New Construction for Chapel Woods

Snellville, GA (August 30, 1998)-Bare steel girders form a skeleton-like shape, marking the future place of worship for Chapel Woods Presbyterian Church.

Organized in 1964, Chapel Woods was originally located in Decatur. For twelve years, starting in 1966, it was pastored by Charles McGowan, Moderator of the 1996 General Assembly. In 1980, Mark Gutzke, son of Columbia Theological Seminary Professor Manford George Gutzke, became Pastor. He retired in 1994, but continued to serve as Stated Supply for three years until Harry Cooksey was called as Pastor in 1997.

That year marked another transition for the congregation. Its original location was in a changing neighborhood; and the decision was made to re-locate. Snellville, a growing area in Gwinnett County, was chosen as the new site.

For the moment, leased trailers provide cramped quarters for the congregation. The church is prayerfully anticipating when it will be able to afford the completion of its spacious new building.

In the meantime, the congregation has grown in its new surroundings. What has been an older congregation with very few young people has since its move to the suburbs quickly acquired many youth.

Chapel Woods has the reputation for being a very traditional church. The message at this evening's service was straightforward Calvinism: unconditional election.

What was billed as a sermon, however, was in the form of a continued dialog between minister and people. Using the Socratic method, Pastor Cooksey elicited responses from the men and women who had assembled.

There was no Scripture reading as such during the public worship. Instead, the pastor asked for volunteers-whether men or women-to read various verses during the study.

The Worship and Service Hymnal serves as the manual of praise. The "favorite" hymns selected at vespers reflected the piety of twentieth century Southern Presbyterians.