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Hometown MADISON • 3

4 • JANUARY 2022


There’s a great verse in the

Bible that I believe helps to

describe the month of January.

It’s from Revelation 21:5 –

“Behold, I make all things new.”

Stop and think about it; we begin a brand-new year in 2022!

There are days before us never touched by history or experience.

That means we can begin “new” things – new relationships, new

hobbies, new friendships, new resolutions, new adventures, and

new ideas.

This issue carries the theme that’s well fitted for the beginning of

a “new” year – Renewed, Restored, and Redeemed. I believe it will

lift your spirits and help launch you into a bright, new year.

Surely all have felt the gift of restoration in some form, and the

greatest redemption has been offered to us through Jesus’ gift of

eternal life. Renewed? When I look in the mirror, I don’t always feel

like that word describes what I see, but it’s always the “inward” part

that we need to see as being what’s most important!

COVID and some of its relatives may continue to be a part of

the coming year as well as the expected negatives of life. The

economy is questionable as our government talks in “trillions.”

Health will continue to be a major concern as well as family

situations. We can either think on all the “what ifs” or take delight

in all the sunshine days that far outnumber the cloudy ones.

We at Hometown Magazines thank you for being a part of

another new year – 2022 begins our ninth year of a publication that

applauds the greatest hometown enjoyed by the greatest residents!

Happy NEW Year!



Brenda McCall



Tammy Pecoul



Tahya Dobbs



Caroline Hodges


Daniel Thomas



Kevin Dobbs



Alisha Floyd


Othel Anding


Mary Ann Kirby



Kim Cochram



Lexie Ownby


Reader Spotlight 6

Hometown Family 8

Neighborhood Eats 12

Renewed, Restored, Redeemed

Miracle Ear 22

Giving Back 26

Mercy House 30

Going the Distance 34

Kids Who Care 37

The Weight is Over 38

Learning to Be of Service 48

The Time Coin 58

...see you around town.

www.facebook.com/hometownmadisonmagazine. For subscription information visit www.htmags.com or contact us at info@HTMags.com / 601.706.4059 / 200 Felicity Street / Brandon, MS 39042

All rights reserved. No portion of Hometown Madison may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Madison is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

Hometown Madison maintains the unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted material. All advertisements are subject to approval by the publisher. The production of Hometown Madison is funded by advertising.

Hometown MADISON • 5





Why did you decide to make Madison

your home?

Mike and I chose Madison when we were first

married because we had heard about the amazing

public schools, the strong sense of community and

the wonderful Christian leadership. We felt that it

would be a perfect place to raise a family. There was

something so charming and inviting about Madison

that it immediately felt like home. Eventually, my

parents, my sister and her family, and my grandmother

also moved to Madison.

How long have you lived in Madison?

The first big decision we made as an engaged

couple was to buy a house in Madison. Mike and

I have been married for 29 years and we found the

perfect first house in Northbay and lived there for

eight years while we dreamed of building our forever

home, where we still live today. We built our house

next door to my parents. My precious mother still

lives there and we love that our children could run

next door to their grandparents house throughout

their childhood.

Tell us about your family.

I am originally from Jackson and Mike is from a

small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated

from Mississippi State with a degree in banking and

finance, real estate and insurance. My first job out of

school was working for Deposit Guaranty, which is

now Regions Bank. I later went to work for Jitney

Jungle Stores as director of employee benefits until

I decided to stay at home after our first daughter was

born. Mike and I met through work and dated for

four and a half years before we got married.

When Audrey was in kindergarten, I became

involved in the PTO at Madison Avenue. I quickly

fell in love with being involved in the Madison

County School District and stayed involved until our

youngest daughter, Amelia, graduated from MCHS.

My greatest reward was being named Parent of the

Year for the state of Mississippi. I remain involved

by participating on a couple of boards that support

public education in Mississippi and the Madison

County School District. In addition to being the

Ward 3 Alderman for the City of Madison, I am on

the Bond Home board, the Madison Organization

of Neighborhood Associations board and the

Calumet HOA board.

Mike owned a large cellular tower construction

business for over 25 years but sold it several years ago.

He is now retired but has many hobbies that keep

him extremely busy. Mike’s favorite project is the

Super Hunt, which allows disabled youth and their

families to spend a weekend each year enjoying the

outdoors at various landowners’ camps across

Mississippi. He is on the board of Southern

Outdoors Unlimited which raises money for the

Super Hunt and recruits landowners to host the

100+ families.

Mike and I have two amazing daughters who

are both graduates of Madison Central High School

and Mississippi State University. We belong to

Broadmoor Baptist Church. Audrey, our oldest, is

25 years old. She and her high school sweetheart,

Gage McCarty, have been married for two years.

Audrey owns the Bridal Path in Banner Hall and

Gage is a nurse at St. Dominic’s where he works in

the Neuro ICU.

Amelia is 22 years old and teaches 6th grade

science at Madison Middle School—in the same

classroom that she took 6th grade science! We adore

her longtime boyfriend, Hunter Blalock, who also

graduated from MCHS and Mississippi State. He is

getting his master’s degree in entomology and plant

soil science from MSU. We love that Audrey and

Amelia have both decided to make Madison their

home as adults and where they will live as they one

day raise their children.

6 • JANUARY 2022

What is your favorite memory of living

in Madison?

It would be impossible to name one favorite

memory of Madison. I would have to say that that

most of my favorite memories come from watching

our girls grow up in Madison—from taking them to

practice, mastering the monkey bars on the weekends

at Madison Avenue Elementary playground, to

making bird houses for the MAE outdoor classroom.

We watched them cheer on Madison Central at

football games and pep rallies. They were on the

mayor’s youth council and would make scarecrows

for the chamber’s junior ambassador program. We

watched the 4th of July fireworks as a family and

always attended the Madison Christmas parades—

which were among our favorites. I loved when our

girls would set up a snow cone stand at the end of our

driveway during the summers, and they loved

donating their profits to the Webster Animal Shelter.

I feel that it’s the little memories that have made our

lives in Madison so full.

Where are your three favorite places

to eat in Madison?

Kristos, Hokkaido, and my newest favorite,

Full Moon BBQ.

What are some fun things to do

in Madison on the weekends?

These days, I spend most of my weekends working

at the Bridal Path. Now, with grown children, what I

consider to be fun is shopping around Home Goods

and purchasing things I really don’t need. But when

our children were younger, we spent countless hours

at Madison’s fabulous parks playing soccer, feeding

the ducks, swinging on the swings, and attending

many birthday parties.

Share some things you enjoy doing

in your spare time.

