Thursday, June 21, 2018

Winston County Library System Board Meeting

The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System Board of Trustees met at the Winston County Library recently. The library system is made of Attala, Winston, Leake, Holmes and Montgomery Counties and includes 13 libraries. One library Trustee Board member from each county comprises the System Board.  


Seated (l-r) Richard Greene, Executive Director of the MMRLS Library System and who will be retiring 6/30/18 after serving 42 years; incoming Executive Director Josh Haidet. Standing (l-r)MMRLS Business Manager Tammy Bell; Winston County System Trustee Rhonda Porter; Leake County System Trustee Martha Ramzy; Attala County System Trustee Terri Jones; and Holmes County System Trustee Flora Pilgrim. Not pictured, Montgomery County System Trustee Margaret Harris.




Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Library Hosts Retirement Party for Richard Greene

Mr. Greene’s surprise retirement event at the Winston County Library during the County Board of Trustee’s Meeting Wednesday, June 13th in the library meeting room.

There was a cake, punch and other refreshments and the Board Members presented him with a gift. Everyone else came by to wish Richard well and to meet our new System Director, Josh Haidet.

(l-r)  Former Friends of the Library President, Sylvia Clark; Former Friends of the Library Founder and President, JoAnn Brandt; Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Rhonda Porter; City Alderman-At-Large Frances Ball; Alderman Judy McLeod; Mayor Will Hill; Winston County Board of Trustee Member Clementine Eichelberger; incoming Mid-Mississippi Regional Library Director Josh Haidet; Mid-Mississippi Regional Library Executive Director Richard Greene; Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System Business Director Tammy Bell;  City Attorney Taylor Tucker (in back); Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Judy Post; Winston County Library Board of Trustee James Woodiel; and Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Sarah Garrigues.





Summer Library Programs In Full Swing

Winston County Library hosted another Tiny Tots (3-5 year-olds) program this past Tuesday. The children listened to stories, sang songs, danced and had craft time. They made tamborines! In this photo, Tiny Tots participants (l-r) Madison and Gracie Davis proudly show off their tamborines. Madison, (3) and Gracie, (5) are the children of Tiffon Moore 
and Eric Davis.












The Winston County Library hosted a Board Game and Photography program for teens this week. They played Jenga, dominoes, electronic games and practiced photography with camera kits loaned from the Mississippi Library Commission in Jackson, MS.












Library Receives Book Donation: "Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans"

The Library received this beautiful hard-bound book donated to public libraries and Korean War vets by Remember My Service Publishing House.

Over 275,000 copies of Korea Reborn have already been given as a free gift of gratitude directly to Korean War veterans from a grateful South Korean people. This beautiful, 176-page, coffee-table-style book pays tribute to and honors the service and sacrifice of our Korean War veterans who changed the fate of a nation. Through historical narrative, stories, and stunning photography, this book describes the struggle for Korea's freedom and, ultimately, the fruits of that struggle-a prosperous and free democracy. 

The library will catalog the book and it will be available to the public shortly.







Monday, June 18, 2018

East Central Community College Names Eric Neel as Next Softball Coach

Eric Neel, who has coached high school girls’ fast pitch softball teams to five state championships in Mississippi, has been selected as the new softball coach at East Central Community College in Decatur.

Neel comes to the ECCC Lady Warrior program after leading the Lake High School girls’ softball team to a second-place finish in the 2018 Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A State Fast Pitch Tournament. It was Lake’s first appearance in the state championship finals. The Lady Hornets also won the North State Fast Pitch Title this past spring.

Neel will begin his duties at East Central on July 1. He replaces Kristin Chaney, who resigned following the 2018 season. Chaney led the Lady Warriors for six seasons, amassing 233 wins and six trips to the postseason, including a second-place finish at the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Softball Championship Tournament.

“My family and I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the East Central Community College family,” said Neel, who has coached fast pitch softball at the high school or junior/community college level for 11 years. “There are times in life when things fall into place and line up just right, and there is no denying who has really been in control of working things together. I know the good Lord brought us to this place, and my family looks forward to becoming an active part of the Decatur and Newton County communities.

“Our main goal is to retain the top players from the college’s five-county district, as well as recruit the best players from the state and a few out of state. A strong foundation has been laid by Coach Chaney and Coach Hill [assistant coach Megan] within the program, and I look forward to continuing to build a national championship contending team year in and year out.”

