Rustic 19th Century Hocking Hills Chapel Offers Unique Wedding Venue

We’ve probably all heard of Las Vegas as a popular place to get married. But did you know
that the Hocking Hills also does a booming wedding trade? Hocking Hills Chapel offers unique wedding venue.

Photo showing Jesus with lambs
A stained glass image of the Good Shepherd adorns the church.

“Oh, very much so,” confirms the Rev. Randy Strickland, pastor of the non-denominational Hocking Hills Chapel. Strickland reports that he personally has presided over some 700 nuptials, at locations all over the region.

For several years now Strickland – who had to step away from the tourism business after suffering a serious injury has been restoring and renovating an historic old church, which when it is back in tip-top condition, will offer a unique setting for couples to tie the knot. The church, at 24427 Brown Road in South Bloomingville, Ohio was originally a United Brethren house of worship, and was built in 1836. Strickland acquired it around 2010, and has been working steadily to restore it.

Labor of Love

The roof was replaced in 2019, followed by replacement of the old electrical system. When the siding was removed in 2020, it revealed the impressive timber construction beneath it, as well as an altar window that had been covered up when the siding was installed. “When they initially built the church, they built it with timbers,” Strickland noted. “The timbers are like 14 inches by nine inches. And there are some 30 or 32 feet long.”

In 2021 the rustic 19th century Hocking Hills Chapel was enhanced with new timbers to match the existing timber structure. The next year it got a new front porch, donated by Brandon Justice Concrete, whose crew also installed new windows. In 2023 local contractor Eric Garrett installed old-style soffits on the building, and a youth group from the Painesville, Ohio United Methodist Church helped paint the interior. More recently a new altar window and front door have been installed, with a stained glass Good Shepherd image with support from the Newtown, Ohio United Methodist Church.

As should be clear from the above, the efforts to restore the church have been not only a labor of love, but a collective effort with help from many supporters including Strickland’s son Keith, and Joe, Craig and Dustin Eveland.

Workers are replacing the old rusted metal roof with a new modern metal roof
In one of the first steps of the restoration, Dustin Eveland and Keith Strickland remove and replace the metal roof.

Though all the finishing touches haven’t yet been added, Strickland said the Hocking Hills Chapel is ready to play host to weddings now offering a unique wedding venue, and should start doing them soon. (He noted that he just does weddings, not services such as catering.)

“It will be this year,” he promised. “It’s already good enough now – secure enough and that kind of thing.” He noted that last July or thereabouts he did a wedding on the front steps, and has also done a renewal of wedding vows at the altar while it was still under construction.

Hocking Hills Chapel is ready for weddings!

Undoubtedly the chance to formalize one’s marriage vows in a rustic, nearly 200-year-old log chapel set in the beautiful Hocking Hills will prove an irresistible draw to many couples. The church already literally stops traffic sometimes, Strickland reported.

Photo of Hocking Hills Chapel exterior showing much of the exterior renovation work
The Brown Road Church was built of sturdy timbers chinked with clay and horsehair.

“I’ve had people actually just stop and lock up the brakes, back up and come in,” he recalled. “And they’re just like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like this.’”

For more information visit https://www. hockinghillschapel.org/.

This article is adapted from one that appeared in “2024 Bridal Guide”, a supplement to Logan Daily News and Perry County Tribune

Wedding in Hocking HIlls

Subject: Our Unforgettable Wedding in Hocking Hills!

Dear Reverend Randy,

We hope this email finds you in good health and high spirits. We wanted to express our deepest gratitude for the incredible experience we had at Hocking Hills Chapel on Brown Road. Our wedding day was nothing short of magical, and it would not have been possible without your guidance and warm presence.

Brendan and Kira with Reverend Randy at the Ash Cave Wedding in Hocking Hills site

From the moment we set foot in Hocking Hills Chapel, we knew we had found the perfect venue for our special day. The chapel’s picturesque location in Hocking County, Ohio, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of nature, created an enchanting atmosphere. The serene surroundings, with its lush greenery and tranquil sounds, provided the ideal backdrop for our intimate ceremony.

A Special Thank You

Reverend Randy, you truly made our wedding in Hocking Hills ceremony unforgettable. Your charismatic personality and charm resonated with everyone present, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Our friends and family couldn’t stop talking about how “cool” you looked and how effortlessly you connected with everyone. Even our family members across the country were impressed by your genuine demeanor and infectious enthusiasm. It speaks volumes about your character and how well-suited you are for your role as a wedding officiant.