I enjoy working in the yard, exercising, and baking.

One of the best things about Madison is how easily

we can get to our land in the country. Our family

loves the outdoors, and we spend most of our spare

time enjoying fishing, hunting, and roasting

marshmallows around the fire pit. It is the perfect

getaway with friends, family, and our darling grand


Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire Stan Buckley. Stan is a resident of Madison,

a godly man who is an amazing father, husband, and

friend. Stan started a ministry called But God

Ministries which is making a difference in thousands

of lives on a daily basis in both Haiti and the

Mississippi Delta by providing food, clean water,

homes, schools, and medical and dental care while

sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What are three things on your

bucket list?

I have already checked many things off of my bucket

list. We have been blessed to travel to Europe and

see the Statue of David, the Sistine Chapel and the

Coliseum in Rome. We have traveled across the

United States and Canada and had amazing travels

with our girls. I would love to travel to Australia and

South Africa. In a perfect world, I would love to

actually go and meet the five adopted children that

we have through Compassion International who

live in Africa and South America and once again,

when it is safe, go on a mission trip back to Haiti.

Where do you see yourself ten years

from now?

In 10 years, I hope to still be an alderman for the

City of Madison, and work part time at the Bridal

Path, but also enjoy retirement by traveling with my

husband and taking care of several grandchildren.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

My favorite childhood memories are of duck and

dove hunting with my daddy. He also loved teaching

my sister and me, and all our friends, how to water

ski. My daddy died four years ago, and I miss him

every day. He gave me a love of the outdoors that we

have continued to pass on to our girls. He and my

mom loved dancing and they chaperoned every

dance I ever went to from junior high school until

I left for college. I have carried my daddy’s drive

and ability to work hard with a smile on my face

throughout my life. My daddy was a man of integrity

who loved people and loved doing good for others.

He loved his family more than anything.

If you could give us one encouraging

quote, what would it be?

“Character is how you treat those who can do

absolutely nothing for you.”

What is your favorite thing about

Hometown Magazines?

My favorite thing is how they highlight families,

businesses, and schools in Madison. I always see

many people that I know and love the information

it provides.

Hometown MADISON • 7

8 • JANUARY 2022



Tell us about your family.

Brady I enjoy playing golf, playing music, and

singing at local events and at church.

Kathryn I enjoy traveling and finding time to spend

with friends and family.

Ford I’m 16 years old and play soccer for Madison

Central and for IFC. I also enjoy running track.

Mary Clayton I am 13 years old and participate in

Madison Middle School’s Kaleidoscope show choir

and the Madison Central golf team. I run cross

country and take dance classes, as well.

How did you meet and how long have you been married.

We have been married 20 years now. We first met after college at a

Christmas party in 1997 and again at a New Year’s party later that

month when I was on a blind date with Brady’s friend. About six

months later we went on their first official date, dinner and a movie.

On our third date, I met Brady’s entire family, 17 first cousins and all,

at an engagement party in Carter, Mississippi, at his grandparent’s

home. Soon after, I moved to New York City which was already in

the works before we ever started dating. He came to visit me in the

Big Apple, and I came home for several weddings that year. I

eventually moved home and we soon got engaged in Cloudcroft,

New Mexico, and were married at First Presbyterian Church of

Jackson on April 28, 2001!

Do you allow time to be with your spouse for a date night?

Yes, we enjoy going out to dinner. Good food is always an important

theme that many vacations and trips are built around!

Hometown MADISON • 9

What brings you the greatest joy as a parent?

Watching our kids do what they love and using their talents is our

greatest joy. I really enjoy when Brady and Mary Clayton sing

together at The Gathering restaurant at Livingston. I also loved

watching Ford and his teammates run track and beat a school

record last spring.

Who is the financial manager in your home?

Keeping up with finances is a team sport in our home. We strive

to have ongoing communication about finances and try to have

quarterly financial meeting to discuss retirement and plan for

future expenses.

When your children were younger, what was your

discipline philosophy?

Our children would say we are strict parents, but really we are

simply involved and corrected them at young ages. We thankfully

both have very similar philosophies of raising our children.

What do you see in your role as the greatest benefit to your


We are committed to making our home a very happy and encouraging

environment with lots of laughter and positivity, but also

realize that life is hard with lots of ups and downs. We know the

greatest joy in this life is built around our relationship with Christ.

Through good times and bad times, we try to point each other

towards the cross and teach our children that the one constant

relationship in this life is God’s love for us.

What’s a quick go to meal that isn’t fast food?

And who does the cooking?

I am always eating salmon and frequently make salmon filets

and asparagus in the oven. It’s a quick and easy – place foil over a

cookie sheet, rinse the salmon and asparagus, drizzle with olive oil

and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or

until done!

How long has Madison been your home?

We have lived in Madison County since 2001. We’ve also lived

in Ridgeland, out in Madison County, and now in the city limits

of Madison in the Reunion subdivision.

What are some of your favorite things about Madison County?

We are thankful that our public schools are very good and that

we can live in a safe and thriving community. Brady loves going

to the Renaissance movie theater and our favorite restaurants are

Koestler Prime and The Gathering.

How do you spend your summer breaks?

We typically go to the beach each summer, but knowing we only

have a few more years with our children in our home, we have been

focused on taking trips to places they have not been before. The

kids also go to many summer camps and youth trips during the

summer break.

What accomplishments make you proud during your time

living in Madison?

In fall of 2006, we visited a new PCA church plant in the gym of

St. Joe. This small group eventually grew to become the founding

members of Madison Heights Church located on Bozeman Road.

It has been an amazing journey to watch God grow His kingdom

in this area of the state and in our community. We are so grateful

for our church family and for the opportunity to be a part of

something so special. Both of us have a lot of family members who

also attend Madison Heights, so that makes it feel like a family

reunion each week.

What drives you to have the job that you have?

And what do you do for a living?

BRADY I am the district director for Congressman Michael

Guest’s office where I oversee the management and operation of

the district, serve as a liaison to local organizations and elected

officials, develop and implement long-term strategic outreach

plans, and manage the office’s constituent services efforts. I am

also the music director at Madison Heights Church.

KATHRYN I am a senior government relations advisor with

Butler Snow and lobby on behalf of my clients before the Mississippi

legislature and state government entities. I previously worked for

Tate Reeves when he was state treasurer, overseeing the college

savings division and during his first year as lieutenant governor as

the director of administration and a senior policy advisor. I also

worked for former Governor Haley Barbour in his press office

during Hurricane Katrina and on his 2003 campaign for governor.


What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?

FORD Go on vacation

MARY CLAYTON Go on vacation

What your favorite restaurant?

