In 1939, R. Felton Christian opened Christian Hardware store in Athens, Georgia on the east end of a small downtown area. Nestled in the shadows of the University of Georgia and among the sprawling agricultural lands of Northeast Georgia. Mr. Christian supplied the local farmers and tradesmen with the necessary items to maintain their enterprises. Business was good and eventually Mr. Christian opened stores in Commerce and Madison Georgia.
Christian Hardware maintained a full inventory of roofing supplies – shingles, nails, felt and tools. Word traveled among the community that this was the place to get everything needed to reroof a barn or a house. As the University grew, and the residential population increased. The community found themselves with less time to dedicate to maintaining their own properties. Christian Hardware then began sending their own crews out with supplies to repair and replace worn roofs in the Northeast Georgia area. This was the beginning of Christian Roofing – a much needed offshoot of Christian Hardware.
In 1983, Mr. Christian’s son-in-law, Robert Venable, joined him in the business. A few years later Morris Communication Corporation purchased the Christian Hardware building and surrounding land from Felton Christian to build what is now the headquarters of the Athens Banner Herald Newspaper. The traditional Christian Hardware stores were liquidated and the roofing and remodeling business that was operating from within the organization blossomed in full.
When Mr. Christian retired, Mr. Venable took over the helm of what is now Christian Roofing and Remodeling. The business moved it’s offices to Lexington Road in Athens and began answering calls for home remodels and room additions, along with the traditional calls for roofing. In 1994, after almost 15 years of a continued growth in the Athens and Northeast Georgia region, Mr. Robert Venable decided to retire. It was then that current owner, Frank J. Zehna, returned to the home of his alma mater to take over the business. Frank Zehna continues the over seventy year-old tradition of providing Athens and surrounding areas with quality craftsmanship and the latest in home building technology.
The offices of Christian Roofing and Remodeling are now located in Watkinsville, Georgia. Over the years, Christian Roofing and Remodeling has evolved from a hardware store, to a roofing supplier, to roofing contractor, to full-service home remodeling. Much like the city from which they began, this company has grown to meet the demand of the community it serves.