Walt's Look Around: Moselle Methodist Church Anniversary - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Moselle Methodist Church Anniversary

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Moselle Methodist Church is having its 100th anniversary celebration this Sunday, and the church has been getting ready for it for four years, putting the building back like it was a hundred years ago.

The neat wood frame building has been sitting on a corner in Moselle, near Hattiesburg, for a hundred years as of this weekend. It took a couple of years to build the building. And then it aged for nearly a century.

But four years ago the church decided to spruce itself back up, and Moselle Methodist church member Bill Rainey says they set a goal of this weekend's anniversary as the date by which to have everything completed.

"We basically had the hundredth anniversary in mind when we started," said Rainey.

And as good as the building looks today, there was a lot of work that had to be done.

"The church had gotten in a bad shape, and the foundation had gotten in a bad shape, and the steeple had to be jacked up," said Rainey. "One corner of it had to be jacked up four inches. It was leaning probably three foot at the top. "

Fortunately, the interior was still in good shape.

"The sanctuary and inside is just like it was in 1914," added Rainey. "It hasn't been painted or sheet rocked over or nothing. It's just like it was.

And just like it was, is what attracted me to this building in the first place. The interior is all beaded pine limber, century-old antique heart pine of the type you don't see anymore.

"There was a sawmill here and a man by the name of Eikler had the sawmill and he donated the land and the material to build the church," said Rainey.

And what he donated was long, straight boards with hardly a knot anywhere. The church resisted any modernization fads over the decades like paneling or wallboard or acoustic tile ceiling or even worse, a drop ceiling. No, leaving it as it was saved a lot of time by not having to put it back that way now. And a funny thing started happening to Sunday attendance as the little church building began to emerge from its hundred-year rest.

"When we first started we'd have 12 or 15 now we have 40 to 50 in church on Sunday," said Rainey.

And this Sunday morning, it's likely to be well above that. Maybe the hundred-year high level mark as people rediscover the treasure in their community that's been put back like it was to begin with.

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