Reverend Randy signs the Wedding in Hocking Hills license

We want to extend a special thank you for the personal moments we shared with you after the ceremony. Your company was a delight, and we truly appreciated the time we spent chatting and laughing together. Your granddaughter also left a lasting impression on us with her joyful presence. It would be a pleasure to meet up with you again if we ever find ourselves in the Hocking Hills area. Perhaps we could enjoy a lunch or take a peaceful stroll in the woods. Your wisdom and company would be greatly cherished.

Moreover, we wanted to express our gratitude for the additional advice and knowledge you shared with us. Your words of wisdom and guidance have resonated deeply with us, and we are grateful for the insight you provided as we embark on this new chapter of our lives together. You truly possess the qualities of a wise wizard, and we feel fortunate to have crossed paths with you.

Unforgettable Memories

As we move forward in our journey as a married couple, we will treasure the memories we created at Hocking Hills Chapel and the invaluable role you played in making our wedding day extraordinary. We will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone we know who is planning a wedding in the Hocking Hills area. Your expertise, warmth, and genuine care for your couples are qualities that deserve recognition.

Until our paths cross again, please know that we are open to keeping in touch in any form you prefer. We would be delighted to hear from you and share updates about our married life. And if you ever find yourself in Dayton, please do let us know. We would love to treat you to a lunch or dinner to express our gratitude once more.

Thank you, Reverend Randy, for being an integral part of our unforgettable wedding day. You have left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we are eternally grateful for your presence and the joy you brought to our special day.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Brendan and Kira

Hocking Hills Chapel

Hocking Hills Chapel is the ministry of Reverend Randy Strickland. The old country church building is almost fully renovated. And it will be ready for weddings soon!

Contact Hocking Hills Chapel Now


Reverend Randy has performed over 700 weddings in various locations in the Hocking Hills region. As a result, he also performs couples counseling, baptisms and occasional funerals. Therefore, Rev Randy is a great choice to perform your Hocking Hills wedding.

Reverend Randy Strickland performing wedding in Hocking Hills Region

Located in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, the church is a beautiful and unique wedding venue that will become increasingly popular in coming years. The Chapel is nestled in a stunning natural setting, surrounded by towering trees, rolling hills, and serene streams. The breathtaking beauty of the Chapel and its surroundings make it an ideal location for couples looking for a romantic and intimate wedding ceremony.

Reverend Randy About His Early Years

“We were a church going family, which my mother strongly encouraged. I liked church. In my teenage years I became more curious about religion and started exploring my faith journey and learning about many different religions. I studied Christian denominations, the Jewish faith, Buddhism, and others. I studied as many different faiths as I could.”

As a young man

I spent a lot of time in what my Grandmother Irwin called “God’s country” in Ohio – the Hocking Hills. I was introduced to the Hocking Hills as a child by my Grandmother. She took me and my brother there to hike and explore the parks. I fell in love with the Hocking Hills. It reminds me of who I am and helped me understand why she called it “God’s country”. My Grandmother told me to always let God be your guiding light and to love all he’s making in the world. The Hocking Hills are emblematic of that philosophy.

Rev Randy Strickland of Hocking Hills Chapel officiates wedding at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Region
Rev Randy Strickland of Hocking Hills Chapel officiates wedding at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Region

Reverend Randy Marries Melody Mae

When I met the love of my life, Melody Mae, we married in 1988 and moved to the Hocking Hills and have been here ever since. We raised our three boys here. Shortly after moving here I found Rev. Conrad Diem of the Athens Drive United Methodist Church. My family attended Pine Grove UMC and greatly enjoyed Rev. Diem’s ministry at that Church and the others he preached at on the circuit. Rev. Diem even had a weekly segment on the local radio station! Rev. Diem helped me take my faith journey to the next level. He assisted in my continued studies of the gospel. He helped strengthen my connections to the Lord. And he inspired me to start my own ministry.

Hocking Hills Chapel – The Rest of the Story

The ministry began in 2010 and incorporated in 2011 with Randy Strickland as the Reverend. The Church acquired the Brown Road Church shortly thereafter. The Brown Road Church was originally a United Brethren church constructed in 1836 and is a traditional one room church. The Church has been steadily restoring the building since acquiring it with me leading that labor of love.

The Chapel’s surrounding landscape is truly breathtaking, and it’s easy to see why the Hocking Hills region has become such a popular location for outdoor weddings. The region is filled with towering trees, rolling hills, and pristine streams, creating a natural backdrop that is truly unforgettable. The Chapel’s location also makes it easy for couples to explore the Hocking Hills region and enjoy all of the natural beauty that it has to offer.

