church featured pieces of the altar salvaged from the Lutheran Church rebuilt in 1965, as well as stained glass windows and pews from a former church here. However, in 1992, vandals burned the structure. Everything in the building, with the exception of a baptismal bowl, was destroyed.

Thanks to financial contributions by more than 70 persons and donations of labor by more than 30, the chapel was re-dedicated Palm Sunday, 1993. Like the first chapel, this one features windows salvaged from the former Zion Lutheran Church. The pews were left-over from the building of the first chapel. The oak altar in the first chapel was replicated by Wunderlich Woodworking, of Mason City. The new rail was actually the old choir rail from Zion Lutheran Church, modified to serve as an altar rail at the chapel. Other volunteers built a new oak baptismal fountain. Stained glass artist John LARSEN recreated the large cross which faces the Interstate highway from pieces of glass left over from the first chapel, in addition to putting new lead in the old stained glass windows.

Hours: Open daily from daylight to dusk.
Admission: Free

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: To visit the church, turn south off 4th Avenue South at 24th Street (PRITCHARD'S Ford corner). Travel approximately one-half mile south. The entrance to the church is on the east side of the road.

SOURCE: Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce
Submission by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



  • Return to Cerro Gordo Church Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.