First Baptist is second featured home for Christmas Pilgrimage

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The second place featured for the Civic Woman’s Club annual Christmas Pilgrimage is the First Baptist Church of Picayune.

The Pilgrimage, which is held each year, is scheduled for Saturday, December 5 and includes the home of Hensley and Deanna Lee of George Wise Road, Kenneth and Patricia Davis of Lake David Drive, Mrs. Colleen Buckley and her son, Keeth, of Checker Mitchell Road, and the Senior Center of South Pearl River County.

CWC member Darlene Adams explained that on the day of the tour, participants travel to each of the places on the pilgrimage and once there, present their ticket to be stamped. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door of any of the homes, church, or senior center on the day of the tour.

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Once at the site, a CWC member will give the participants a guided tour of the home or building, pointing out architectural details, renovations, or interesting facts about the place.

Adams said they chose to include the senior center this year because of its importance in the community, as well as it being a great place for restroom stops and to get warm and have a cup of hot cocoa.

Sponsored by the GFWC-MFWC Civic Woman’s Club of Picayune, the Pilgrimage gives participants an opportunity to see the insides of the homes, as well as the new addition to the church, or the updated senior center.

On the day of the Pilgrimage, participants will travel to each place at their own pace and present their ticket at the door to be stamped. A Civic Club lady will then give the participants a full tour of the home or building, unless a particular room or area has been cordoned off.

This week the First Baptist Church of Picayune is featured. The congregation has its roots as a mission of New Palestine Baptist Church. In 1904, a group from the mission met in in order to organize the Picayune Baptist Church, which would later become known by its present name.

Two years later, the first of the church’s buildings were dedicated. Between 1922 and 1925, the church was built on Goodyear Boulevard and 25 years later, an educational building and the Estes Chapel were built. The church building as it is today was finished in 1966 and can seat 1500 members.

As visitors and church members enter the church, they pass by six columns, each five feet in diameter at the base and 32 feet tall. Each column contains 32,000 bricks around a center steel support.

The bell tower, from the ground to the tip of the cross is 186 feet and the entire sanctuary is roofed with slate tiles.

The main floor, balcony, and pews are a rich red color and the choir loft, which can seat 100 choir members, has a concert grand piano on one side and a Hohler pipe organ with 41 ranks on the other.

This past October, The Link, a 34,000 square foot addition was dedicated. There pre-school children attend an Early Education class during the week. There is also room for preschool Bible classes on Sunday and the Awana program.

Upstairs of The Link, there is a large recreational area, a stage, a kitchen and the classrooms for students in seventh through twelfth grades.

Tickets for the Pilgrimage are pre-sold for $10, but can be purchased at any one of the featured sites on the day of the tour for $12. All proceeds from the tour go towards yearly scholarships for both Picayune Memorial and Pearl River Central High Schools. Tickets may be purchased from a CWC member or at the following locations — Checkered Lily, The Glass Porch and MeLinda’s Fine Gifts and More.