At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Bowling receives Chief Junaluska Award

Rev. Dr. Robert ‘Bob’ C. Bowling and Robin Bowling. Donated photo Rev. Dr. Robert ‘Bob’ C. Bowling and Robin Bowling. Donated photo

Long-time Lake Junaluska supporter the Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” C. Bowling is the 2020 recipient of the Chief Junaluska Award, an honor bestowed annually during Associates Weekend at Lake Junaluska.

The award honors outstanding service, community involvement and financial support of Lake Junaluska.

Mississippi native Bowling, a retired United Methodist pastor and district superintendent, first visited Lake Junaluska as a teenager. The 17-year-old youth director at Hattiesburg’s Court Street United Methodist Church, he was asked by the pastor’s wife to drive her and six young women to Youth Week at the Lake.

Years later, Bowling introduced his wife, Robin, to Lake Junaluska on their first wedding anniversary. They returned every year and eventually made it their second home before retiring to Georgia to be closer to family. The couple’s three children spent summers working at the Lake.

Bowling served the North Georgia United Methodist Conference for 40 years and received The Foundation for Evangelism’s Harry Denman Evangelism Award in 2005. One example of his advocacy involves the campground at a time when its future was in doubt. Bowling worked to keep it open to accommodate the many young people who could only afford to visit the lake if they could camp there.

Go to top