FORD Subway, Primos

MARY CLAYTON Aplos, Crumbl Cookies, Chick-fil-A

What’s your favorite movie?

FORD Dark Knight, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

MARY CLAYTON Any Disney movie

10 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 11



As the pandemic continues to leave

its mark on businesses all across the nation,

no one has been bumped and bruised more

than local restaurants. With lots of indoor

dining offerings having been closed

for many of the last several months,

many restaurants relied solely on takeout

and delivery orders–and even when they

were open to a limited capacity, it was

very challenging to make a profit.

Thankfully, restaurants in our area are

open and ready to see you! But if you’re

not ready to venture back out into the

restaurant scene, order takeout. One local

restaurant owner told us that, aside from

coming in, that’s the absolute best thing

you can do to help. But never underestimate

their need for our support. It not only

exhibits compassion, it, most

importantly, exhibits hope.

In the coming months, Hometown Madison

will highlight locally owned restaurants in

a new feature we call Neighborhood Eats.

Please support this community of businesses.

It will take all of us doing our part to make

sure we all not only survive–but thrive.


More Than Just


Susan Marquez

Like many teenagers, Ryan Patrick

got a job right out of high school to

make extra money. In 2003, he graduated from

Madison Central High School and went to work at Stan’s Pizza with a friend

of his. “It was in the old Little Cesar’s location on Highway 51 in Madison,”

Ryan recalls. He worked at the pizza restaurant for two years while he attended

Holmes Community College. But for Ryan, it became more than just a job.

He learned some valuable lessons about making pizza, and about running

a pizza business.

Ryan, along with a business partner, opened his take on a pizza shop

around 2006 on North State Street in Jackson. Pizza Shack became an

instant hit. “I wanted to put my own spin on how pizzas were made,” he says.

“I realized that people were always asking for extra cheese or extra pepperoni,

so we just went ahead and did that on all our pizzas. I also noticed that when

people ate pizza, they left the crust, so we extended our toppings all the way

to the edge. We focused on using the freshest ingredients, which made our

pizzas unique.”

When Ryan and his business partner went separate ways, Ryan

returned to his Madison roots and opened a Pizza Shack location on

Garden Park Drive in Madison in 2015. “We have seen the city of Madison

grow up around us,” he says. The Madison location features a large dining

12 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 13

14 • JANUARY 2022

“I call it


They’re fully loaded

edge to edge so that

there are toppings

in every bite.”

room inside, as well as an ample outdoor dining area. The pizzas served at the restaurant

are Ryan’s own style. “I call it Mississippi-style,” he says. “They are fully loaded edge to edge

so that there are toppings in every bite.” Guests can order one of the specialty pizzas offered,

or build their own, choosing their preference for crust (regular or thin and crispy), sauces

(marinara, spicy marinara, comeback, barbeque, alfredo, queso or garlic ranch), and toppings.

Some of Pizza Shack’s specialty pizzas include the Great American Burger, Thai Chicken,

Andy’s Buffalo Ranch Chicken, Italian Cowboy, Kitchen Sink and The Diamond. The restaurant

also offers specialty sandwiches, including roast beef dip, Italian sub and Philly cheesesteak.

Sandwiches can also be made to order. In addition to pizzas and sandwiches, Pizza Shack

offers salads, wings and other appetizers, and desserts, including milkshakes.

“We use the freshest ingredients possible,” says Ryan. “We chop fresh vegetables daily

and source the best ingredients we can.” Producing new and inventive menu items is

important for any restaurant, and Kyle says he has partnered with Kyle Curcio, who has

come up with a lot of great pizzas for the company. “Kyle is also helping me with our

downtown Brandon location, which we plan to open next year.” Ryan also has a location

in the old Bank of Clinton building, constructed in 1905. “I am a big history buff, he says.

“I have a lot of fun taking old buildings and giving them new life.”

While the food is important, having the right staff is critical to the success of the business.

Ryan says his staff is exceptional. “The ultimate goal of any entrepreneur is for his employees

to care about the business. I can say that our employees do. They have a personal stake in

the business. I love mentoring people, and it’s been rewarding to see some of our employees

rise to management positions and buying homes. My goal is to develop our people into

potential owners as we expand the business. We do all we can to take care of our employees.

In fact, during the pandemic we were able to raise their pay and offer medical insurance.”

The pandemic required Ryan to pivot a bit, restricting indoor dining for a while, and

offering curbside pickup. “We feel like we have come out of the pandemic both stronger

and better. At our Madison store, we are now doing in a weekend what we used to do in a

week.” Prior to the pandemic, Ryan says the store participated in many community projects.

“We did a lot of fun stuff before Covid, and we are looking forward to doing that again. Just

recently we gave away pizza at Madison’s annual movie night, which was cancelled last

year. It was nice for us to give something back to the community again.”

Ryan has been married to his wife, Mary Grace, for seven years. “She helps me

when we open a new store. She is my best friend, and the person I go to for

advice.” Ryan and Mary Grace don’t have children, but they do have fur babies

they adore. “I feel like my employees are my family as well. I work a lot, especially

since the pandemic, but I like what I do, so I don’t even think about it as work. I

think it’s important for the leader of the company to be there, and for me, it’s a place

I enjoy being every day.”

Hometown MADISON • 15


In these uncertain times, lots of us are

staying closer to home. Many people

are considering “local” road trips as a

form of entertainment. The Hometown

magazine staff recently made the

daytrip to Laurel, Mississippi, and had

a blast! What a charming little town

only to be enhanced by the presence

of the folks from the popular

HGTV show, Home Town.



We hope you’ll find time to get out

and explore the many treasured towns

that make up this wonderful state we

call home. And we’ll see you next time

when Hometown hits the road again!

16 • JANUARY 2022

Laurel, a small city nestled in South Mississippi, was once hailed as the

Yellow Pine Capital of the World. Lately though, her notoriety has shifted

from pine to preservation. Laurel now plays host to visitors from all over

the country flocking to visit “America’s Hometown.”

The story of Laurel really begins when the Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company

opened their first lumber mill in 1893. Three more lumber companies eventually

followed and started the boom of this little town. As the lumber companies grew,

so did the downtown area.

Brick and concrete buildings were constructed, and the lumber companies encouraged the

development of businesses and family-owned shops. The owners of the companies wanted to signal

that they were here to build a community and not just cut down all the trees and leave. The lumber

barons began to build estates along 5th Avenue which were soon followed by large homes and

bungalows on the side streets and avenues. This created the Laurel Historic District, which is

the largest, finest, and most intact collection of early 20th century architecture in Mississippi.