“Eric Neel is an outstanding coach with a proven track record of commitment to both the academic achievement and athletic development of student-athletes under his leadership,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. “As a successful coach of championship programs at the high school and community college levels, he knows what it takes to build and maintain a successful softball program. I am confident that Coach Neel will continue to develop our Lady Warrior softball program the EC Way—Excellence with Class, and I am excited that he will be leading the women’s softball team at East Central Community College.”

Neel began his girls’ softball coaching career at East Central High School in Hurley, where his teams played in three straight Class 4A state championship series, winning titles in 2007 and 2009. He was named The (Biloxi) Sun Herald Softball Coach of the Year both championship seasons.

As head coach at Wayne County High School in Waynesboro, he guided the Lady War Eagles to three straight Class 5A state championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Neel was named The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger’s Softball Coach of the Year in 2010 and the Mississippi Association of Coaches Fast Pitch Softball Coach of the Year in 2012.

As head softball coach at Biloxi High School, he coached the Lady Indians to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs in 2015. Neel also has coached softball at Petal High School and Quitman High School, as well as taught at Meridian High School, and served as an assistant football coach while at East Central, Wayne County, Petal, Biloxi, and Meridian high schools.

As head softball coach at Darton State College in Albany, Ga., Neel guided the Lady Cavaliers to the NJCAA Region 17 Championship and a trip to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship Tournament in 2014. Neel was named the NJCAA Region 17 Coach of the Year after leading Darton State to a 46-12 record. He was also head softball coach at Baton Rouge (La.) Community College in 2015-16.

In all, Neel has compiled a 272-132 record over 11 seasons, including five high school state championships, seven state championship appearances, and seven south or north state titles, as well as one regional championship and national championship tournament appearance at the junior/community college level.

Neel received his bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 and his master’s degree in secondary education from William Carey University in 2008.

He and his wife, Lindsey, who will teach English in the Newton County School System beginning this fall, currently reside in Lake. Together they have six children.

“I’m pleased that Eric Neel has accepted the position of head softball coach for our Lady Warriors,” said ECCC dean of personnel services and athletics Chris Harris, who chaired the search committee that selected Neel. “Coach Neel’s experience in recruiting in the NJCAA will serve him well as he prepares to compete in this very competitive league.”

Paul Nixon, who will begin his duties this month as ECCC’s new athletics director following the retirement of Harris, also was involved in the search.

“We are excited about the addition of Eric Neel as the next head coach of our softball program,” commented Nixon. “He has a history of winning at all levels. Coach Neel plans on getting started right away to complete this year’s recruiting class and finalize next year’s schedule. He is a high-energy coach who will attract the right young women to East Central softball”





Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Snakeman Presents Annual Program at Librray


Snakeman (Terry Vandeventer) presented (as usual!) a thrilling educational program on snakes to children at the Winston County Library last Tuesday, as part of the Summer Library Program. A few lucky volunteers were chosen to hold up a 7-foot indigo snake at the end of the program. “The Snakeman is a staple of our Summer Library Program,” said Children’s Librarian Andrea McHenry. “The children look forward to seeing him every year!”






Dave’s Pet Food Voluntarily Recalls 95% Premium Beef Canned Dog Food Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Thyroid Hormone

Dave’s Pet Food of Agawam, MA is recalling a single lot of Dave’s Dog Food 95% premium beef cans because the products potentially contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.

Product was distributed all along the east coast of the US, sold in pet stores and ecommerce sites.

The recalled product consists of a single batch (548 cases) of 13 oz., 95% premium beef dog food with a UPC # of 85038-11167 and a date code of 08/2020.
Consumers who have purchased the specific product listed above should stop feeding it to their dogs. If consumers have questions or would like to receive a refund or coupon for replacement product, they should call us at 1-888-763-2738 Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST.

No other Dave’s products, or any other product manufactured by Dave’s Pet Food, are impacted.

The voluntary recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.






Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tiny Tots Summer Program

Winston County Library’s Tiny Tots Summer Program met again this past Tuesday in the library meeting room. Children’s Librarian Andrea McHenry (center, back) and volunteer Dot McCorckle (left, in blue t-shirt), read stories, sang songs, danced, colored pictures of instruments and did crafts. “It is a joy having these children come to the Summer Library Program,” said McHenry. “Seeing the smiles on their faces as they sing and dance and do fun crafts makes my day!”