Hocking Hills Scenic Weddings

Hocking Hills is a beautiful and popular location for Hocking Hills scenic weddings. The area is known for its natural beauty. The lush forests, waterfalls, and cliffs provide picturesque backdrops for weddings.

Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park, a good location for a Hocking Hills Scenic Wedding
Ash Cave

Hocking Hills State Park locations


One popular spot for weddings in Hocking Hills is Ash Cave. The cave can accommodate larger groups and the waterfall provides a stunning background for wedding photographs. Another popular location is Old Man’s Cave, which features a variety of rock formations and cliffs. The Upper Falls area is particularly popular for weddings. It features a large waterfall and a natural amphitheater.


Conkle’s Hollow is a deep gorge that features a waterfall and natural rock formations. The gorge is surrounded by lush forest, making it a secluded and intimate location. Rock House is an ancient cave that features a natural bridge and a waterfall. The cave can accommodate smaller groups and provides a unique and intimate setting for weddings.


Cedar Falls has a large waterfall surrounded by beautiful forest. The waterfall is a stunning background for wedding photographs. Also, the surrounding forest offers plenty of opportunities for nature walks and outdoor activities.


Hocking Hills State Park offers a variety of options for wedding ceremonies. The park has several wedding venues as well as picnic areas and shelters that can be rented. There are a number of hiking trails that can be used for wedding photography. The park also offers a number of other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by wedding guests, including hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. The park is also home to a number of unique and interesting species of flora and fauna, making it a great destination for nature lovers.


The Hocking Hills region is also home to a number of other outdoor recreational opportunities, such as zip-lining, rock climbing, and kayaking. These activities can be enjoyed by wedding guests as well, providing a fun and unique experience for all.
One of the best things about having a wedding in Hocking Hills is that the area is easily accessible from major cities such as Columbus and Cincinnati. That make it a convenient location for out-of-town guests. Additionally, there are a number of cabins, lodges, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals in the area that can accommodate wedding guests.

For a Unique Hocking Hills Scenic Wedding


In conclusion, Hocking Hills is a beautiful and unique location for Hocking Hills scenic weddings. The area is known for its natural beauty, with lush forests, waterfalls, and cliffs providing a picturesque backdrop for weddings. The region also offers a variety of outdoor activities for wedding guests, making it a great destination for nature lovers. With easy access from major cities and a variety of accommodation options, Hocking Hills is a convenient and enjoyable location for weddings. Best of all, Hocking Hills has Reverend Randy who may be able to perform your wedding. Contact him to reserve your dates.

Reverend Randy officiates a Hocking Hills scenic wedding

Hocking Hills Wedding

If you’re looking to get married in a Hocking Hills Wedding, there are a few things you’ll need to know.  Here are the three things you will need to complete for every Hocking Hills Wedding.

Get Marriage License

Ohio residents wanting to marry in Ohio, must apply in the county where they reside for a marriage license. Out of state residents getting married in Ohio must apply in the county in which they are getting married.

If you are an out of state couple, first, you’ll need to obtain a marriage license from the Hocking County Probate Court. To do this, you’ll need to go in person to the court, which is located at 1 East Main Street, Logan, OH 43138.

Map showing Logan, Ohio and vicinity and the Hocking County Court House at 1 East Main St, Logan, Ohio.

You’ll need to bring identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, as well as proof of your social security number. Both parties must be present to apply for the license, and there is no waiting period.

Get Wedding Venue 

You’ll also need to decide on a location for the ceremony. Hocking Hills State Park is a popular destination for weddings, and it offers several beautiful outdoor venues, including Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, and Old Man’s Cave. Each venue has different requirements and restrictions, so be sure to check with the park for details.

Couple married at Cedar Falls by Hocking Hills Chapel

If you would like to get married at Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, or any of the other Hocking Hills parks, you must obtain a permit from the Park. Call the park office at (740) 385-6842 extension 250 during business hours for details on obtaining a wedding permit. The address of the state park office is 19852 State Route 664 S Logan, Ohio 43138. Depending upon the availability of a manager, the permit may take up to 2 days.

Get Officiant

You’ll also need to find an officiant to perform the ceremony.

Reverend Randy has performed more than 700 weddings, many of them at Hocking Hills State Park. Contact Reverend Randy via this site

Reverend Randy Strickland, Hocking Hills Chapel
Reverend Randy Strickland

Once you have obtained your license and have your officiant and location secured, you can start planning the details of your wedding ceremony. All that is left are the details you choose to make you Hocking Hills wedding