Hometown MADISON • 17

One of Laurel’s greatest treasures is the Lauren Rogers

Museum of Art located on Fifth Avenue. The Georgian Revival

structure was designed by Rathbone DeBuys of New Orleans and was erected

in 1923 as a memorial to Lauren Rogers, the only grandson of the largest lumber

family in Laurel. The museum was created to serve the community, and the family’s

generosity has allowed the museum to be open to the public for free.

Things took a turn when the Great Depression caused the timber era to decline

and all the large sawmills closed in the 1930s. Downtown Laurel, like many other

downtowns, was a victim of Urban Renewal from 1950s-1970s. Downtown was

converted into a covered “shopping-mall” which ruined the historic charm and

drastically reduced the traffic. Ultimately the storefronts in Downtown Laurel

became mostly vacant. For years the historic streets were clear of traffic.

In 2008, a group of locals began to imagine what it would be like to see Laurel

at her peak. They began designing murals and planning festivals, anything to

spark interest in the forgotten streets of downtown. After years of hard work and

commitment, the community began to shape downtown back into the hub it once was.

Among that group was a young couple who are now easily recognizable as the stars

of the HGTV show, Home Town. Erin and Ben Napier

began remodeling a home of their own in the Historic District, and Erin’s design

talent and gift of storytelling on her personal blog eventually caught the attention

of HGTV executives–and the rest is history.

The streets of Downtown Laurel are packed with cars tagged from all over the

United States now on any given day. This excitement and energy has encouraged

small businesses and restaurants to open and brighten up the beautiful buildings

once again. Laurel has always been home to hard-working people with vision.

It seems like around every corner there is a small business owner, bank, nonprofit,

or volunteer group finding new ways to pour love and creativity into this community.

That is what makes Laurel feel like home to so many.

18 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 19

In a year filled with tremendous challenges and heartache,

there have also been stories of great triumph and achievement.

We’re all on our own personal journeys–but celebrating the

success of others serves as motivation to many.

It’s in that spirit that we present a

collection of stories we lovingly call

Renewed, Restored, Redeemed.

Happy New Year!

We wish you all the best that 2022 has to offer.

20 • JANUARY 2022



Hometown MADISON • 21

22 • JANUARY 2022

Miracle Ear


Jessi George

“As Jesus was walking along, he

saw a man who had been blind from

birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked

him, “why was this man born blind?

Was it because of his own sins or his

parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or

his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered.

“This happened so the power of

God could be seen in him.”

–John 9:2-3

When Mattie Rollins Cliburn was born

with microtia atresia of the right ear, her

parents were shocked and devastated as to

what this would mean for their precious little

girl. Microtia atresia causes the underdevelopment

of the ear in the womb often resulting in

an ear that is small, malformed, or missing.

Ninety percent of children born with this

condition also have hearing loss as the condition

effects the development of the ear canal.

Matt and Erin Cliburn of Brandon were

immediately thrown into the world of

specialists, medical tests, and complicated

decisions on how to help their daughter.

However, in the midst of confusion and

heartache, Erin felt the Lord promise her that

He was going to do something BIG through

all of this suffering. And seven years later,

Matt, Erin, and Mattie Rollins saw that

promise come to fulfillment. God wanted to

display His big power through the life of little

Mattie Rollins Cliburn.

When Mattie Rollins was five years old,

Matt and Erin started taking her to specialists

to learn what their options were for corrective

surgery that would allow their daughter to

hear on her right side and to have a more

“normal” looking ear. Those appointments

were not very encouraging as they realized

that most of their options were complex,

painful, and had high rates of failure.

Feeling overwhelmed and discouraged,

Erin went home and began an internet search

to try to make sense of their options. It was

in that search that she discovered Dr. Sheryl

Lewin in California. Dr. Lewin developed

and patented a new technology for a one-piece

porous ear implant called a “Lewin” ear. The

doctor was able to scan Mattie Rollins’ good

ear then mold, cut, and tweak the implant to

create a perfect replica of her left ear.

Dr. Lewin’s one-piece porous implants

are a much stronger and safer option for

microtia patients as all other procedures have

a high risk of fracture and therefore failure

of the implant. The implant would then be

covered with skin grafts to restore the ear to

what it would have looked like if it had

developed normally.

The Cliburns now know that discovery

was no accident, but it was the first step of the

Lord fulfilling the promise He made to them

at Mattie Rollins’ birth.

Erin reached out to Dr. Lewin’s office in

California and began the process of scheduling

surgery for Mattie Rollins. They had one

big obstacle in their way, though. The cost of

the surgery was astronomical, and Dr. Lewin

was not in the network of providers of their

insurance. With this being a completely new

surgery and technology, the insurance

company also had to approve it as “medically

necessary” for them to proceed.

The process was slow, but God began

opening doors for this family as they began to

get initial approvals that the surgery was

indeed medically necessary for Mattie Rollins

to hear on her right side. The Cliburns began

to feel like the Lord was calling them to

proceed and have faith that He would provide

for them every step of the way, so they booked

the surgery for May 20, 2021, and waited and

prayed for God to act on their behalf.

Hometown MADISON • 23

24 • JANUARY 2022

As they waited, they watched as God opened

door after door for Mattie Rollins and what they

were now calling her “earacle” (miracle ear). But

one big obstacle still remained in their path. They

had to get a letter of agreement between the

doctor and the insurance company over the price

of the surgery or the Cliburns could potentially be

responsible for costs upwards of $200,000 for

what was not covered.

As the day of surgery drew near, they began

to wonder where God was, or if they had not

heard Him correctly in this calling. However,

He continually reminded them that He is a God

who is faithful to keep His promises and that they

only had to wait and trust in Him.

On May 6th, just two short weeks from

surgery, they still had not received the letter of

agreement, and had a decision to make. They

knew they were doing the best thing for their

daughter, and they were confident that God

would be faithful to provide for what He had

called them to do. So that night they made a

decision that they were getting on the plane to

California—no matter what.

Those two weeks passed very quickly and still,

with no letter of agreement in hand, they drove to

the airport and were met with an incredibly long

line at security. They soon realized that they

would miss their flight and had to rebook and

rearrange everything for their trip.

It was in the midst of all that stress and waiting,

standing in that impossibly long line, that Erin

received the email from the doctor saying that

they had the letter of agreement and everything

was clear for Mattie Rollins to get her “earacle.”

With tears of joy and cries of praise witnessed by

everyone around them, the Cliburns boarded that

plane knowing God was with them and for them

in this surgery.

