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franklin county times

Kemper church rebuilding

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
April 8, 2001
Members of the Corinth Baptist Church in Kemper County may be without a building, but they aren't without friends.
A lot of friends.
A fire in December destroyed the historic church building in the Damascus Community that was built in 1906. It was a great personal loss to many of the members, who had gone to church there all of their lives. Since the fire, members have been holding services in manufactured housing or in the church buildings of other congregations.
People in area communities have come together to help. A fund-raising campaign has been ongoing, and a project is set for Good Friday that will likely bring them closer to their goal of $175,000.
Members of Corinth Baptist Church's congregation will hold a cookout in the old Sunflower parking lot facing the Kemper County Courthouse square in DeKalb from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Choir Director Geraldine Higginbotham said they will sell hamburgers, sausage dogs, chips and baked goods. They will also raffle off a boy's Easter basket and a girl's Easter basket.
The congregation was devastated when their church burned to the ground on Dec. 11. Rev. Robert Higginbotham said some of the older members were born in the building.
After months of collecting donations and with the help of a February chicken plate sale and singing the congregation has raised $130,000 toward its goal. They raised about $10,600 of that total during the February fund-raiser and need another $45,000 to complete the building.
She said most of the church's 30- to 40-member congregation attended.
Easter Sunday morning services will be held at Big Oak Methodist Church on Old Jackson Road in Damascus, but, hopefully, by next year, the Corinth Baptist membership will be having services in their own building.
Higginbotham said the experience has brought a close congregation closer and made them stronger.
The building site for the new church three acres donated by Sarah Neal and Lisa, Britt, Megan and Leslie Pevey is a little less than a mile from the site where the old church stood on Highway 495 North, she said.
Anyone wishing to offer their labor or donate building materials may call the Higginbothams at 737-4399. Anyone wishing to contribute funds may mail donations to Corinth Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 151, Bailey, MS, 39320.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.