The Marty Leonard Chapel was designed by the world famous E. Fay Jones (1921 - 2004). Jones described his Chapel design as an "instrument for nature’s music as light and shadows move and change throughout the day." The interior of the Chapel inspires and fulfills the goal of Jones' design - that visitors will "think their loftiest and best thoughts."
Jones described his Chapel design as an “instrument for nature’s music as light and shadows move and change throughout the day.”
Although Jones had designed internationally acclaimed chapels and homes for famous clients, he seemed astonished when his name -- or his work -- was recognized. Although he thought this recognition to be unwarranted, Jones work has been highly commended and praised. Few modern-day architects have received the acclaim and respect that Jones received. Born and raised in Arkansas, Jones expressed his creativity as a youngster by building tree houses in the back yard. He said his course in life was set at a young age when he saw a movie matinee feature about a building designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. As if by fate's hand, Frank Lloyd Wright later became Jones' mentor.
After completing his education at the University of Arkansas and Rice University, Jones served his apprenticeship with Wright. His professional career was a combination of private practice and teaching at the University of Arkansas, where he served as chair of the Department of Architecture and dean of the School of Architecture.
In 1990, Jones was the 48th recipient of the American Institute of Architect's most prestigious award, the Gold Medal, presented to him by President George Bush. Jones' Marty Leonard Community Chapel gives Fort Worth the distinction of having structures designed by six Gold Medal winners -- including Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn and I.M. Pei.
Fay Jones died at his home in Fayetteville, Arkansas on August 30, 2004. On April 4, 2009, the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas was named in his honor.