George Dean and his son Wayne watch as Miss Tennessee cuts the ribbon to his newly constructed home during a dedication ceremony Saturday in Mooresburg. (photos courtesy of Sheldon Livesay)
(Scroll down for photos from the ceremony, as well as video of the ceremony courtesy of Sheldon Livesay.)
MOORESBURG - A church group from Florence, S.C. returned to Hawkins County Saturday to help dedicate the home they built last month in the Mooresburg community for 90-year-old WWII veteran George Dean.
The South Side Baptist Church of Florence was one of dozens of church mission groups that came to Hawkins County this summer to perform home improvements for the needy as part of a program administered by the Of One Accord ministry in Rogersville.
Dean's old house on Dean Road in far western Hawkins County was beyond repair. This was the first time in the history of the Of One Accord mission program that a new house was built from the ground up.
George Dean served as a bazooka gunner under Gen. George Patton following D-Day during WWII. He likes to tell the story about the day he was standing five feet from Patton as the general led his men into the river, marching them up river over a mile, then directly into Germany and into battle.
Dean’s bravery during the war was recognized as well. He received a bronze star for disabling a tank and saving his outfit.
After the war Dean became a pastor and work as a mechanic for more than 55 years.
He raised 7 children and 27 foster children. He is raising another son Wayne, who is now 17 years old.
"If anyone in our county deserved a new home it is George Dean," said Of One Accord director Sheldon Livesay. "We are so thankful to those groups that worked on the house, including Gladeville Baptist who could not attend today and Southside Baptist, Florence SC. Southside had about 20 of their folks come up today for the dedication. Thank all you that made this long, long trip."