Rock Eagle Chapel

On Feb. 8, the Rock Eagle Chapel at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center was severely damaged in an electrical fire caused by wildlife damage. The building was vacant at the time.

“The chapel will be repaired. We hope to save the stone walls of the structure and a couple of the windows, but we will seek the guidance of an engineer for a final determination,” said Arch Smith, state leader and director of 4-H. “The Rock Eagle staff have located the original, 1953 blueprints containing detailed information, including the variety of woods used, which will allow a reconstruction as close to the original as possible.”

Most of the building’s stacked-stone exterior was salvaged, but the wood and glass interior was a total loss with the exception of one pew.

While insurance funds are available, UGA Risk Management has estimated that an additional $300,000 in funding will be needed to restore the building to ADA code. That total does not include interior elements such as pews, windows, chandeliers and other finishings.

“Many 4-H friends and donors have already contributed to the renovation fund. We will continue to provide updates on the progress.This was an emotional event for Georgia 4-H, but only a small stumbling block to the resilient 4-H community. We will live up to the 4-H motto and continue ‘To Make The Best Better,’ ” Smith said.

To contribute to the renovation effort, visit and choose Rock Eagle Chapel Restoration in the designations list.

By Cristina deRevere