Q: How long have you lived in Elwood?
A: We’ve lived in Elwood for a year. We moved here from the Greenfield area. I’m originally from Greenwood.
Q: What made you decide to become a minister? Was it one thing, a decision that grew over time, or was it something you always knew you would do?
A: It was a process. I started my college training at Purdue, thinking I’d become a CPA and own a nursery. But I felt a leaning … you might call it a calling to look at ministry. I didn’t get my degree from Purdue and, instead, pursued theology.
Q: Where did you earn your degree?
A: Anderson School of Theology.
Q: What do you enjoy most about leading your church?
A: Trying to keep the church focused on the future and keeping its message relevant.
Q: What do you consider your toughest challenge?
A: In ministry, it’s to encourage the people in my churches to keep moving forward and to not get stuck in the way we’ve always done things. This has also been true in the many civic groups I’ve been a part of, as well.
Q: Why and when did you join the Elwood Chamber?
A: I’ve always been involved in the chambers in the communities I’ve served, and I saw an opportunity to serve here. Chambers often offer a broad platform to identify and address community challenges. That fits who I am.
Q: When did you come onto the Chamber board of directors?
A: October of last year.
Q: What do you see as the primary benefits of being a Chamber member?
A: Working alongside local merchants, businesses, and institutions as we attempt to make our community stronger and a better place to live and raise a family.
Q: What do you enjoy most about serving on the board, and what do you hope to achieve?
A: The board has an openness for creative ideas and solutions for improving the quality of life in Elwood. As a new resident, I feel I am able to bring a set of fresh eyes to the challenges and opportunities. Some of the ideas from other communities have the potential to address some of our issues in Elwood, too.
Q: What is your favorite chamber event?
A: The Glass Festival – this was a whole new concept for me, and it’s great to see the community come together like they do around this event.
Q: What do you see as Elwood’s greatest untapped resource?
A: I’ve been impressed with the quality and dedication of teachers and administrators in the Elwood Community Schools Corporation. In addition, the Hinds Career Center is a resource that probably doesn’t get enough recognition, as it offers training to students in areas that go beyond the traditional curriculum.
Q: What do you predict for Elwood over the next five years?
A: It’s hard to say. The future has everything to do with how well people work together and continue to enhance the image of Elwood.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: My wife, Rhea, and I have been married 20 years and have five grown children. Rhea would be disappointed if I didn’t mention our two outstandingly wonderful granddaughters.
I play ping-pong and am always looking for competitors. I read tremendously … everything. Non-fiction, mainly, covering every topic under the sun. I often have 70 to 100 books checked out of the library. In fact, every time we go on vacation, I visit the local library. Libraries are a community’s greatest resource with the potential to change lives – even beyond schools and churches. The problem is, they’re under-utilized, and that frustrates me. Elwood has a tremendous library and an outstanding staff.
Q: What else would you like us to know about you?
A: The answer to this final question is that I, like many of us, have had the privilege in my life and career to experience many unique and extraordinary opportunities.
I have raised goats, chickens, geese, and rabbits. We have always had dogs (usually an English Setter or Cairn Terrier). I have hybridized or propagated irises, violets, gloxinia, trees and bushes. I have played and enjoyed most sports, but favored basketball and high jump. Besides 35 years of pastoral ministry spread over 10 churches, I have worked as an FAA air traffic controller in the Indianapolis Center, an IRS representative, a mail carrier on rural delivery routes (twice), owner of an Avis Rent-a-Car branch in Greenwood, as well as running a cotton candy business.
It also has been a blessing to serve on several boards and civic groups, such as Rotary International, United Way of Johnson County, Leadership Johnson County, Greenwood Community School Board, and many others across the years.
All of these experiences have contributed to who I am and how I serve now. I’m just looking forward to where the path leads and the surprises that lie ahead. ●
Rhea and Doug Bohall