Members of the Dobbins Chapel Foundation, which formed in 2005 to help save the small church that was in jeopardy of being torn down, have raised a little more than $150,000 in the last eight years.
This money has gone toward paying for the $100,000, two-mile move from Dobbins to Clay in March, plus renovations and upgrades to bring the 4,000-square-foot chapel up to code.
“Our objective is to turn it back over to the Georgia National Guard,” said retired Air Force Col. John Powers of east Cobb, who has helped coordinate the efforts.
So far, the foundation has replaced the plumbing, air-conditioning and electrical systems, and will finish up painting, landscaping and construction of a porch over the next four to six weeks.
Powers said he wanted to be a part of saving the chapel because, before retiring in 1999, he was responsible for its upkeep and for hiring chaplains for services. It was a significant part of his professional life for many years.
But that’s not all.
“I was married in this thing 43 years ago,” he said. “That is important to me but the most important thing was that this chapel needs to be saved for the men and women in uniform at Dobbins. If it was destroyed, there would be no chapel for military people to have a wedding ceremony or worship services.”
Others on the foundation, who are all retired airmen, include Chief Master Sgt. Dick Roberts, Brig. Gen. Scott Mikkelsen, Sr. Master Sgt. Mike Donahoo, Command Chief Pete Bagley, Chief John Briley and Maj. Steve Wacsler.
Help from ‘Covenant Churches’
These seven men aren’t renovating the church on their own, though.
About eight people from a group of churches, known as “The Covenant Churches,” are helping with the revamp. The group began working together in 1999 on similar projects throughout Cobb.
They are volunteers from Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Catholic Church of St. Ann, Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, and Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, all located in east Cobb.
“We heard about Dobbins Chapel, the move and what they needed help on and it was just appealing to us because the size of the project and the number of people needed,” said retired teacher and east Cobb resident Carol Bowser.
They have helped with pretty much every aspect of the renovations, from putting up siding to installing drapes.
Bowser said this particular project means a lot to their volunteers because so many of them know someone who served in the military.
In addition to these churches, Andy Smith and Wayne Sturgis with Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church off Lower Roswell Road in east Cobb. They have also dedicated lots of time and money in the move and renovation efforts.
To learn more about the project or the foundation, visit dobbinschapelfoundation.org.