The surgery itself went well and the Cliburns

were amazed at all God had done for them. They

were even featured on the TV show Inside Edition,

as they reported on this new surgery and technology

developed by Dr. Lewin. Things went downhill

very quickly, though, when they went in for a

post-op appointment a week later and there was

an abnormal amount of swelling in her new ear.

The doctor didn’t think it was anything to be

worried about but told Erin that she would check

Mattie Rollins the next day in between her other


The examination didn’t lead her to any causes

for concern, so she sent them back home. But three

hours later, Erin noticed that Mattie Rollins had

developed a hematoma on her head. She took her

back to Dr. Lewin’s to be examined and Mattie

Rollins was rushed into emergency surgery where

the doctor discovered two blood clots. Dr. Lewin

told Erin that her mother’s instinct definitely saved

the new ear and probably saved her daughter’s life

that day.

Mattie Rollins went on to heal beautifully

with no other complications from surgery, and as

she began telling her story to all of her friends and

family, God began to work another miracle in

Mattie Rollins’ life. A miracle not for her ear, but

in her heart.

As Mattie Rollins began to recount and retell

how good God had been to her, she began to feel

like God was “knocking on her heart.” When she

attended kids camp that summer with Crossgates

Church in Brandon, she decided it was time to

give her life to the Lord who had done so much for

her. She also realized that not many people get to

see a miracle, but she got to be a “walking miracle”

so she should always make sure to tell other people

all of the good things that God had done for her.

And she has not failed in that task! Mattie Rollins

has already had a friend decide that she wanted to

be a follower of Jesus because she saw and heard

the power of God in Mattie Rollins and her

miracle ear!

The Cliburn family’s faith has grown in ways

they never would have imagined at the start of this

journey. They now know that the best thing they

can do with all that God has given and taught

them is to share the story of His faithfulness in

the life of their daughter with anyone and

everyone they can.

Hometown MADISON • 25



Marcus Landfair hasn’t had the easiest life. But the

unfortunate experiences he has had led him to where

he is now. Today Marcus is a barber who also has an outreach program

that includes a learning center with five computers and a food bank.

Marcus was raised in Holmes County where he played football in high

school. When a kid is good in a sport, he is often passed from one grade

to the next with little regard to mastering needed subjects. One of Marcus’s

biggest deficits was reading. Even though he never learned to read, he was

promoted from one grade to the next.

As a young father, Marcus didn’t have the skills to provide for himself,

much less a family. His granddad cut hair, and barbering was something that

stuck in his mind as something he might be able to do for a living one day.

But that day was delayed when he was sentenced to twenty years, charged

with manslaughter for the death of the mother of his child – a crime he did

not commit. Marcus was handed a typed “confession,” and because he was

unable to read it, he signed it, sealing his fate.

For twelve and a half years, he was imprisoned, but he didn’t let that

define who he was as a man. During his incarceration, two couples took him

under their wings, visiting him frequently, and teaching him to read. In the

process, they led him to Christ. “From my perspective,” says his wife, Treona,

“Marcus went through that ordeal of being incarcerated with integrity and

model character.”

Treona and Marcus met in 2013 when she moved to the Jackson area

from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. “I wanted to pick up a trade and thought I’d try

cosmetology,” recalls Treona. “Marcus was teaching at the Traxler School

of Hair, and he offered to show me around both the school and Jackson.

I decided not to go to the school, because I couldn’t date my teacher!”

During their courtship, Marcus confided in Treona, telling her that he

had been released from prison in 2010. “I could tell he was a changed man.

The experiences he had in prison washed away everything from his former

life and gave him a renewed spirit. I told him that he had the talent and

knowledge necessary to own his own business, something he had not

considered before.”

26 • JANUARY 2022

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has

come. The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians, 5:17

Treona has a deep faith in God, and she refers to Bible verses that

perfectly fit the couple’s life. The couple married on October 5, 2015. Treona

told Marcus he had the talent, and she had the skills for the back end of the

business. He partnered with a pastor for a while, and soon realized that

wasn’t the right fit. They broke ties and Marcus went from a 16-station shop on

Capital Street to a small shop on Northside Drive in April 2016. “I have seen

so much growth in Marcus,” says Treona. “God has been more evident in

this. We are doing things right, and now the business is expanding in ways

we never dreamed possible.”

Marcus explains that his goal is to give back to his community in ways

that will make a real difference.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans

to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and

a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Marcus says he has received non-profit status for his ministry and is

awaiting his EIN number. “I call it Hope for Community Outreach,” he says.

“We have a learning center with fifteen computers where people can

come in and learn about available jobs, learn life skills, keyboarding skills,

and practice for the GED. We also have a library that has books and

encyclopedias so people can learn more about things they are interested in.”

A food pantry has also been established and will soon be part of the

Mississippi Food Network. Donations of used computers and printers, books

and money are accepted through True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in

Brandon. Be sure to mention that it is for the Hope for Community Outreach.

Marcus credits Treona for helping to lead him on the path he is on now.

“God blessed us together,” he says. “When I got out of prison, I couldn’t get

a job or an apartment. I was trapped in a marriage that was like another

prison for me. Her faith and encouragement helped me find my way to a

successful life and the means to help others.”

And we know that all things work together for good to them

that love God, to them who are the called according to his

purpose. – Romans 8:28

Hometown MADISON • 27

28 • JANUARY 2022


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Hometown MADISON • 29



Adult &Teen


Melanie McMillan

30 • JANUARY 2022

“Hopelessness and shame.”

Matt Milliman, executive director

and CEO of Mercy House

Adult and Teen Challenge,

understands those

feelings very well.

His father and grandfather were alcoholics and Matt struggled

for many years with addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

“I actually got sober and stayed that way for six years. One day

I had a beer with a family member and didn’t think it was a big

deal, but that decision led me back down the path to addiction.

I ended up going to prison. I felt hopeless. But God had mercy on

me and used that experience to humble me and give me hope.”

Today, Matt’s work gives him the opportunity to help men who

find themselves in similar situations. Mercy House Adult & Teen

Challenge is a faith-based program that works with men to

help them overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Located in

Georgetown, Mississippi, Mercy House restores broken families

one man at a time. “When men are able to overcome addiction,

the effect is far-reaching,” says Matt. “We can’t underestimate

the impact of a man’s role in the home and in his community.”

Based on biblical principles, the program is designed to deal

with the root causes of addiction. Men participate in Bible study,

group activities, and work training, and, thanks to the generosity

of donors, there is no cost for the program.

Mercy House Program Director Joshua Cook is a 2018 graduate

of the program, and his is just one of many success stories.