Farmers Market Opens at Friends of Dean Park


C:\Users\Elmetra\Documents\alonzo Miller.jpg
Farmers Peggy and Alonzo Miller of Louisville, MS

Over 16 farmers have united to start a farmers’ market at Friends of Dean Park, Inc. (FODP), 3890 Highway 15 South, Louisville, MS . The grand opening will be Monday, June 18, 2018, 10:30 – 6:00 p.m. The president of the group, Alonzo Miller is so excited about this venture and wants the public to know that they have been attempting to get this started for several years. He stated, “We have ready to harvest for the market: squash, cucumbers, purple hulled peas, butterbeans, watermelons, cabbage, tomatoes, string beans, okra and corn. We are asking for other farmers to join us. We will be located on the property o f Friends of Dean Park, Inc. which is south of Dean Park – actually right next door. We are appreciative of FODP for giving us this opportunity.” The market will be opened Monday through Saturday with fruits, veggies and canning goods. For more information, please contact Alonzo Miller, 662.705-1257.

Submitted by: Elmetra Patterson




Teen Summer Program Fun


Winston County Library Summer Library Teen Program this week featured guitarist Robert Burchfield from Winston County. He taught the teens the basics of guitar playing, played popular songs, told them his inspiration for playing guitar and let them each play some on his guitar. “The teens really liked this program,” said Children’s Librarian Andrea McHenry. “He is very talented, entertaining and really connects with the teens.”


Cayden Brown got his first library card at the Winston County Library this week and checked out his first two books. He is the son of Brittany and Lee Brown, of Louisville and he will be entering the first grade at Winston Academy. “He was so excited to finally get his very own library card,” said librarian Beth Edwards. “Then his mother signed him up for the Summer Library Program – he can’t wait to see Snakeman!”




Saturday, June 9, 2018

Winston County Library - A Great Place for Summer Fun

On Friday, June 08, 2018, school children and some parents, visited the Winston County Library to get library cards and to sign up for the Summer Library Program. Led by Mrs. Tamara Eaves (far right), the children attend school at Nanih Waiya and Bogue Chitto. “We were so pleased to give them a tour of the library and to sign them up for their first library card,” said Librarian Beth Edwards. “They were so excited to see all the books and toys and artwork in the children and teen rooms.”


ECCC’s Clark Named Mississippi Association of Coaches Golf Coach of Year

East Central Community College Golf Coach Chris Clark has added another honor to the Warriors’ highly successful 2017-18 golf season, this time being named the Mississippi Association of Coaches Community College Golf Coach of the Year.

Clark will be honored at the MAC Hall of Fame Banquet June 22 in Jackson.

Earlier this spring Clark, who has been the head golf coach at ECCC in Decatur since 2011, was named the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Golf Co-Coach of the Year for 2017-18 by the other coaches in the MACJC.

A native of Decatur and former all-state golfer at ECCC, Clark led his 2017-18 Warrior golf team to a
fourth-place finish in the MACJC Conference/State Tournament, a third-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association District D Tournament, and the college’s first-ever team trip to the NJCAA National Championship, where the Warriors finished 12th as a team. Sophomore golfer Jacob Hamner finished 13th individually and was named NJCAA Second Team All American.

Clark’s father, the late Joe Clark, was named MACJC Golf Coach of the Year in 2001. He started the East Central golf program and served as coach for 30 years.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Restraining Order Extended Over Methodist Church Property

Attorneys for Louisville's First Methodist Church and the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) met in Chancery Court in Winston County today (Wednesday, June 6). After discussion and at the encouragement of Judge Kilgore, the parties involved reached agreement to extend the general terms of the temporary restraining order issued on May 30th.

The issue arose after church members of the Louisville Church  voted to withdraw the congregation's membership from the United Methodist Church (UMC) denomination. The withdrawal resulted in a dispute over ownership and possession of church assets between the local members and the United Methodist Conference.

The previous restraining order was temporary and allowed both parties to use and occupy church properties and prevented either party from limiting access. Today's ruling extended that order until the case can be litigated.

Louisville's First Methodist Church issued the following statement after today's decision:

"The dispute between the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and church members who recently chose to withdraw from the denomination continued in the Winston County Chancery Court on Wednesday. With minor modifications, the parties to the dispute agreed upon extending the terms of the Court’s Temporary Restraining Order issued last week. The new Order will allow the continued use of the church facilities and other church property by both the members who have chosen to leave the denomination and the remaining members who wish to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church until such time as the Court is able to consider and rule on all pending issues."



Winston County Election Results - June 5th Primaries


Final unofficial results with absentee ballots for Winston County..... 1810 votes cast represents
15.02% of registered voters in Winston County.

