This year’s Best of Dawson winners include longtime Dawson County residents and husband-and-wife duo Jesse and Hope Chism.
Jesse Chism is the head pastor of the local church, the Soul Filling Station, and Hope Chism is the owner of the day spa, A Touch of Hope. Between the two of them, the couple received five awards this year. Even though their careers may be different, both say that their mission is the same.
Jesse Chism began ministering about 20 years ago and this year his church won Best Church. Chism said that one of his ministry’s biggest goals is to make sure that a title like Best of Dawson is never the main focus and that service is always at the forefront.
“Our heart is to serve the community and one of my mottos is ‘task over titles' and the fact that we don’t get caught up in titles, but we’re about the lord’s purpose and serving the community,” Chism said. “I’m excited to win Best Church simply because our people deserve it. They’re amazing individuals.”
“The biggest thing here is we’re really big on serving, over selling, so that’s kind of like a mission statement to me to just grow the business but keep having a servant’s heart,” Hope Chism said. Hope Chism also began her business about 20 years ago and won awards this year for Best Health and Beauty Retail Store, Best Spa Services and Best Massage Therapy. Chism herself also won Best Massage Therapist.
The couple has been married for almost 26 years and have lived in Dawson County for over 20 years. The pair have raised three sons, who are now in college, and both say they absolutely love Dawson County.
“We’ve been in the Dawson County community for about 22 years,” Jesse Chism said. “There’s no place better than Dawsonville.”
This year isn’t the first time the couple has won Best of Dawson awards, and both say they are proud of each other for their hard work.
“We’re celebrating together,” Hope Chism said. “It’s just a huge honor honestly, and we’re both very humbled and blessed.”
Jesse Chism said that seeing his wife’s business grow and her hard work pay off has been a blessing to him.
“I’m proud to be connected with her and her heart; what she does at A Touch of Hope is similar to what we do at our church, which is to serve people,” Chism said. “I’m excited to celebrate with her — she is my angel.”
Moving forward, the couple hopes to advance their mission of serving the community through both lines of work.
“I would love to get more involved in the schools, possibly with their scholarships, and get more involved in teaching,” Hope Chism said.
Jesse Chism said that he would love to continue to grow his church and to broaden the reach it can have in the community.
“My goal for the church is to make the greatest impact and to get bigger,” Chism said. “But not just get bigger, to get better. It’s all about serving others.”