Covington County Angel of Hope statue unveiled at Robinson Park

Published 11:00 am Sunday, October 1, 2023

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The Angel of Hope for Covington County was officially unveiled during a special dedication ceremony at Robinson Park on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m.

The Angel of Hope is a bronze angel statue dedicated to the memory of deceased children of Covington County. It stands 4 feet 3 inches tall before sitting on a pedestal and also has a wingspan of 5 feet 2 inches. Inspired by best-selling author of “The Christmas Box” Richard Paul Evans, the original statue stands in Salt Lake City, Utah. With over 150 angels in the United States, Canada, and Japan, Evans created the Angel of Hope as a memorial for grieving families.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to see you all here today. This really exceeds my expectations for everything. I never expected what you are seeing, and someone asked what my vision was. Truly, I guess I just let God take over and whatever we could accomplish was what He intended for us to have,” Angel of Hope Organizer Carol Moore said.

Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson welcomed those in attendance to the ceremony.

“It is my honor to welcome you this afternoon to the dedication ceremony for the Angel of Hope for Covington County. Carol and David Moore were motivated to create this memorial to lost children after the tragic loss of their own grandchild, John David Stroud, in a traffic accident. They have been surrounded and supported by others who have lost children, grandchildren or siblings, as well as the community at large. While I have, mercifully, never suffered the loss of a child or grandchild, I lost an adult sibling when my brother Terry died in a plane crash. I witnessed first-hand the grief of my parents. And while I know that that grief never goes away, I hope that this monument to the memory of those lost loved ones provides a quiet place to remember them and reflect upon what their lives meant to all of us,” Johnson said.

Johnson added that the City of Andalusia was pleased to play a small part in the project.

“We congratulate Carol and David and those who have worked with them on the completion of this monument. Thanks so much to each of you for being here today.”

Carol and David Moore lost their first grandson 17-year-old John David Stroud in a car accident June 23, 2021. After being inspired by visits to other Angels of Hope in LaGrange, Georgia, and Dothan, the Moores met with Roger Powell, Michele Gerlach, and June Simpson and discussed the possibility of bringing one to the area.

“John David’s accident totally changed our lives. The people we are today are not the people we were in 2021. Hopefully, God has made us better and more sensitive to their hurts and needs. I knew I had to do something for John David. This afternoon, we are here to dedicate the Angel of Hope for Covington County. This angel is not just for one city or one person but for everyone.”

A second annual Day of Hope will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market on Tisdale Street in Andalusia. Proceeds from this event will be used for completing the second phase of the Angel of Hope for Covington County memorial site at Robinson Park.

“We would like to invite the community to join us as we host a holiday craft market, food vendors, a 5K and 1-mile fun run, museum tours at the Three Notch Museum, an antique car show sponsored by Step One Automotive Group of Andalusia, and live music from local bands. Our next steps include fencing, outdoor benches, and landscaping surrounding the angel. The proceeds will also be used to help families of our community who are grieving over the loss of a child with meals, baskets, and flowers. We will be hosting a dedication day for the angel and an annual Day of Remembrance in December.”

The Angel of Hope will serve as a place of reflection and remembrance for grieving parents and others touched by the loss of a child of any age. The garden will be open daily to the public. Located in the middle of the garden, the angel is surrounded by memorial bricks of children from our community who have lost their lives. A black steel fence encloses both the angel and garden.

“This will be a great day of family fun, including shopping for those unique gifts for the upcoming holidays, good food, and great entertainment. We hope to have another great turnout, so mark this day on your calendar and come out and join us for a great cause,” Moore said.

Individuals who would like to be a vendor at this year’s Day of Hope are asked to call Lisa Hammon at 334-248-4604 or Margaret Bennett at 334-303-9631.

Carol and David Moore are the parents of Allison (Scott) Harris and Meredith (Tim) Jordan and are grandparents to John David Stroud, Spencer Stroud, and Wilson Stroud.

For more information visit the Angel of Hope for Covington County Facebook page or call Carol Moore at 334-488-0659.