Rodney Presbyterian Church undergoing repairs

From: Natchez Democrat

One of the highlights of visiting the Mississippi River ghost town of Rodney, located between Natchez and Lorman, is seeing the Rodney Presbyterian Church.

The church building was dedicated in 1832 and is recognized as a fine example of Federalist style architecture.

The structure has been neglected for decades and was on the verge of falling down until the Rodney History and Preservation Society purchased the building in 2018.

Work is now underway to restore the south wall of the Rodney Presbyterian Church to keep it from collapsing.

The church was built in a time when Rodney was a thriving port on the Mississippi River.

“The town of Rodney, located in Jefferson County grew and prospered after 1830 as an important shipping point along the Mississippi River,” according to the Rodney History and Preservation Society’s website. “After the Civil War, Rodney had a rapid decline in commerce and population brought on by the change of river course, a fire in 1869, which destroyed most of the northern district and railroad through Fayette during the 1880s which caused all cotton shipments to bypass Rodney.”

Today, several buildings left over from the prosperous times in Rodney remain in the flood-prone, low-lying area and are being overgrown by brush and weakened by neglect.

The Rodney History and Preservation Society organized in 2018 as a non-profit and with help from the late Mississippi Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, the Mississippi Legislature granted a portion of BP oil spill funds to the organization.

“We were able to acquire the (Rodney Presbyterian) church in November 2018,” said Mary Pallon, a relative of the church’s last pastor (1916-1923), who helped with restoration efforts in the 1950s to save the church, and one of five board members of the Rodney History and Preservation Society. “We pushed forward and 2019 was just gathering funds.”


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