Many of you knew Orie Davis. He was what I call the archivist for the church. All of the wood enclosures for the old organ were saved during the demolition process in preparation for the new organ in our sanctuary. Those various wood parts were stored away in the basement of the church. Carpenter Michael Phillips made the altar area of Jones Chapel from the recycled organ enclosures. Again, I say:Thank God for Orie, and Thank God for Robert who knows where everything is stored.
The vinyl floor was removed to expose the old flooring beneath the vinyl and was refinished in a durable finish to withstand the variety of uses the Chapel will experience. Thanks to John Willingham and his donor, Dennis Chance for the window restoration project, the rose window is now the gem it used to be. The window was restored in memory of Marcus F. Frank, Jr. Scott Pipkins and Robbie Beeland have ensured that the structure is stable.
Tony Long and crew have been on site painting the building and the ceiling of stars, as well as the lanterns on the interior and exterior. Tony has been a great sounding board and support for the duration of this project.
Jeff White had the vision to sell the stars, and we will be hearing more from Jeff about that program.
Phil Groce came up with the plan for the night sky the date the Chapel was dedicated, February 9, 1880. Phil also consulted with us on the lighting of the Chapel.
Our plan is to use the existing chairs for a while until we can see our way clear to purchase new ones. You may hear of individual chair sales in the future.
My appreciation goes to Lisa Moore and the Weekend Lunch Program for their patience and understanding during the renovation process and thanks to the vestry for their support and guidance throughout the project. Harriet has put in a request to the Bishop to come consecrate the chapel in the near future.
– Bonnie Dowling, Vestry Member – Buildings and Grounds
History of The Jones Chapel
In 1826, Julia Parkman came south to Macon to visit her uncle Nathaniel Cornwell. In 1830, she married clothing merchant John L. Jones at the home of her grandfather in Berlin, Connecticut. John Jones joined Christ Church in 1833, and Mrs. Jones joined as a communicant in 1834, as the first church building was erected.
“As most of her energy was directed toward the advancement of Christ Church parish, a history of its charities is almost a record of her devotion. In 1838, she was largely instrumental in organizing the Pastoral Aid Society, which was afterward reorganized as the Ladies Sewing Society of Christ Church. She served as the first secretary and treasurer, and in 1851, she assumed the presidency and held that office until 1880. In 1851, as the parish determined to build a larger church building, Mrs. Jones, as president of the Ladies Dewing Society, promised that it would contribute $1000 toward the new building, although there seemed little chance that would be possible. However, by united action under her wise direction, not only was the pledge redeemed but nearly $3000 was raised ($2928.29). During her management, the Society contributed $11,400 to the parish. Most of this was invested in permanent improvements such as the organ and the rectory and lot on which it stands. Mrs. Jones also taught Sunday school for nearly 40 years and bore an active part in the mission work of the parish and in caring for and visiting the poor.
John Jones worked as a clothing merchant with A.M. Blackshear & Co. until about 1867, when he became Treasurer of the Macon Gas Company. By 1872, he was both Secretary and Treasurer of the Macon Gas Company, but within 10 years, he had separated himself from the utility. Fellow church member J.M. Boardman was president of the Macon Gas Light and Water Company for many years. In both 1877 and 1878, Jones was listed as a capitalist in the city directory, and he died on March 9, 1879. During his lifetime, Jones served as both Secretary and Treasurer of the Vestry and he advocated for many years for a Sunday School room for the parish children. The Jones lived on the corner of Walnut and Second Streets just down from Christ Church.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Jones donated a total of $4350 to erect a Sunday School building in her husband’s memory. When Bishop Beckwith visited the parish on Feb 9, 1880, he commented: “In this Parish a very handsome Sunday School building has been erected by a Christian woman in memory of her dead. Men build monuments of sculptured stone and place them over graves, and the world passes by and wonders at such extravagance; far better and wiser is it to dedicate houses to God, where little ones may come to be trained in His nurture and admonition.”
Julia Parkman Jones died on March 18, 1886.