Focused on Mississippi: Rebuilding a Church in Rodney

Focused on Mississippi

RODNEY, Miss. (WJTV) – I’ve taken us to Rodney before, mostly to look at the slow deterioration of the Presbyterian Church. However, progress is being made to reverse the aging process.

The south wall of the church had been torn down. The old wall was leaning out about five inches in the middle from where it was originally built. The wall was precariously close to turning the whole building into a pile of bricks. Bob Adams of Jackson is the architect in charge of the restoration.

“We figured if it bowed another half and inch it would collapse. And when that wall collapsed, it would pull the roof down with it which would pull the whole building down,” Adams explained.

The wall has been completely rebuilt. Who paid for it? Well, a bunch of people who donated to the Rodney History and Preservation Society.

“Because Rodney needs to be saved. We’ve lost so much down there. It was known as Mississippi’s ghost town, of course, when you and I were younger. But much of it has gone away because most of it was wood construction. There’s still a Baptist church down there that gets flooded just about every year, and it’s beyond salvation, I think,” stated Adams.

The next fundraiser for the Rodney church is to shore up the bell tower. It has a distinct lean toward the east, and Adams said that lean is another disaster in the making.

“If we lose that bell tower, we will lost the building.”

There are tales and legends associated with the building. Speaking of the bell, supposedly it was cast including the metal from two thousand silver dollars.

But the silver bell really doesn’t ring true. Maybe it cost $2,000, but there is the cannon ball in the front wall. That’s real and the church was really shelled in the Civil War. That story will have to keep for another day when we again wander to the end of the backroad down to Rodney.

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