With two recently renovated structures — Old Pate Chapel and The Bottling Co. Reception Hall — 701 Thomas Road is Lynchburg’s newest venue for weddings and events.
Liberty University purchased the property in 2012 and has made extensive renovations to the facilities, which are now available to the community.
The Bottling Co. was the original location of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC), which was started by Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell. On June 21, 1956, a small congregation held a prayer meeting in the abandoned plant of the Donald Duck Bottling Company, a manufacturer of popular sodas during the 1940s and 50s featuring Disney’s beloved character. During the meeting, the congregation formally confirmed Dr. Falwell as their pastor and adopted the church’s name.
|The Bottling Co. facility at 701 Thomas Road is showcased during an open house on April 5.|
On Easter Sunday, 1964, TRBC’s congregation moved into its new sanctuary and dedicated the building to God. Known today as Old Pate Chapel, the building’s stately pillars and graceful white arches reflect the Jeffersonian-style architecture characteristic of Liberty’s current campus. Named in honor of Dr. Falwell’s wife’s father, Sam Pate, the building accommodated the congregation’s needs until an even larger sanctuary was built in 1970.
The Old Pate Chapel renovations were completed last March and include new carpet, new upholstery in the dressing rooms, new paint, a new roof and plaster repair, a brand new sound system, and an LED lighting system upgrade. The primary use of the Old Pate Chapel is for weddings and School of Music recitals. It is also occasionally used for other formal ceremonies.
The Bottling Co. was officially re-opened on April 5 with an open house, and the first reception was held there on April 12. Renovations include the demolition of walls to create a single large space and uncovering the original baptismal mural. Upgrades to the facility include a new sound system, dimmable lighting throughout the room, two electric fireplaces, and screen projectors. A nearby section of the building was refurbished with two restrooms and a large catering kitchen.
The primary use of The Bottling Co. is for wedding receptions. It is also available for other special events such as formal banquets.
Rental of The Bottling Co. is $1,000 for bridal couples affiliated with Liberty. If renting Old Pate Chapel and The Bottling Co., the discounted package price for both facilities is $1,250 for affiliated bridal couples. Rental of The Bottling Co. is $1,500 for non-affiliated bridal couples. If renting Old Pate Chapel and The Bottling Co., the discounted package price for both facilities is $2,250 for nonaffiliated bridal couples. University affiliation requires that either the bride or groom is a current Liberty student, faculty or staff member, or alumni.