Like the building itself, the Chapel’s media outlets are a unique mixture of old and new. The Chapel provides one of the oldest continuous running radio worship broadcasts in the nation - spreading the gospel message through televised worship services since the late 1980s.
The Chapel began streaming video (Real Media) in 2002, and in 2003 began broadcasting live TV to Duke Hospital patient rooms.
In 2006, the Rev. Dr. Fred Westbrook’s company, C’Access Inc., was contracted to produce and direct the production and distribution of all Chapel Media. Since then, C’Access has been taking care of any event held in the Chapel except those produced by Duke’s Media Services. Around this time the Chapel also began streaming in QuickTime, and podcasting sermons and concerts on iTunes.
Two years later, the Chapel began several major facility upgrades: cameras, camera control, console, lighting, audio, and video processing equipment, and in 2008, it had its first statewide live Christmas Eve broadcast on Time Warner News14. Last year was the Chapel's fourth broadcast, averaging 18,000 viewers.
In 2008 the Duke Chapel YouTube Channel was launched.
Over the next three years, the Chapel started utilizing cable rebroadcasts of worship to Chapel Hill and Durham, and began 24/7 Duke Chapel programming on Duke Hospital Channel 50. Worship services and other events are now available on DukeStream (Flash), uStream, and YouTube live, and most recently, on IPTV to campus common rooms.
But what is perhaps most important to staff is not the when or how, but why the Chapel offers such an extensive media ministry.
Duke Chapel has received regular correspondence from all over the world – emails and letters from people whose lives have been tangibly enriched by its media ministry.
William lives in New York City and witnessed the immediate aftereffects of the attacks on September 11, 2001. His appreciation for Duke Chapel preaching led him to listen in on the ten-year anniversary service of the attacks. In a letter to the dean he wrote: “When you said in your sermon, ‘God begins in the dust,’ I wept openly for the first time in ten years.”
Michelle, a recent patient at Duke Hospital, was in for major surgery. She discovered Duke Chapel flipping channels and fell in love with the preaching, the visual aspects of the liturgy, and the quality of the music. Once she was out of the hospital she began watching Chapel worship services via webcasts. When she was finally able to get around in a motorized wheel chair, she made her way to the Chapel doors, but felt like she had already been a part of the worship community for months.