More often than not, it's the church that takes a leadership role in addressing some of the problems of a neighborhood.
That's exactly what the pastor and members of New Testament Missionary Baptist Church have undertaken in the Georgetown Community of Jackson.
In fact, the theme of a festival planned for Saturday is "Taking Back Our Community".
Dr. Paul Braddy, Sr. has been pastor of New Testament Missionary Baptist Church on Holmes Avenue for 8 years.
He's had to compete with blight and the problems associated with this impoverished area of Jackson's Georgetown Community; including an overgrown lot across the street from his church.
"You see the condition of it," Rev. Braddy said. "They won't even come and cut it; won't pick up the trash around it, so, I refuse to allow my deacons and trustees to cut it. We just want the people to see what it really looks like around here."
That property is registered to Leon and Inez McLin of Jackson.
Reverend Braddy said his church has tried to purchase the lot, but he says the owners want too much money.
Braddy said he was successful buying this building.
It once housed the Triple C Body Shop.
The old, abandoned body shop doesn't look like much right now, but Reverend Braddy and New Testament hope to begin transforming it into a community center by this fall and something the neighborhood can be proud of.
Reverend Braddy said there are several plans for the building.
"Also an adult daycare as well as a child daycare center," Reverend Braddy said. "It's going to be open for the community to house banquets, weddings; just whatever the community needs. We want to be there for the community."
To get the word out about his vision for this neighborhood, Reverend Braddy has scheduled what he calls a pride march and festival for Saturday, May 21.
"We're gonna have a parade with officials in the City of Jackson and also our church members," Reverend Braddy said. "We're gonna walk through this community and let them know that new testament is here for them."
"We're just asking our community to get involved," Reverend Braddy said. "We know that we are a small church but we're trying to do some big things here. God has given us a vision and we intend to make that vision come to pass."
Saturday's community day festivities begin at 10:00am with the pride march.
There will be food and entertainment and it's all free.
Let us know how we can help you take back your neighborhood.
And, if you've already turned your community around, we want to know how you did it.
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