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Church cleaning up old hospital

A representative of a Tylertown church is promising that the dilapidated hospital and property at the corner of North Jackson and West Congress streets will no longer be an eyesore in the city.

Dexter Pentecostal Church recently received the property from Railroad Investments after paying the back taxes that were owed on the property since 2014.

“We’re going to make Brookhaven proud of this building,” said Jerry Terrell, a representative of Dexter Pentecostal Church. “We have various plans that we want to do with this building that we will unveil in the near future. We’re possibly looking into a child advocacy center, rehab facility or a medical clinic.”

Terrell said their main goal is to get the area cleaned up first. They are going to replace all of the doors and windows of the building, landscape the area and then begin the extensive renovations inside the building.

Work has begun already and the property shows a definite improvement in appearance. Grass has been cut and old limbs and debris are being removed.

“It will probably be the end of the year or beginning of next year before we really get the building heading in the right direction,” Terrell said. “We’ve got a lot going on, we’re just ready to get to work.”

The hospital is located in Ward 6 and has been abandoned for years.

Ward 6 Alderwoman Shelley Harrigill said during Tuesday night’s board meeting that she is happy to report that progress is being made.

“I’m thankful to the owners for taking an interest in Brookhaven and investing their time and resources,” Harrigill said. “I’m thrilled to see what they are able to do with it.”

The hospital was built in 1922 by the Willing Hearts Circle as an upgrade to the original hospital on Chickasaw Street. Over the years, King’s Daughters Medical Center continued to grow, and it eventually moved to KDMC’s location on Hwy. 51 in 1964.

“We’re pleased to see Dexter Pentecostal Church take possession of this property and clean it up,” said Mayor Joe Cox. “I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with it. I think it’s good for the city of Brookhaven.”

Community work day

Michael Gines asked aldermen to about the possibility of a community work day at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

“On several streets throughout the community, we have dilapidated buildings and lots that are overgrown with grass and weeds. If a child thinks that this is a way of life, then they will become conditioned to these standards of living. This is what has been going on communities throughout our surrounding areas,” Gines said.

Gines believes that one solution would be to create a community work day. He said if he can get citizens and city leaders together and have hands on action in the community, it would go a long way to improving the city.

“I want us to start doing things in a community as a whole,” Gines said.

In other business, Jeff Richardson of the King’s Daughters Foundation invited board members to attend the opening ceremony of the memorial garden Wednesday at 11 a.m.