Meet A Master Gardener: Jerry Allen
By MARCI MOORE, Coweta County MGEV
A graduate of the 2020 UGA Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) class, Jerry Allen is a member of the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Team and he is serving our community currently.
Jerry has been helping serve meals, cutting trees, and assessing damage from the March 26, 2021 tornado. He said it has been a joy to watch Newnan citizens’ faces when he tells them his work is free as a community outreach service.
Jerry shared the story of he and his volunteer partner riding around looking for homes that needed help from the Relief Team. They came across a truck handing out water and chicken sandwiches and they were grateful as they hadn’t eaten for hours. There were two extra sandwiches, so Jerry and his partner said they would take them and share with someone that needed them.
As they were driving, they came upon an elderly lady standing at the end of her driveway. She was looking at her damaged home and mangled car and was weary from the stress of seeing her life torn apart. Jerry and his partner asked her if she wanted the two extra chicken sandwiches–and she was delighted as she had no electricity in her damaged home and had been living on peanut butter and jelly. They asked if they could pray with her and she said she truly needed the love. Jerry said it was a rewarding prayer for all three of them.
Jerry is also an active member of the Unity Baptist Church on Smokey Road. The church sustained tremendous damage, including one building that needs to be completely demolished. Jerry is the Administrative Project Manager for the church repairs and rebuilding.
He is a retired Navy Chief and has years of experience in managing the Data Centers for both Georgia State University and the University of West Georgia. Jerry’s job background provided him substantial training and knowledge to handle such major projects.
Jerry stays busy in his personal life by walking 3 ½ to 4 miles three times a week through downtown Newnan, as well as working out with his wife, Karen, at a local gym. He is an avid fisherman, reader, and loves photography. He photographs flowers and trains–yes, trains. Jerry is a train enthusiast (he says “train geek”) and is building an HR Model Railroad of his own. He loves to watch the VRF (Virtual Railroad Fan) website seeing rail traffic videos across the country. Jerry was actually at the Jewel of Vienna Bed and Breakfast in Vienna, GA, the night of the tornado. He and his wife had planned to ride the short line from Cordele to Americus. Naturally, their plans were changed and the next morning they headed back to Newnan to help with the clean-up.
Jerry’s garden specializes in raised bed vegetables and has drip hoses in the beds to keep them at the perfect moisture point for steady growth. He is working on a natural area with native Georgia plants, as well as rose beds, hydrangeas, and perennials. As an MGEV, Jerry routinely works the Help Desk, both the spring and fall plant sales, the McGuffey nature trail, and in the greenhouse–he helps wherever he can.
Jerry believes you make life what you want it to be and his goal is to continually look for opportunities to help people. To talk to him, you know he is sincere, warm and caring, and truly wants to give to his neighbors. He is truly Newnan Proud . . . and we are proud of him!