Democratic Primary:
U.S. Senate

David Baria                  100    13.00%
Jensen Bohren               24       3.12%
Jerone Garland              77     10.01%
Victor G. Maurice Jr.     39        5.07%
Omeria Scott                  320     41.61%
Howard Sherman           206     26.79%
Write - In                        3   

U.S. House of Rep 01
1st Congressional District

Randy Mack Wadkins *    585    99.32%

Write -in                                 4

Republican Primary
U.S. Senate

Richard Warren Boyanton    106     10.37%
Roger Wicker                        916    89.63%

U.S. House of Rep 01
1st Congressional District

Trent Kelly*         1002    99.60
Write _in                   4


*Declared winner



Winston County Library Hosted G & J Petting Zoo Tuesday June 5

Everyone (children and adults) had a great time at the Winston County Library’s program Tuesday – G & J Petting Zoo from the Tupelo area. The program featured two camels, a baby zebra, a horse, a pygmy cow, rabbits, a kangaroo, miniature goats and much more! “This is the first time we’ve had a petting zoo,” said librarian Beth Edwards. “I’m so glad we did – the kids loved it!'









Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mayor's Youth Council 2018 Graduates

LHS from left to right
LaQuinton Kelly, Carlmeisha Hunt,
Alicia Michelle Hopkins, & Eric Sudduth
These students have all served on the Mayor's Youth Council for multiple years. The MYC provides opportunities for students to accumulate Community Service hours and is beneficial for resume building and scholarship opportunities. The students also interact with local government officials and conduct meetings on their own. The students also attended a Statewide Youth Leadership Summit in the Spring and this year it was hosted by the Mississippi Municipal League at Jackson State University. Currently, the MYC of Louisville are making plans to attend a Summer Conference in Biloxi which provides educational and networking opportunities for our Leaders of Tomorrow.

Mayor Hill is extremely proud of these young people and their willingness to serve. It is a pleasure to have them represent our community when we are able to attend statewide events. Congratulations to all the graduates of 2018!

Not pictured from Grace Christian - Jamal Kelly & Eric Humphries


 Home School Graduate:  Elijah Caudill

Summer Library Program - Delta Blues!

Maie Smith (center) – Tour Manager for the Mississippi Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS presented a program on the Delta Blues to teens in the “Libraries Rock” Summer Library Program at the Winston County Library this past Monday. She began with the “Father of the Blues”, W. C. Handy, and ended with B. B. King. “Every genre of modern music in America started with the Blues,” said Smith. “Jazz, Rock and Roll, Rap – all of these have roots in the Blues of the Mississippi Delta.”


Prayer Service - 6 PM Thursday - First Methodist Church

The following press release was issued this morning by Louisville's First Methodist Church:

A city wide prayer service has been set for Thursday at 6 p.m. on the steps of First Methodist Church in Louisville following, by one day, this Wednesday’s scheduled hearing in the Chancery Court of Winston County. At the hearing, First Methodist Church of Louisville will seek to have a Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court last week expanded to a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction in its dispute with the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 97% of the church’s members attending a Church Conference in March voted to withdraw from the denomination prompting the Conference to dismiss the pastor and to attempt to exercise the Trust Clause to remove them from the building used for services, funerals weddings and other church activities. The Conference’s actions prompted an outpouring of support for the local church from across the local community as well as the State of Mississippi, the United States and several foreign countries. Last week’s Temporary Restraining Order allowed normal church activities to resume. The church has issued the following statement:


“Rev. Mike Childs and the members of First Methodist Church of Louisville, Inc., invite fellow Christian believers from all denominations and faiths to join them for a short prayer vigil on the Main Street steps of the church on Thursday, June 7 at 6 p.m. at which time they will call upon the Lord for his continued blessings and guidance in the days ahead. In the event of inclement weather, the vigil will be held in the sanctuary.”

Monday, June 4, 2018

Primary Election - June 5th

The primary election for U.S Senate is fast approaching. For your review - sample ballots for each party are shown below. We'll have more information as the election approaches.



Library Kicks Off Tiny Tots Summer Program

The Winston County Library’s “Libraries Rock” Summer Library Programs started off with a bang and a rattle this past Monday for the Tiny Tots Program (3-5 year-olds). Children’s Librarian Andrea McHenry led the children in songs, storytelling, puppetry and crafts. They made musical rattles out of empty plastic water bottles. The Tiny Tots program will be held each Monday in June from 9:30 – 10:30. Open to the public.






