Millard Fuller Legacy Build kicks off with both enthusiasm and somber gratitude

Millard Fuller Legacy Build kicks off with both enthusiasm and somber gratitude

LANETT, Alabama — There was a heavy law enforcement presence as the 2022 Millard Fuller Legacy Build kicked off at Pilgrim Baptist Church on Sunday night, but they were not there to quell a disturbance. They were there to celebrate the life of J’Mar Abel, a Chambers County deputy who was killed in the line of duty in June of this year at the age of 24.

This year’s two-home build in Lanett will mark the 74th and 75th new homes built by The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project, and it will will complete the neighborhood that began with the very first Legacy Build back in 2009.

And this year’s build is dedicated to Deputy Abel, whose fiance Jasmine Gaddist recently gave birth to their daughter.

Here are some notable quotes and images from the kickoff:

Deputy Abel was always willing to help in any way that he could. He always showed dignity to the individuals that he encountered whether it was while he was a corrections officer at the jail or while serving as a deputy in the county. ... He truly exemplified the beliefs and the mission of The Fuller Center. I can't think of a better person to build a home in memory of than Deputy Abel. He truly was one of a kind, and he will forever be missed.

Derick Wright, Chambers County Deputy who trained J'Mar Abel

One thing we don't do enough in life is thank people. Millard devoted his life to helping people. We honor him, but did we thank him? I know I didn't. Did anybody thank J'Mar before we lost him? Probably not. So we all need to thank each other more often for what we do. And that's especially the case with our law enforcement.

Curt Johnson, Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project

Those of you who've been here a time or two or have spent any time with The Fuller Center here in the Chattahoochee Valley know that we have a remarkable leader who does remarkable things in remarkable ways and impresses us all every time we get together. Kim Roberts has done a tremendous job in leading this organization and getting these houses built.

David Snell, President, Fuller Center for Housing

I can't begin to say enough about what this young lady (Kim Roberts) has done throughout the Chattahoochee Valley and Lee County when the tornadoes hit down there. She's not alone. There are so many more angels here tonight that help her. It's a joint effort. ... We appreciate you dedicating this home to our fallen deputy, Deputy Abel. He's looking down tonight with a smile on his face.

Sid Lockhart, Chambers County Sheriff

In the Bible, the children of Israel were walking in the wilderness looking for the Promised Land. When I think about what the volunteers and The Fuller Center are doing, it's just that: It brings a family from sometimes a place of wilderness to a promised land. They have a home, a place that they can call their own. I truly see the ministry of God in what you're doing.

Frederick James, Pastor, Pilgrim Baptist Church

More photos from Sunday

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