3 on the Road: Golden West Cemetery - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: Golden West Cemetery

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

“Probably by the time we get finished today, I’m thinking we will be three-quarters of the way through, ”Pastor William Coleman observed looking over a hillside emerging from the underbrush.

Pastor Coleman pretty much thought this project looked impossible the first time he saw it last March. The first time he looked for it, all he actually saw that day was woods.

Al Hollingsworth of Port Gibson had simply mentioned to William that he ought to check out the old Golden West Cemetery.

“He has a way of doing that to people. He says, ‘Go out and take a look at… I want you to go look at this project.’ And I came out and looked at it and first, we couldn’t find it,” Pastor Coleman laughed as he remembered.

Back then this hillside was totally covered in trees and scrub. Under the overgrowth was the cemetery, woefully neglected until Pastor Coleman and some volunteers rolled up their sleeves and dug in.

“Aw, it was seriously overgrown,” added Pastor Coleman.

But that was last March. As of last Monday, progress had cleared all the way up to the top of the ridge with the help of some AmeriCorps volunteers.

“This is the second team that has been out here. And AmeriCorps, they’ve done wonders out here,” said Pastor Coleman.

I think that’s what the young people have in mind when they join AmeriCorps; doing wonders. Sam Panek is here from Washington State.

“The big idea was I was going to be able to give back in an organized fashion," said Sam. "And they were going to have a direction for me and I was going to be able to put my best foot forward and they were going to help me get better at whatever I wanted to do.”

And of course, there are other volunteers from right here at home who have been here pretty much every time there has been a cleanup day, like Jessica Crawford.

“This is a great opportunity to make a difference. And you can SEE a difference being made," said Jessica. "So I’m just here as a volunteer. I’ve kinda gotten cemetery fever here.”

“We’re in it to win it!” said Pastor Coleman defiantly.

Port Gibson wins by having a piece of its history back. The people who have family buried here win because they no longer have to chop their way in to check on graves. And I’d imagine everybody on the hillside working today wins being able to sleep better tonight, tired, but also from doing something good for someone else.

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