WJTV News Channel 12 - FAITH IN FOCUS: 146th Anniversary for Puckett Church Founded by

Their small church building is almost as old as 96-year-old Palmetta Lott. She said she joined 'Mt. Zion MB' partway through her life but still remembers the early days of coming for Sunday service.

FAITH IN FOCUS: 146th Anniversary for Puckett Church Founded by Freed Slaves

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"Two miles through the woods coming to church in the mule and the wagon. And we came to Sunday school and I didn't hardly miss many Sunday school," Lott said. "Two miles through the woods coming to church in the mule and the wagon. And we came to Sunday school and I didn't hardly miss many Sunday school," Lott said.
"It was lamplight. Sitting in the middle of the floor and we burnt wood. The mens cut the wood and brought it. And that's the way we stayed warm. We didn't have no running water," Lott said. "It was lamplight. Sitting in the middle of the floor and we burnt wood. The mens cut the wood and brought it. And that's the way we stayed warm. We didn't have no running water," Lott said.
"The same word they had back then in 1868, that's what we've got today. That's the foundation that they laid back then. We're still standing on that solid foundation," Pastor Huntley said. "The same word they had back then in 1868, that's what we've got today. That's the foundation that they laid back then. We're still standing on that solid foundation," Pastor Huntley said.
"It'd just be up under the brush, branches. Keep you out of the weather, in other words. Keep you out of the sun the rain, the weather. The preacher would come and preach. They went from that to a modern building in 1926," Pastor Huntley said. "It'd just be up under the brush, branches. Keep you out of the weather, in other words. Keep you out of the sun the rain, the weather. The preacher would come and preach. They went from that to a modern building in 1926," Pastor Huntley said.
"If they came through back then without lights, without gas, without an indoor toilet - we've got all the necessities, the things we have now - we can make it," Pastor Huntley said. "If they came through back then without lights, without gas, without an indoor toilet - we've got all the necessities, the things we have now - we can make it," Pastor Huntley said.
Sunday morning we asked our viewers 'How many people at home are in their 80s? 90's? More than 100-years-old?

Those are long lives but in this week's FAITH IN FOCUS we're reaching back - 146 years to be exact - at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in the Puckett area.

Click here to read last week's FAITH IN FOCUS: One-on-One with Will Graham in Clinton

Their small church building is almost as old as 96-year-old Palmetta Lott. She said she joined 'Mt. Zion MB' partway through her life but still remembers the early days of coming for Sunday service.

"Two miles through the woods coming to church in the mule and the wagon. And we came to Sunday school and I didn't hardly miss many Sunday school," Lott said.

"It was lamplight. Sitting in the middle of the floor and we burnt wood. The mens cut the wood and brought it. And that's the way we stayed warm. We didn't have no running water," Lott said.

"I loved it," Lott said.

But (if you can believe it) the church actually started 50 years before  Lott was even born.

Pastor Sylvester C. Huntley said slave owner Marion Dunbar donated the land to form the church. It freed slaves, post-Civil War, who held their first services without a building.

"They did it in a brush arbor. Something like a tent," Pastor Huntley, the church's 22nd pastor, said.

"It'd just be up under the brush, branches. Keep you out of the weather, in other words. Keep you out of the sun the rain, the weather. The preacher would come and preach. They went from that to a modern building in 1926," Pastor Huntley said.

"If they came through back then without lights, without gas, without an indoor toilet - we've got all the necessities, the things we have now - we can make it," Pastor Huntley said.

What has not changed is the Bible. The words there are the same.

Pastor Huntley said the church's mission is still to inspire hope that despite tribulations, everything is alright.

"The same word they had back then in 1868, that's what we've got today. That's the foundation that they laid back then. We're still standing on that solid foundation," Pastor Huntley said.

Lott said she remembers the sacrifices people made just to hear those messages in her earlier days.

"Back then they would ask the mens, adult mens, you know how they pay sometimes? Grown mens would pay 25 cents. They' paid whatever. They were farmers," Lott said.

"I've heared my mother say sometime the preacher maybe went away with $2," Lott said.

Their building just got a new roof last year after that awful hail storm in 2013. Before that it had not been replaced since it was built when President Calvin Coolidge was in office.

If you'd like the viewers of NEWS CHANNEL 12 to learn about your church community, contact Jacob Kittilstad at jkittilstad@wjtv.com or 601-664-8839.
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