By LYDIA BERGLAR
I didn’t go to Dade County High School. I wasn’t raised on Georgia, Alabama, or Tennessee football. I don’t have a single relative in the tri-state area, but I am proud to call Dade County home.
I started working as the news editor for the Dade County Sentinel on Oct. 17. In this first week, I’ve already gained a deeper appreciation for the roles of local news and local government. Following in Rebecca Hazen’s footsteps, I hope to continue providing our community with important, timely, and interesting information, joining the existing legacy of the Sentinel and the many others who serve this county.
I first moved to Dade County in the fall of 2014 as a freshman at Covenant College. Most of my life
leading up to college was spent in St. Louis, MO although I was born in Anchorage, AK while my father served in the U.S. Air Force.
The area of St. Louis where I was raised has a population nearly four times the size of Trenton’s. Additionally, the population of St. Louis County is close to 62 times the population of Dade County. As many of you will likely agree, the pace of life and room to breathe in small towns and rural counties is far more enjoyable than living in big cities and crowded suburbs.
While I quickly fell in love with Covenant College, the Lookout Mountain trails, and the beauty of the entire area, a local church is what connected me to the town of Trenton. I visited Grace Community Trenton on the Sunday just before Thanksgiving 2014, and I’ve been there ever since.
Pastor Hutch Garmany’s excellent teaching was a major draw to the church, but the unique community of believers also made an impression on me. Through this body of believers, I began to learn more about Trenton and just what makes Dade County all that it is.
These people emphasized welcoming everyone, serving the community, and showing Christ’s love instead of focusing on fancy buildings, programs, or how members dressed. Meeting in the old Handyman Salvage building, appearances were never our priority, but Christ-like love and biblical teaching have always been integral to Grace Community.
While studying English at Covenant College, I also wrote and edited for the school newspaper and served in a couple of student leadership positions. All of these experiences showed me the value of communication, creativity, hard work, relationships, and the impact a group can have when working for the betterment of their community.
As graduation approached, I hoped to make Dade County my home, but I also applied to jobs in other cities. Thankfully, the college hired me to work in the Office of Development. I began my career there before moving to the college’s Office of Marketing and Communications in March of 2020. In both of these roles, I realized how much I enjoy hearing peoples’ stories, sharing them with readers, gathering important information, and working with a team to produce excellent work.
This October marks the start of my fifth year living in the City of Trenton, and it’s my ninth living in Dade County. In addition to Grace Community, GetFit 24/7 (previously named Genesis Gym) is one place I’ve gotten to know some of the people of Dade County. Corner Coffee is another one of my favorite haunts, with Keel and Tammy offering up fresh coffee, delicious food, and a great environment for conversations and community. I also enjoy exploring the trails of Cloudland Canyon and beyond.
I’m thankful to the Sentinel for giving me this opportunity, and I look forward to meeting many more of the folks who call this place home. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself if you see me around!