Walt's Look Around: Community rebuilds Rodney church
Rodney is about half way between Natchez and Vicksburg and was a river port until the Mississippi River moved west over a century ago and left the town behind. But since there are no levees between Rodney and the River, the lower part of the town had extensive flooding earlier this year when the Mississippi River reached record heights.
We did a story about what the river had done to one of the historic churches in Rodney, the Baptist Church, and Charles Roberts of Hazlehurst saw the story and started rounding up workers, including a bunch of people from his church, First Baptist of Hazlehurst. And folks from Port Gibson and Natchez have been up to help, as well as Scott Griffin, who is pastor of Amity Baptist Church at Mantee in Webster County. Scott also does architectural restoration and says the 160 or so year-old building couldn't have waited much longer if it was going to be brought back to life.
Scott Griffin: Yea. Structurally the building can be salvaged but it is in a critical state. The foundation needs to be leveled. We've got a wall that's buckling in this church. It is very critical.
Walt: Obviously, the church building is old and has a certain amount of character. But a couple of questions arise. For one, why save a building out on the other side of nowhere?
Scott Griffin: We're very, very fortunate in Mississippi that we have some of the greatest historical landmarks in America. We get a lot of tourism in Mississippi because of some of the past preservation work that we've done. Rodney is no exception to this rule. If we invest our effort in this then hopefully it's going to be a draw to people outside the state and also a destination for people in the state as well.
Walt: The other question, where's the money coming from to do this restoration? Well, there are already two or three Rodney-type foundations of one sort or another. Plans are for all of them to join forces to not only restore the Baptist Church, but the Presbyterian Church with the cannon ball lodged in the front from where it was shelled in the Civil war. And even the old Masonic Lodge and make Rodney a destination again.
Scott Griffin: We're hoping to plan a Rodney Day in September of 2013 which will mark the 150th anniversary of the shelling of Rodney.
Walt: Get enough people involved in workdays like this one who'd like to see the past, not lost, but revived, and it will happen.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:38:10 GMT
Ridgeland Police are looking for an unidentified woman who tried to use a stolen credit card at a local business. The woman tried to buy over $900 in gift cards and other merchandise.The woman was wearingMore >>
Ridgeland Police are looking for an unidentified woman who tried to use a stolen credit card at a local business. The woman tried to buy over $900 in gift cards and other merchandise.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:35 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:35:34 GMT
The Alabama Department of Public Safety has issued a Missing Child Media Alert after a 2-month-old baby was allegedly taken by a 14-year-old girl early Monday morning from Birmingham. Police say 2-month-oldMore >>
Birmingham Police have confirmed that missing infant De'Anthony Kelly and his abductor, Dor'Sayde Gathright were located in Dallas, Texas Tuesday night, and were taken into custody without incident. More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:53 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:53:05 GMT
Jury selection for the Casey Mark Burgess trial was scheduled to get underway Monday afternoon in Brandon. Thirty-six year-old Burgess is charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault in the attemptedMore >>
Judge John Emfinger has sentenced Casey Mark Burgess to 20 years for aggravated assault and 10 years for attempted kidnapping. A jury found Casey Mark Burgess guilty of those charges Wednesday, in the attempted abduction of a woman in the Castlewoods area in September of 2011.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:14:24 GMT
There's a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck lodged on the east bank of the Pearl River, just below Interstate 20, in Rankin County. It is not clear how the truck got there, or exactly when.The truck was reportedMore >>
There's a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck lodged on the east bank of the Pearl River, just below Interstate 20, in Rankin County. It is not clear how the truck got there, or exactly when.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:24:37 GMT
The Adams County Sheriff's Office is searching for a fugitive on the run. Deputies say two men stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from their employer and one of the culprits is still loose.PublicMore >>
The Adams County Sheriff's Office is searching for a fugitive on the run. Deputies say two men stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from their employer and one of the culprits is still loose.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:42 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:42:49 GMT
Pearl police say they seized several pounds of marijuana after a Florida man was found smoking the drug in a restaurant parking lot. Matthew Leonard, 31, of Gainesville, FL has been charged with the intentMore >>
Pearl police say they seized several pounds of marijuana after a Florida man was caught smoking the drug in a restaurant parking lot.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:49:18 GMT
Some Jackson business owners called 3 On Your Side about an intersection that has had more than it's share of traffic accidents. It's located in an area known as 5-points where Bailey Avenue crosses WoodrowMore >>
Some Jackson business owners called 3 On Your Side about an intersection that has had more than it's share of traffic accidents. It's located in an area known as 5-points where Bailey Avenue crosses Woodrow Wilson near the Jackson Medical Mall.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201