Although he grew up attending church, Joshua says, to him,

Jesus was just a fairy tale. “My mom and step-dad always took us

to church, but things were one way at church and another way at

home. There was a lot of dysfunction and I started drinking and

smoking at age 13. When I was a senior in high school, I dropped

out of school and went my own way. I wanted nothing to do

with Jesus or the church.”

Joshua spent many years using and selling drugs and ended

up in and out of jail. “My dad always bailed me out, and when I

was 24 or 25, I got some DUIs and should have gone to prison

but went to rehab instead. I attended 13 different rehab programs.

For me it was never about actually getting well. It was about

getting out of trouble.”

Hometown MADISON • 31

Joshua’s first marriage lasted only nine months, and the couple

had a son together. He married again and had two more children, but

his drug addiction escalated when he began using cocaine and crack,

and things spiraled out of control. “All I cared about was getting high.

That’s what I lived for. I would pick fights with my wife just so I’d

have an excuse to leave the house to get high. I remember hearing

my children screaming, begging me not to leave the house, but I did

anyway. I would go down the street, get high, and come back. I did

this over and over. I’ll never forget the sound of my children crying

for me not to leave them.”

Joshua was in a very dark place. “Living for the world had become

chaotic,” he says. “Everything was stripped away, and I attempted

suicide multiple times.” Running out of things to even fight with his

wife about, he packed his bags and told her he was leaving. He

spent the night in a hotel, but as his funds dwindled, so did his hotel

prospects, and he found himself sharing accommodations with rats.

By this time, his family had washed their hands of him. He was 36

years old, with no money and no job, and he knew he wanted help

but didn’t know how to get it. Joshua still didn’t believe in God, but

he prayed anyway, promising God that if He would just find somewhere

that would take him in, he would never get in that situation

again. “My brother ended up picking me up that night, and he took

me to get cleaned up and get something to eat. I got high, stole his

car, and had a terrible wreck. I was airlifted to the hospital where I was

admitted to the ICU.”

Once released from the hospital, all Joshua could think about was

getting high. “I had no money, no relationships, and I was utterly alone

and homeless. I knew the drugs were going to kill me but getting high

was all I wanted to do.” Joshua was living on the streets of Jackson

when Pastor Downes with Florence Assembly of God appeared and

picked him up. “I was shocked,” Joshua says. “He told me my dad and

others were praying for me. He took me to get something to eat and

told me about Mercy House. I decided I’d go simply because I was so

tired of being on the street. I figured I would go in, get my weight up,

get my family back, then find a job and go back to getting high. I was

good with that.”

August 17, 2017 was the day Joshua walked into Mercy House,

after 22 years of addiction. At first, he just went through the motions

of the program, but everything changed on August 30th. During a

Bible study class, Joshua started crying and couldn’t stop. “I didn’t

understand who God was but I was worn out and the teacher

suggested I go into the prayer room. After about 15 minutes I came

out and gave my life to Christ. There was no burning bush, and I

didn’t change overnight, but I made a commitment to do everything

differently. I saw the staff and other students walking around with

joy and I knew I wanted that. I held on to everything they said.”

Joshua’s faith grew as he continued in the program, and he gained

strength physically, spiritually, and mentally. “About 12 months in I

knew I was called to work with the ministry. Everything I learned in the

program helped to restore me.” Matt Milliman, who was the program

director at the time, encouraged Joshua to pray about working with

the ministry, and Joshua became the maintenance director upon his

graduation in October of 2018. God used Matt to serve as a mentor

to Joshua and the two not only serve together on staff now, but they

have remained close friends.

32 • JANUARY 2022

Joshua’s life has been completely transformed thanks to his time

at Mercy House. “It’s unbelievable how God has restored everything

in my life. I lost so much but gained so much more in return. My

relationship with my children is incredible, my life has been restored,

and my family believes in me and is proud of me. It’s a blessing to be

able to share my story and mentor other men who feel hopeless.”

Although Mercy House is in Georgetown, Mississippi, men come

from all over to the program. The first nine months are spent at the

original Mercy House, followed by five months at what is called the

“re-entry house.” During their time in the re-entry home, men

prepare for life outside the home. Many don’t have driver’s licenses

and may have debt or fines to pay off. Here they are given the tools

they’ll need to get jobs and keep them.

Mercy House Adult & Teen Challenge has a good working

relationship with the court system, due to the high rate of success

of the graduates. Oftentimes, a man facing jail time will be sent to

Mercy House instead, as the chance for getting clean and staying

clean is greater and is provided at no cost to the participant. Since

2017, approximately 300 men from Rankin County have been

through the program, and there are many businesses throughout the

county who have partnered with Mercy House to provide jobs to

program graduates.

“One of our long-range goals is to have a house in Rankin County

for men in the second phase of the program,” says CEO Matt Milliman.

“With so many businesses who are willing to hire our students, it

makes sense to have a home for them where they can be close to

work. It’s a long drive to Rankin County from Georgetown. They also

need to be plugged into a local church before they leave our program,

and there are simply more options in Rankin County.”

Mercy House relies on individual and business partners to continue

to offer hope to men trapped in addiction, and there are several ways

to help. The men create beautiful artwork and home decor, called

“Product with a Purpose,” that can be purchased online. Mercy House

also operates a thrift store in Byram, where donations are welcomed

and 100% of the profit goes back into the program. A vehicle donation

program, endorsed by former Governor Phil Bryant, provides

community members with the opportunity to donate vehicles,

running or not, and repairs are made in Mercy House’s very own auto

shop. Of course, monetary donations are also appreciated as well,

and allow for continued operation of the program, free of charge.

Another area of need is in mentoring men as they prepare to

re-enter the workforce and reunite with their families. Classes on

budgeting, relationship building, and work skills are much needed

and volunteers with those areas of expertise are a valuable resource.

It would be hard to measure the number of lives impacted by

Mercy House. Like Joshua, so many men have been changed and, in

turn, their families have been changed. “It’s unbelievable how God

has restored everything in my life,” he says. “I lost so much but

gained so much more in return. My relationship with my children is

incredible, my life has been restored, and my family believes in me

and is proud of me. It’s a blessing to be able to share my story.”

Hometown MADISON • 33

34 • JANUARY 2022

PHOTO FinisherPix

Going The Distance


Mistie Desper

“Just get out there and

do something, anything

active, away from the

TV, the stress, and do

something that you

enjoy,” said 71-year-old

athlete Thomas Moore.

Born and raised in Edinburg, Mississippi,

Thomas always had an interest in running. His

school did not have a track to run on at the time,

but that never stopped him from running or

being active. In 1983, four years before moving

to Brandon, he saw a brochure for the Heart of

Dixie triathlon in Philadelphia. At age 33, he

competed for the first time and was hooked.

