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Rev. Jimmy Pennell Named 2016 Chief Junaluska


Rev. Jimmy Pennell was recognized as the 2016 Chief Junaluska recipient during Lake Junaluska Associates Weekend held on August 6.

“As we recognize our Chief Junaluska for 2016, Rev. Jimmy Pennell is one that fell in love with Lake Junaluska at a young age. He is being named Chief to recognize his multitude of contributions of time, energy, and financial support that makes the lake such a special place,” said Dr. Bob Bowling, the Lake Junaluska Associates President.

Rev. Pennell served as Lake Junaluska’s youth director from 1958 to 1959. Several years later, he and his wife honeymooned at the lake. They returned every year until they purchased their first house on Dogwood Lane in 1973, and they became full-time residents in 1999. Pennell and his wife have three children who all worked on Lake Junaluska’s summer staff during their college years. A talented photographer, Pennell has shared the beauty of Lake Junaluska for many years through his photography.

Known for his volunteerism, Pennell has spent countless hours sharing his passion for Lake Junaluska. He is currently the chairman of the Lake Junaluska Community Council and a member of Lake Junaluska’s Board of Trustees. A dedicated member of the Junaluska Associates, Pennell has served as its president. In addition, he was a member of the Memorial Chapel communion team and is a Sunday usher at Stuart Auditorium. Pennell also helped initiate the annual Interfaith Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska and has served as treasurer for the event since its inception.

Pennell’s service to The United Methodist Church spanned 45 years, beginning with a seven-church charge in the South Georgia Conference. In addition to his church appointments, he was district superintendent and conference council director and was a delegate to Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences and General Conference. Pennell also served on the church’s General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and for the United Methodist Children’s Home. He also was part of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Administrative Council from 1980 to 2009.

The Junaluska Associates is an organization of individuals from across the jurisdiction and beyond, who love Lake Junaluska and want to serve in partnership with the Lake Junaluska Assembly. For more information, visit


Stephanie Drum
Lake Junaluska