On Sept. 14, members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville held a dedication service for their recently completed Dooley Pavilion, a structure that had only been in their dreams for the past 10 years. The Pavilion was named after Arnold and Ola Dooley who left a gift for Covenant in their will.
“Arnold and Ola Dooley, over a period of 15 years, lost all five of their children, four to a rarest horribly debilitating disease imaginable and one to the lifelong effects of severe mental illness,” Terry Starr recounted.”And yet, even near the end of their own lives, when Arnold was stricken with severe spine curvature and he was having a difficult time remembering things, still he would greet you with an ear to ear grin that could light up a room, a warm handshake and heartfelt ‘How are you doing?’ As Ola was confined to the house by her oxygen hose, and coughing so bad that she could hardly carry on a conversation, she always spoke of the sweet love of her Savior and how she never doubted His wise care for her life and how she trusted Him in everything He did for her family.”
The Dooleys’ niece Dale Harrell, and her husband David, were present at the dedication and with joyful tears said that they know that the Dooleys are happy. “The Dooleys enjoyed people and loved hosting events,” the Harrells said.
Jamie Lambert, the pastor, said “This pavilion will allow us to have a place to host many events for our church and our community.”
John Sutton, the youth pastor, said: “Covenant is the most loving church I’ve ever been part of and she’s at her best when she’s hosting people. The Dooley Pavilion gives us another way to care for our own and others. Not to mention, it looks pretty awesome.”
Following the dedication, Covenant’s members and friends celebrated with food, kids jumping in the bounce house, swimming in the pool, and canoeing on Covenant’s pond.
Stan James, picnic coordinator, said, “Today was great success and will be remembered for a long time.”