Triathlons are an endurance multi-sport race

consisting of swimming, cycling, and running

of specified distances.

He said, “I always just needed an outlet and

never wanted to just sit. My drive comes from

just the sport itself and looking forward to doing

the races and the training involved in it all.”

Becoming a widower in 2008, Thomas

admitted, “I remember running to just ease my

mind, to help a stressful situation. Long runs

definitely helped with grief. It was almost a form

of therapy.” Thomas began to pour himself into

his training.

Competing in eight to twelve races each

year, training becomes nonstop–simply a way of

life. He admitted, “You cannot take too much of

a rest or you will lose your mobility, especially as

you age.” His training consists of simply

swimming, running, walking, and hiking.

Thomas admits that he has really never used a

trainer, he just gets out there.

Reminiscing about his multitude of event

memories, he recalled his most challenging race

was the Escape from Alcatraz in 2019. “The

water was 55 degrees with a strong current.

If you weren’t careful, the current would pull

you under the Golden Gate Bridge. I remember

stopping for a moment mid-swim to look back

at the island and just take in that moment.”

Alcatraz is a 22-acre island in the San

Francisco Bay area. A federal prison was on the

island that housed some of the most infamous

and notorious criminals in history. The strong

currents and cold water made escaping the prison

nearly impossible. Thomas had successfully swam

the “impossible.”

The farthest he has traveled for a race was

over 7,000 miles to Beijing, China. In 2011,

Thomas competed in the ITU World Championship

Grand Final. This race was Olympic

distance consisting of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike

ride, and a 10km run. Not only did Thomas

complete the rigorous race in the cold and rain,

but he also placed 16th in the entire world in his

age group.

Thomas’s most rewarding race so far was

the Ironman World Championship in Utah in

2020. He said, “Part of the biking was through

the mountains at almost a 9% grade. The last

mile was totally uphill.” After this year’s

Ironman, he and a few friends hiked many

national parks throughout the area. Utah is

known for its breathtaking scenery–from its

snowy mountains in the north to its iconic red

desert landscapes scattered through the south.

This race is dear to his heart.

Thomas plans on competing in the Ironman

70.3 in 2022 in Chattanooga, Tenn. “If I win

my age group, I would be able to compete in the

championship in Utah again. I have to be

careful because those young 69- and 70-yearolds

will be in my flight this time,” he joked.

He said, “I never try to convince anyone to

do a triathlon because it can be dangerous. I have

had my share of bike wrecks. I have broken my

collarbone, suffered a hip injury, and had a tooth

knocked out. I tell people to just walk. Get out

and go hike. You don’t need anything special or a

gym. Just use your neighborhood, just stay active.”

In the off season, you can find Thomas

trail-walking and mountain biking at The Quarry.

He added, “Its so nice to see more and more

people there enjoying nature and staying active.”

Thomas’s motivation comes from doing

something he is truly passionate about along

with the desire to stay in “pretty good condition.”

He admits, “I watch what I eat, and I just stay

active. This has allowed me to stay healthy and

not need any medications at all. I do not have to

take anything.”

Slowing down with age, he admits things

get harder and harder. Thomas encourages

everyone of any age to just stay active and do

something you love and enjoy.

There is great joy found in getting outdoors in

nature and getting the stresses of the world out.

Hometown MADISON • 35

36 • JANUARY 2022


Malcolm Magee



Malcolm Magee takes his position as manager

of the Pelahatchie High School basketball team

very seriously. “There is a lot to do, every day,”

he says. “I get the balls and other equipment

together and packed for travel to make sure the

water and towels and everything else is good to

go, as well as help the coaches any way I can. I

let them know if there is a problem with a player

and other things. It’s an important job, and I

love doing it.” Malcolm, a senior at Pelahatchie

High, has been the manager of the basketball

team for two years and he’s also been the football

team manager for three years. He loves sports of

any kind, although he has never been able to play.

Malcolm has had many challenges to

overcome since birth. “I had a stroke when I was

a baby,” he says. He also had a twin sister who

died at birth. Issues with his legs have resulted

in numerous surgeries over the years. At times

he has been unable to walk for months at a time,

but his attitude and motivation have kept him

going, all while he motivates others. “I have

known Malcolm for three years,” says Leslie

Hebert, Malcolm’s English teacher. “His surgeries

have been brutal on him, yet he has always been

a leader of his peers and in his community. He

takes his position as team manager with all

seriousness, including teaching the younger

athletes the ins and outs of the requirements of

being a football manager.”

A resident of the Kone Hill community near

Pelahatchie, Malcolm says he is surrounded with

a strong support system of family, friends, and

neighbors. “Pelahatchie has been a great place to

grow up, and the people here have been present

for me in my time of need.” Malcolm’s grandmother

taught school in the area. “I was really

close to her. She passed away in 2018.”

Last year Malcolm had extensive surgery

on his knee and rods were placed in his ankle.

“Then Covid struck,” he sighs. In November

2020, both his mother and his grandfather

passed away from the virus. Now Malcolm and

his sister, who is in the tenth grade, are in the

care of their aunt and uncles. His relatives

stepped up to take care of the Magee kids in

their childhood home, allowing them to remain

in the school and community where they have

been their entire life.

Malcolm says he appreciates all who have

supported him, and he loves to give back any

way he can, through service. “Although his

world has been in turmoil from the losses he

has endured, he has persevered and is on track

to graduate,” says Leslie Hebert. “He is always

giving back to his peers, teachers, school and

community. He is an amazing young man who

deserves recognition.”

Each Sunday, Malcolm sings in the choir at

two separate churches. “I put a lot of time into

that,” he says. “I really enjoy singing.” He plans

on attending college, although he has not made

a decision on where he’d like to study just yet.

“I would like to be a coach someday, so I’d like

to look into that. But if coaching doesn’t work

out, I am thinking about going into mortuary

sciences. After my mother and grandfather died

last year, I talked with some people who work in

funeral homes, and I think that would be a nice

way to help people.”

Hometown MADISON • 37

38 • JANUARY 2022



Mistie Desper

is Over


“God was behind me. With trust and

faith, I knew He would get me through,”

said 27-year-old Dylan Holifield of Pearl regarding his weight loss journey.

Dylan’s strong faith was one of the elements that helped him courageously lose

an astonishing 293 pounds–and he’s not done yet.

Hometown MADISON • 39

40 • JANUARY 2022

Throughout his childhood and youth years, Dylan recalled always being

overweight. He said, “I was usually the biggest kid. Over the years, I’ve tried to lose

weight so many times,” admitting that he would lose weight but gain it back quickly

resulting in a “discouraged” and “defeated” attitude.

