Someone can go to church to find peace, among other things, but there's nothing peaceful about the scene across the street from Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson.
It's located at 1446 Deer Park Street and in plain view, in front of the church, there are 10 condemned duplexes, in deplorable condition.
The pastor and church members called me because they've been waiting for more than a year for something to be done about taking back their neighborhood.
Lois Smith, 77, has been attending Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church since it was built in 1950.
Smith joined in 1953.
"Heartbreaking, for the, especially, the adults of our church and for the children," Smith said.
Smith is talking about the row of dilapidated duplexes on Deer Park across the street from her church home.
"When we have Bible class, choir practice and other activity through the week, it's kind of scary," Smith said.
Reverend Thomas Davis says he is frustrated over the time it is taking to address the concerns of his church and the neighborhood.
"The water, sewage and stuff like that has been taken care of by the city, but that was a year and a half ago," Davis said. "Nothing else has been done on these homes."
3 On Your Side contacted City of Jackson Director of Communications, Chris Mims.
"Well, our case file shows that this is about a year old. That's unusual for this type of property, but again, it did change ownerships in the middle of this process and we did revamp the process, in the meantime as well, because there has been case law handed down," Mims said. "We have to notify properties before you demolish them and those have been some issues that the city's been working on, but we're back on the case and we're gonna follow this through til some action is taken."
As WLBT investigated, Gowon Brisby, the owner of the property, contacted me to let me know he does have plans for the Deer Street property.
"I'd like everybody to understand that a project of this magnitude does take time to do correctly," Brisby said. "It's just it doesn't happen overnight and we, for sure, aren't gonna forget about the community."
So, for now, the pastor and flock of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist will continue to pray for relief from the eyesore that plagues their church.
We will keep you posted and let you know if and when the problem is resolved.
Let us know how we can help you Take Back Your Neighborhood.
If you've already turned your community around, we want to know how you did it.
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