Faith Chapel: Pay to Pray Controversy


The proposal by JIA staff to charge a $5.00 fee for adults (16 years or older) to visit Faith Chapel was on the JIA board agenda January 19th. A presentation on this issue was made by Bruce Piatek, Director of Historic Preservation and Jones Hooks, Executive Director of the JIA. About 150 people were in attendance and more than a dozen people expressed great concern over what has become to be known as "pay to pray" on Jekyll Island.

The Faith Chapel issue was  made public on January 7th in Jekyll's Golden Islander by a letter to the editor signed by former Faith Chapel docents and concerned citizens.

After the January 13 Atlanta Journal-Consitution article ("New visitors fee for Jekyll chapel spurs accusations of ‘pay to pray’") by Dan Chapman and a letter by the Reverend Greg Lowery in the Christian Index, the JIA revised their earlier plan to include the Chapel being open two hours, from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning, free of charge. This change did not satisfy the public who continued to insist that the Chapel should be free of charge.

It was distressing to many in attendance that not one JIA board member asked a question, or gave an opinion about the three decade old policy of a free Faith Chapel.

More media coverage of the 'pay to pray' controversy:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "More time for free prayer on Jekyll Island." January 19, 2016 by Dan Chapman.

The Georgia Times-Union, "Jekyll Island to charge $5 admission for Faith Chapel with 2 free hours for prayer, reflection. Island residents object, warn Jekyll Island Authority of "treading on holy ground.'' January 19, 2016 by Terry Dickson.


Jacksonville Channel 47 Action News, "Tourists not wild for having to 'pay to pray' at Jekyll Island's Faith Chapel." January 19, 2016.

Syndicated Columnist Dick Yarbrough Talks with St. Peter about JIA's Pay to Pray Policy

The Georgia Times-Union, "End of an era at Faith Chapel"  February 2, 2016 by Terry Dickson.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bring your Amex to pray on Jekyll, February 2, 2016 by Dan Chapman.

Jekyll's Golden Islander (February 11, 2016) includes cover photos an article and thank you ad by Beverly Hopkins and three letters to the editor.