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Baptist leader, Big Canoe chaplain Dr. Jimmy Allen dies

Dr. Jimmy R. Allen, Big Canoe chaplain emeritus, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, after a long illness in a Brunswick, Ga. hospital. His wife Linda was by his side.

Allen was the second chaplain of the chapel, leading the congregations for 10 years until he retired at the end of 2002. The Allens moved to Marsh’s Landing on St. Simons Island, Ga. after leaving their home on Sanderlin Mountain in Big Canoe.

Allen, a prominent Southern Baptist minister from Texas, succeeded Dr. Vernon S. Broyles who founded the chapel in Big Canoe’s early days of development. Allen led the chapel through changing times and many challenges. During his chaplaincy, the Broyles Center was expanded by 66 percent, the size of the congregation almost doubled, the budget grew from $416,000 to over a million dollars, The Terraces and the Boy Scout Hut were built, and the idea of the Meditation Park was generated.

A Memorial Wall at the Chapel Cemetery was constructed, and the Chapel bell was moved when the Bell Tower was built. All Chapel programs were expanded under Allen’s leadership and many new ones were added.

When a tornado hit the Chapel and Broyles Center Nov. 11, 2002, damage was repaired in time for the Christmas programs.

Dr. Jimmy Allen's memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 18 in the Big Canoe Chapel. A reception will follow in the Broyles Center.

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