Rodney Presbyterian Church
Rodney, Mississippi (Jefferson County)
Few today can imagine as they drive through the tiny hamlet of Rodney that this was once a thriving river town, considered so full of possibilities that it almost became the capital of Mississippi.
Rodney Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1832, in the Federal style, extremely rare in religious architecture in the state. The building witnessed the rapid growth of the town in the 1840s and 1850s, as well as the slow decline, after the Mississippi River changed its course in the 1860s. The church even saw a bit of action during the Civil War as the Union gunboat USS Rattler bombarded the town with shells, which left scars on the church building that can still be seen today. By the turn of the century, Rodney’s population had declined considerably, and in 1923, the church, with a congregation of only sixteen members, lost its last pastor.
The Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy obtained the building in 1966, receiving a grant to restore it. Since then, however, funds to maintain Rodney Presbyterian have been low, and the building, among the oldest surviving churches in Mississippi, has slipped into another period of decline and is threatened by deterioration from the elements.
2015 Update – No Progress
Still owned by the Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Rodney Presbyterian Church sits idle and unused. With the exception of the occasional work day, the Rodney Presbyterian Church sits neglected and vulnerable to vandalism and the ravages of time.