The church’s one foundation
By JAMIE PATTERSON
Pastor Billy Barron said it is not a building that makes a church, it’s the people and love inside it.
He should know. The church he has ministered for almost 30 years was completely wiped out by the April tornado.
“The nucleus of the church has really held together though,” he said, looking out on the church’s barren building site. “It’s not about the building.”
Ebenezer Baptist Church has a long rich history in its small community. The hot sun now beats down on the once shaded lot. All that is left is the church cemetery and empty land.
But the memories are still there.
Ebenezer Baptist Church was established in 1879. The church building was constructed in 1880, and its first services were held on Aug. 14, 1881.
Ten days before its 129th anniversary, the deadly tornado destroyed it.
The country church had stood its ground on top of a hill for 128 years, eight months, 10 days, 12 hours and 40 minutes.
Billy Barron and his wife Margaret were attending a funeral in Meridian when the tornado hit. But they were on the site within a few hours.
“It felt like my heart had sunk to my stomach,” Billy said.
Margaret said that feeling is still there for her as she looked out onto the old church site.
“The longer it goes on, the more I miss it,” Margaret said.
Billy said he understands the grief many of the members felt and continue to feel since the destruction.
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Last Updated (Friday, 10 September 2010 15:56)