3 on the Road: The Hand that Points to Heaven - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: The Hand that Points to Heaven

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PORT GIBSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It’s one of those icons that come to mind when you are thinking of Mississippi scenes. And it’s back home where it belongs.

The golden hand, normally atop the steeple at the Port Gibson Presbyterian Church, has pointed the way to go since before Civil War. The original wooden hand was removed around the turn of the 20th Century and replaced with a metal hand fabricated to look like it.

It has come down only one time before, in 1990, and refurbished. And then now, some 27 years later, a few months ago, it was brought down again, completely repaired and re gold leafed.

This morning it was unwrapped, set up and people had their photos taken with it, and then it was hoisted back to where it is supposed to be, atop the steeple.

Mike Herrin, pastor of the Port Gibson Presbyterian Church says the hand LENDS a hand to the local economy in the form of tourists coming to see it.

We understand that tourism is a big part of Port Gibson’s economic future and frankly a lot of people come to town just to see that hand," said Herrin. "So we feel responsible to keep it up there.

The architect in charge of the project, Bob Adams, says the removal, refurbishing, and return went about as smooth as one could ask for.

I’m very glad to see it back up there," said Adams. "I think it’s a part of the history of this town and an icon of this town and it looks lonesome without it."

And the people of Port Gibson were just glad to see their landmark back home.

"It’s the first thing I think of when I think of 1st Presbyterian Church of Port Gibson; I think of that hand," said one person.

An historic event. It’s wonderful, said another person. "The community getting together, it’s wonderful."

"It wouldn’t be Port Gibson without the hand, commented another. "It’s also a magnificent piece of architecture."

Well, I was born in 1922. She’s older. We’re not as old as the hand, said another.

"The purpose of the hand is to point to heaven," said another person present.

"It’s a landmark. It’s God’s presence in my community. Seems like it’s God’s blessing on my community," said another resident.

Well, the hand landmark is back where it’s supposed to be, on top of the steeple at the Port Gibson Presbyterian Church. Probably be there for another generation or so before it comes down again.

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