Day 6: Building stairways to home

By: Molly Fulghum

Thursday started early at 6:30 a.m. with a hearty and delicious breakfast cooked by some of the gentlemen of Parkway Baptist Church.  We are extremely grateful to them for starting so early in the morning!  This was following a huge variety of home cooked dishes prepared by the church members for dinner the night before and an inspiration service including a presentation by the pastor’s daughter Beth Rinehart as part of her preparation for the upcoming Speakers Tournament, a division of Bible Drills.

Thursday was a day off from cycling so what do the Fuller Center Cyclists do on a day off?  We build of course!  We were driven to Greenwood Mississippi to assist with their current project "Baptist Town Neighborhood Revitalization".   Fuller Center Project manager Emily Roush greeted us when we arrived.  Emily is one of 11 Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellows in the United States.  She and her husband Richard both work with the Fuller Center in Greenwood.

Their current projects include taking Katrina Cottages, now called Mississippi Cottages, and utilizing them as new homes for the Baptist Town community.  She has been working on this project for about 14 months even though the overall project has been in the works for several years. The Fuller Center in Greenwood is a partner with other foundations and community design centers and the city of Greenwood Mississippi for this project. They have taken great care on the Mississippi Cottages getting them prepped for families. Our volunteer group of cyclists used Thursday to build stairs for these cottages.  We are quite fortunate that many of the cyclists are highly skilled in carpentry and those of us who are not still work hard to lend a hand.

It has been a bit of a long road for the Baptist Town project including getting a bill passed in order to move forward which meant writing new legislation – a new activity for Emily who is an architect.

The timeline for completion of these cottages for the neighborhood is still to be determined but certainly in the near future with the ground breaking planned for May of this year.  A major change for these cottages is that they will be permanent housing.  They are now on wheels and considered more like a trailer, the cottages will be moved to permanent foundations in the Baptist Town community and therefore will be a permanent home –  raising the value of the home as well as the structural integrity of the home.

45 applications have been submitted and the Fuller Center is now ready to offer mortgages to 9 families to move into these fabulous cottages. Once they are complete.

We ended our day back at Parkway Baptist Church in Houston MS where a wonderful dinner of pulled pork and all the fixin’s were ready and waiting when we arrived.   We simply cannot thank the wonderful people of Parkway Baptist Church enough for their generous hospitality!!  We are now prepped and ready to continue the ride on the Trace!!

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