Nearly 140 people attended the dedication service September 21, 1997, for the new facility of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta. Along with Jack Ford, minister, featured speakers included Mary Louise DeWolf-Hurt and Bud Evans, founders of the Unitarian Fellowship of Valdosta, along with charter member Jim Ingram, and long-time members Martha Horowitz and Betty Derrick, who spoke on "Remembering the Past." The Rev. Mary Higgins, Executive Director of the Florida District, passed on the flame while speaking of "Empowering the Future."
Rev. Higgins also brought surprises, a $1,000 check from the Chalice Lighters program for being the church with the most participation in the May-June Chalice Lighters Challenge fundraising drive for Community UU Church of Volusia County, as well as the announcement that UU -Valdosta would be the recipient for the next Chalice Lighters Challenge.
There was music in abundance with Michele Ingram Mobley and Fleming Slone, soloists, as well as the voices of the Okay Chorale, with pianist Helen Faub, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee -filling the sanctuary with notes of celebration! A special presentation was made to Jim Ingram, for guiding us to the realization of this terrific new facility in-the-woods. lunch was served afterwards with games and fellowship. A time capsule with photographs, a program, and other mementos was prepared and sealed to be placed in the wall of the church. All in all, a great day was enjoyed in Valdosta with guests from many different places in southern Georgia and Florida. The new facility is located at 1951 East Park Avenue (or Lakeland Hwy.), Valdosta, GA. All are welcome! - Carol M. Stiles