Job Opening at Winston County Courthouse

THE WINSTON COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IS TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR PAYROLL CLERK. RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE PAYROLL, INSURANCE, AND OTHER DUTIES AS NEEDED. PRIOR EXPERIENCE DESIRED. SALARY IS NEGOTIABLE. CALL 662-773-3631 FOR MORE INFORMATION.

PLEASE SUBMIT RESUME TO THE CHANCERY CLERK’S OFFICE IN THE WINSTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE. DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018, AT NOON.

Friday, June 1, 2018

2018 Hurricane Season Officially Begins

PEARL – Today, June 1, marks the official start to the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We have
already seen the first named storm of the season in Alberto which made landfall along the Florida panhandle and moved north through the middle of Alabama.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reminds residents that being prepared before a storm hits will make things less stressful during and after.

“Mississippi government is prepared to respond, but everything starts with individuals and families being ready,” said MEMA Interim Director J.W. Ledbetter. “Know where you will go and what supplies you will need. Also prepare for days, perhaps weeks without electricity after the storm passes.”

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30. Remember no matter what the season holds, it only takes one.

One of the first steps you should take is to create or restock an emergency supply kit:
Flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
Non-perishable food for at least three days.
One gallon of water, per person, per day for at least three days.
Toiletry items.
Pet food and pet supplies.
Medicine and prescription medication.
Copies of important family papers and documents.
Cash and travelers checks, enough to fill up your vehicle with fuel.

You can download the 2018 MEMA Hurricane Preparedness Guide http://www.msema.org/be-prepared/hurricanes/. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter.


                                                                       

Winston Co Supervisors' Meeting Agenda - June 4, 2018

1. CALL TO ORDER
2.      PRAYER

3.      DENNIS REGINELLI, MSI.J EXTENSION OFFICE - INTRODUCTION OF NEW AGRICULTURE AGENT
4.      JIMMY KEMP, COUNTY ENGINEER
5.      DEAN PARK COMMISSIONERS
6.      WINSTON PLYWOOD APPLICATIONS FOR EXEMPTION
7.      APPROVE COURT REPORTER EXPENSES- LINDSEY WILLIAMS, $146.04; REGAN CARPENTER, $56.68
8.      APPROVE MINUTES OF MAY 7, 2018 MEETING
9.      APPROVE CLAIMS DOCKET
10.   APPROVE PAYROLL CLAIMS DOCKET
11.   APPROVE OVERTIME REPORT
12.   APPROVE CASH IN BANK REPORT
13.   ACKNOWLEDGE ANNUAL REPORT FOR CONSTABLE ROY DALE FULTON
14.   APPROVE SCHOOL BUS TURN AROUND, DISTRICT 3
15.   DISCUSS POSSIBLE CHANGES TO LIST OF GTPDD ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
16.   DISCUSS DATASYSTEMS QUOTE FOR TIME CLOCKS
17.   FYI: LETTER FROM FEMA CONCERNING FIRST APPEAL, PROJECT WORKSHEET 102,
106, 127
18.   APPROVE DAYS OFF BEFORE/AFTER HOLIDAY: ROBIN CLARK, JULY          AND 6;
19.   DISCUSS WINSTON PLYWOOD PAYMENTS/ VARIABLE INTEREST RATE
20.   DEPARTMENT HEADS
21.   EXECUTIVE SESSION
22.   ADJOURN MEETING TO MONDAY, JULY 2, 2018, 9:00 AM



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Farm Services Agency Deadline for Crop Reporting

Acreage Reporting Deadline - July 16

The acreage reporting deadline for spring-seeded crops such as corn, soybeans, rice and cotton is July 16, 2018Please contact their office at 662-773-2207 extension 2 to make an appointment to certify your crops.
To be eligible for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program or a Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) or Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP), producers must submit an acreage report to account for all cropland on all farms.


Temporary Restraining Order Issued Over Methodist Church Property

A temporary restraining order was issued this afternoon by Winston County Chancery Court Judge Edward Fenwick related to the ownership and possession of  property in dispute between Louisville's First Methodist Church  and the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC).  This order bars UMC from taking possession of/ or exercising control of the property in dispute between the local church and UMC until a hearing on a preliminary injunction can be held on June 6, 2018.

The First Methodist Church of Louisville issued the following press release:

On Wednesday, First Methodist Church of Louisville, Inc. and The Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church reached an Agreement that led to the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order by the Chancery Court of Winston County. The Order holds in abeyance directives from the Bishop and District Superintendent that left most of the church’s membership having to find temporary space to hold worship services and Sunday School this past Sunday. Earlier this year 97% of the Church members attending a church conference voted to leave the denomination. Six members voted to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The Conference also removed the church’s pastor, Rev. Mike Childs, and gave him and his family 30 days to vacate the parsonage which is provided by the church. The conference has also indicated its plans to seize control of the church’s bank accounts and savings.

