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Rotary Club honors 2019 Herb Jones Volunteer of the Year
Herb Jones winners
From left are Herb Jones (Rotary), Christine Darling (Pregnancy Care Center of Rincon), Dr. Fran Decker (Two Rivers Health Clinic), Carol Hall (God’s Mission House), Johnna Stringer (UGA Extension Effingham County 4-H),Pat Nadiak (South Effingham Elementary Media Center), Mary Jane Faith (Manna House Ministries), Terri Smith (representing nominees Trisha Guetterman of Effingham Backpack Buddies and Josh Holley of Family Promise of Effingham), Toni Hardigree (Rotary) and Ryan Waters (Rotary). - photo by Photo submitted
Dr. Fran Decker
Herb Jones (from left), Dr. Fran Decker and Toni Hardigree - photo by Photo submitted

 A Rotary member since 1981, Herb Jones’ service to others spans decades and touches countless charitable, business and governmental organizations. 

The Rotary Club of Effingham County felt it only fitting for it to honor Effingham County volunteers each year with a service award bearing Jones’ name. They 2019 recipients, recognized for placing service above self, were honored Nov. 21 at New Ebenezer Retreat Center.

First place went Dr. Fran Decker of Two Rivers Health Clinic. Mary Jane Faith of Manna House Ministries and Josh Holley of Family Promise of Effingham were named first and second runners-up, respectively.

Dr. Fran Decker

 After a lengthy career, with 22 of those years at her medical practices in Springfield and Rincon, Decker retired but she did not put down her stethoscope. Instead, she became a driving force that helped to establish Two Rivers Health Clinic for the uninsured.

 As the clinic’s lead physician, Decker has treated more than 100 patients. She is also a very supportive colleague to nurse practitioners and nurses, and very helpful in identifying and recruiting other medical professionals to assist her at the clinic. Her medical team consists of one other physician, two nurse practitioners and seven registered nurses.

The club gave her with $500 for the clinic.

Mary Jane Faith

Faith had a very humble upbringing and faced many hardships in her life. Growing up, both of her parents were hearing impaired.

Living in a “silent house” made it very difficult for her to learn and communicate as a child. She struggled with reading and dropped out of school because she was a victim of bullies. 

Through the love of her parents, she overcame fear and failure. She became a single mother and lived with her parents throughout her adult life until they passed. She later battled depression and felt alone.

In 2016, her son convinced her to come live with him and also to get involved with Manna House. It was there, her new journey began, learning new things and becoming an asset to its ministry.

She has logged more than 700 hours of work this year.

The club gave her with $300 for Manna House.

Josh Holley

Holley is the pastor at The Chapel off of Goshen Road. He volunteers with his church community as it serves families and spends the night at the Family Promise House. He is always ready and willing to meet any needs that families might have. 

Not only does the pastor spend the night and contribute to making meals for the guests Family Promise serves, he also promotes its events, raises money and is one of its biggest advocates in the fight against homelessness.

Other 2019 nominees include Trisha Guetterman of Effingham Backpack Buddies, Carol Hall of God’s Mission House, Pat Nadiak of South Effingham Elementary Media Center, Johnna Stringer of UGA Extension Effingham County 4-H and Pregnancy Care of Rincon’s Stephen and Christine Darling.

The club gave him $200 for Family Promise.

More about Herb Jones

Jones began serving others early in his life. As a member of the Navy Hospital Corps during the Korean War, he served stateside at a medical facility and later on a hospital ship with 1,500 fellow service members.

Following his military service and enrollment in the University of Georgia, Jones later found additional ways to serve his country in his home state of Georgia as a seven-term member of the state House of Representatives and as a member of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.

 When he moved to the Coastal Empire area in 1961, Jones immediately set about the business of getting involved. A banker by trade, he found multiple ways to serve using his professional skills: as part of the founding team of Effingham Bank and Trust in 1987; as a board member, 10-time chairman and later CEO of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority; and as the budget and finance chairman and board of missions member of the South Georgia Conference for his church. He also made time to be actively involved in various civic clubs, the Chamber of Commerce and United Way. 

In particular, he served in numerous leadership and service roles in Rotary clubs throughout the years, with this year marking 36 years of perfect attendance in Rotary. 

A co-founder and charter member of the Rotary Club of Effingham  County, Jones is a Paul Harris Fellow and a Will Watt Fellow.

 Throughout his life, he has answered the call to service with willing hands, a servant’s heart and a humble spirit.