Kevin “Chappy” Hynes, a New York state native, is often asked how a Yankee can be chaplain of the University of Georgia football team.
Hynes said it is simple: He is married to the sister of Mark Richt, UGA head football coach.
Hynes, UGA football chaplain for 14 seasons, was the keynote speaker Friday morning at the annual Law Day observance at The Plaza Restaurant.
An ex-Marine and ordained Baptist minister, a rebellious Hynes was discharged from the Marines at age 21 and soon moved to Tallahassee, Fla., where he was invited to attend church.
“For the first time in my life, I was protesting sin,” he said, adding that he “fell in love with Jesus.”
Hynes was charged with driving under the influence and put in jail for fighting. “I was just a rebellious dude,” he explained.
Florida State Attorney Willie Meggs, who attended the Friday meeting, told Hynes he would be a good cop. “I said, ‘Man, I hate cops,’ “ Hynes told the crowd of law enforcement officers and court personnel.
The Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office hired Hynes. After 18 months, he decided he still did not like cops.
Hynes said he did not like dealing with people who molested their grandchildren and with cases in which people were beheaded.
He quit law enforcement and drove an 18-wheeler hauling orange juice nationwide.
In early 1995, Hynes’ mother, with whom he had reconciled, died. He joined the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in 1996.
At 48, Hynes is thankful to be where he is today and to proclaim Jesus.
Also chaplain of the Marine Corps League in Athens, Hynes urged those attending to be servants and lights in the darkness.
“I want to elevate Jesus in Thomasville, Ga.,” he said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.