The church had for several months been pondering, as a matter of conscience, whether or not to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church pertaining primarily with doctrinal issues. On March 25, United Methodist Starkville District Superintendent, Dr. Embra Jackson, called a church conference as provided for in the Discipline to resolve that issue. Members in attendance were asked to indicate by signed ballots whether or not they wished to remain a member of First United Methodist Church or to withdraw their membership. And, if the later, they were asked to indicate where they wanted their membership transferred. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church provides that persons wishing to vote at a church conference have to be present. Of those attending, 175 members voted to withdraw their membership and have it transferred to First Methodist Church of Louisville, Inc. (a non-profit church organized in 1961 and in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office.) Six members voted to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church. After the vote, the District Superintendent sent letters on two different occasions to all members on the church roll who were not in attendance and requested they also vote, notwithstanding the Discipline’s requirement that only those present at the church conference could vote. First Methodist Church, Inc. Board of Directors’ chairman Harry Kemp said, “We couldn’t help but feel the rules were being changed after the fact with these letters being sent to persons who had previously been told by the Conference they could not vote unless they attended the church Conference. No one in the pastoral or lay leadership of our church was notified of the letters being mailed. We could not help but be concerned that the rules were changed after the Conference realized 97% attending the church Conference had voted to withdraw. And, we have not been informed of the results of the two separate pollings that were sent my mail.”

Under Mississippi law, the Temporary Restraining Order can only remain in place for a maximum of 10 days. Consequently, a hearing has been set for Wednesday, June 6 to hear arguments relating to converting the temporary order to a permanent order. At that hearing both First Methodist and the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church will be allowed to present arguments relevant to the issues. Scott R. Hendrix, attorney for First Methodist, expressed his hopes that the Court will then convert its temporary order to a permanent injunction allowing the overwhelming majority of the church members to worship in the building they and their ancestors have paid for and built and to do so until formal litigation can resolve the dispute. “There are numerous legal issues involved in this dispute and, before the congregants of First Methodist Church are evicted by the Conference, they deserve to have their day in court,” Hendrix said. The Temporary Restraining Order does not resolve any of those issues on a permanent basis and the arguments presented represent only one side of the legal argument. However, next Sunday church members and their children will be assured of having a place to worship and attend Sunday Sunday School. And, we hope that will continue beyond this next Sunday so that church members can celebrate weddings and funerals, operate its kindergarten, send its youth to summer camps, and all other church activities while the legal arguments regarding church assets are heard and decided by a court,” Hendrix said.

Rev. Mike Childs said he is overwhelmed by the support from not only Mississippians but from across the United States and even some foreign countries. And, Childs added, “Churches from many different Christian denominations within our community have been so thoughtful to offer their facilities to us during these difficult days. Truly, the Christian community of Louisville and Winston County has been jarred by these manmade decisions. But our faith in Jesus Christ has not been compromised!”

An ecumenical, community-wide prayer service on the Main Street steps of the church in downtown Louisville has been planned for Thursday, June 7.


First Methodist Files Restraining Order Against United Methodist Conference


 A request for a restraining order and injunction by the First Methodist Church of Louisville against the Mississippi Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) was filed yesterday, Tuesday, May 29 in the Chancery Court of Winston County.

As previously reported, members of the local church voted in March to separate from the Conference. (see original story at http://www.winwebnews.com/2018/05/members-of-louisvilles-first-methodist.html). 

In a May 23 meeting, the UMC informed Louisville members of its intent to retain control of the church property through the use of a “Trust Clause” in the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline which constitutes the doctrine of the UMC. This in effect, left members without facilities and funds to hold and conduct church services and business.

In Tuesday’s legal filing, The First Methodist Church of Louisville seeks a temporary restraining order noting that “The Conference’s threatened actions will strip all assets from First Methodist, will prevent the membership of First Methodist from effectively meeting and will prevent First Methodist from performing the religious and/or charitable services for which it was founded……”

First Methodist of Louisville seeks to prevent the implementation of the Trust Clause, the loss of possession of the church property and its bank accounts and funds until the matter can be addressed through legal means.

An emergency session of Chancery Court is expected to be held sometime today to address the issue. WWN will provide updates as information becomes available.