Carolyn Mills provides a weekly view from the community.
Teresa Ingram presented STEADY ON, her voice and piano students in a recital at Pleasant Hill UMC in the Family Life Center which had been decorated by Susan Jernigan, Sharri and Teresa by candlelight on Thursday night April 26 after the power outage that happened on that night.
The students who preformed were: Anna Katherine, Johnson, Chandler, and Abby Wells, Marly McMillin, Sophie Vanlandingham and Harley Thomas.
Mothers of the students, Mrs. Chris Wells, Mrs. David Wells, Mrs. Barry Vanlandingham, Mrs. Randy Thomas and Mrs.Robby McMillin brought homemade salads and fixings and Teresa brought ice cream and fixings served to all present before the recital began. Alene Ingram and Lee Kinard helped serve the salads but guests, students and all present helped themselves at the beautifully decorated blizzard bar.
Center Ridge UMC held their annual Memorial Service on the first Sunday in May. Attendance was low this year with several empty pews. Rev. Mike Dowd brought the message. Lunch was enjoyed after the worship service. Some ate in the Fellowship Hall and some chose to go outside and eat under the pavilion. It was a beautiful day, warm, breezy and so pleasant to be outside.
As stated the attendance was not up to the usual large crowd that comes on Memorial Day.
The only Hall relatives present for the service were: Roxene and Charles Addkinson from Starkville, and Kendal Price and his daughter Cynthia home for a visit with dad and to attend the service.
Virginia Hall Read’s family did not attend but her husband had set up a perpetual cemetery fund in her memory with a $10,000 gift with options for more to be added by interested persons in coming years. The fund can be used for the cemetery upkeep only and will be most useful if this small rural church ever ceases to be active.
There were no members of the late Wilmon and Ollie Mae Carr family present but their daughter, Emma Mae Hyde, donated a house on East Main Street she owned, before going into an assisted living home, to Center Ridge. It has already been rented and will be a good source of income for this Methodist Church.
No Allen relatives were present except Robert and his wife, His mother Louise Allen was laid to rest in Center Ridge Cemetery earlier this year. His father Hayes Allen is in the BEEHIVE assisted living home in Louisville. Many Allen relatives are buried in Center Ridge Cemetery, going back many years. The late Dick Allen left $25,000 years ago to the cemetery fund. The interest from this fund has helped pay for the upkeep until the present when CDs no longer are paying interest.
Billy Allen and his wife Zenita lost their home on McCullough Avenue in the April 28th tornado which destroyed 276 homes and damaged 149. Billy grew up in Center Ridge UMC and normally would have attended Memorial Service.
Others whose homes were destroyed in the tornado who came to Memorial Service included; William and Tracy McCully and daughter Myrrah, Benji Tucker and his two children, Jackson and Georgia. Tracy’s mother, Dean Dempsey, came with her children who are living with her since their home is no longer available. The McCullys rode out the storm in the basement of their office building in town. Benji’s wife Nickki’s parents Troy and Mary Burroughs, were present for the service with him and their grandchildren.
Hank and Beth Ann Watkins and daughter Brandi attended the service. They are members and attend worship regularly; Beth leads the song service and Brandi serves as acolyte. Hank’s mother’s home off Tuck Wilkes road,( Mrs Annabel Watkins’s home) was completely destroyed. She is residing with Hank and family at the present time, but is looking forward to getting a FEMA trailer. Beth’s mother, Nan Carr, who was a patient in the Winston Medical Nursing Home has been placed in a nursing home in Clinton.
Wade Mills’ auto repair shop across from Winston Medical Center was completely wiped out. Thankfully, he had left the shop to come home and check on his mother or he might have been one of the 10 victims who lost their lives in the tornado. Wade lives with his mother, Mary Alice Mills, who has declined mentally and physically the last couple of years. Mary Alice has been totally deft for a number of years.
Bobbye and the late M.L. Mills family filled several pews. Their granddaughter, Emily, was recognized during the Memorial Service as valedictorian of the class of 2014 of Noxapater Attendance Center. Bobbye was so pleased to have her great-granddaughter present with grandson Taylor Mills for her first time.
Lori Mills’ extended Kelley family filled two pews and were most welcome. I talked with her Aunt Grace Kelley briefly during lunch. Grace is 90 years old and still quite active.
W.L. Black’s family filled two pews. His daughter Debbie and two sons, his grandson Patrick Sr. and his son Patrick Jr. and twin daughters came for a visit with Murrey Lee and Robin Black and all were present with W. L. Patrick is from Florida and Debbie lives in Kiln, MS. Pat, Jr. sang two solos and accompanied himself on guitar during the worship service.
The church family still miss Norma Black who for many years served as treasurer and always cleaned and decorated the church for memorial Day and Christmas and saw that supplies were purchased. Robin, Norma’s daughter-in-law, is taking Norma’s place, cleaning and decorating. Thanks so much Robin.
Martha Mills is now serving as church treasurer..Most of the late Archie Mills family are present day members of Center Ridge UMC and most attended Memorial Service.
Danny Mills is the Center Ridge Cemetery caretaker. He also has taken on the job of cleaning the church grounds for Memorial Day. The cemetery and church lawn, parking lot and shrubbery looked great. Much better than when we as church members gathered to rake leaves and clean around the outside of the church. Thanks Danny.