Dylan knew the health risks associated with having extra pounds on his body.

He longed to become the healthiest version of himself.

As part of the video productions team at Crossgates Baptist Church, he was

aware of the annual fast that the church encouraged as a way to strengthen one’s

journey in their faith along with the added health benefits. Dylan took a leap of faith

and participated in one of the fasting events with other church members. He said,

“I had lost all self-awareness and knew it was time for a real change. The fast was

really the kickoff to all of it. I committed to 21 days without any sugar. I proved to

myself that I can actually have self-control.”

His successes began rolling in as he lost 50 pounds. A co-worker who felt led to

help approached Dylan with a proposition, one that would ultimately change his

life forever.

Dylan was given the opportunity to commit to 100 days with his co-worker

helping him with his fitness and nutrition goals. 100 days—and then if he wanted to,

he could quit. He said, “I wasn’t sure at first. I didn’t think I could do it. We ended

up taking it in 10-day blocks. I would have a weigh-in after every 10th day.”

The plan was simple. Set a calorie limit, track everything eaten, and begin simply

moving. His beginning caloric intake was around 1800 calories. Dylan said, “I stayed

away from simple sugars and white carbs. This allowed me to eat much more food

that kept me full for longer. In the beginning, I started with one 45-minute

workout a week.”

Once he was into the groove, he added in strength training with weights and

workouts using his own body weight. He admitted, “I had just made up my mind

this time. One of the biggest obstacles for me was emotional eating. There is so

much joy found in food. And I would also eat when I was sad or depressed.”

Since June 2020, he has lost more than half of his body weight. He credits his

success to his faith and to his incredible support system. “Every time I wanted to

give up, I prayed and knew that God would help me get through whatever hurdle

I was facing,’ he said.

Dylan added, “Everybody has been great. I have had so many people to lean on

through this journey and I have learned so much about myself. I always believed

that if I lost the weight, I would be happy. This has taught me so much about the

importance of mental health as well as physical.”

Phase one of his journey is almost complete as he is only a few pounds from his

goal weight. However, his next journey is just beginning. A journey that will be his

toughest yet. Dylan’s desire is to have skin removal surgery, excess skin that is a

reminder of his former self. He is currently raising money to help pay for the three

surgeries that will cost between $15,000 - $20,000. The surgeries can be completed,

including recovery, over the course of a year. To help Dylan make this possible,

donations can be mailed to Crossgates Baptist Church, 8 Crosswoods Road,

Brandon MS, 39042 (Attn: Dylan’s Surgery).

Dylan advises, “For anyone trying to lose weight, the biggest thing is to find a

balance especially in our Southern culture where so much tradition is grounded in

food. Once I changed my mindset that you eat to live and not live to eat, it changed

my life.”

Hometown MADISON RANKIN • 41

Chicken Mexican Bowl

(1 serving )

• 6 oz. chicken breast

• 1 medium bell pepper

• 1.5 cups frozen cauliflower rice

• Fajita seasoning to taste

• 30g Salsa

Boil the chicken separately. Add a

little oil to a pan and add the frozen

cauliflower rice. Brown it up and

mix in the remaining ingredients.

Nutrition Facts

Total Calories: 264

Fat: 1g

Carbs: 19g

Protein: 41g

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

(2 servings)

• 12 oz. chicken breast

• 340g broccoli florets

• 1 pack Pasta Zero

• 120g Alfredo sauce

• 20g Parmesan cheese

Season chicken with Italian

seasonings and basil. Air fry chicken

for 13 minutes on 360°. Cook

broccoli in oven until tender.

Add noodles Alfredo sauce and

Parmesan cheese into pan and

let simmer. Mix in broccoli and

add your chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Total calories: 360 per serving

Fat: 10g

Carbs: 21g

Protein: 49g

Shrimp Stir-Fry

(1 serving )

• 8 oz. red shrimp

• 1.5 cups cauliflower rice

• 1 medium zucchini cubed

• 1 Tbsp. lite soy sauce

• 1 large egg

• 1 sheet seaweed (Nori)

• Top with sesame seeds

Stir-fry the shrimp and set aside.

Add a little oil to a pan and add the

frozen cauliflower rice and zucchini

cubes. Brown it up and mix in the

remaining ingredients. Stir fry until

egg is cooked through.

Nutrition Facts

Total Calories: 353

Fat: 8g

Carbs: 17g

Protein: 51g

42 • JANUARY 2022

Chicken Nuggets

(1 serving/9 nuggets)

Chicken Power Bowl

(1 serving )

Sweet Spicy Carrots

(1 serving )

Crockpot Chicken

(7 servings)

• 10 oz. canned chicken

• 1 large egg

• Seasonings of choice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let

sit in fridge for 20 mins. Form mixture

into nugget shapes and air fry for 20

mins on 400. Flip halfway through.

Nutrition Facts

Total calories: 280

Fat: 10g

Carbs: 3g

Protein: 42g

• 6 oz. chicken breast

• 160g shredded lettuce

• 60g black beans

• 125g Rotel

• 30g salsa

• 14g Mexican cheese

• 60g fat free sour cream

Mix all ingredients together or leave

separate if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Total calories: 375

Fat: 5g

Carbs: 28g

Protein: 51g

Weight Loss Recipes from Dylan Holifield

Find Dylan’s recipes on Facebook – “Fat to Fit Recipes”

• 6 oz. baby carrots

• 2 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup

• Tony Chacheres seasoning to taste

Boil baby carrots for 30 minutes or

until soft. Drain water. Get skillet hot

and add nonstick cooking spray and

carrots. Once hot add two servings of

sugar free maple syrup and cook until

caramelized. Add Tony’s seasoning

and mix to incorporate.

Nutrition Facts

Total Calories: 80g

Fat: 0g

Carbs: 20g

Protein: 2g

BBQ Chicken Pizza

(1 serving )

• 60g Joseph’s pita bread

• 32g No Sugar Sweet

Baby Rays BBQ sauce

• 4 oz. chicken breast,


• 28g shredded cheese

Air fry at 400 for 6-8 mins

Nutrition Facts

Total calories: 315

Fat: 13g

Carbs: 15g

Protein: 41g

• 40 oz. chicken breast

• 1 can no-salt-added tomatoes

• 3 Tbsp. Buffalo sauce

Cook on low for 10 hours

and shred.

Nutrition Facts

Total calories: 180 per serving

Hometown MADISON • 43

ment infrastructure of Madison County.

ize and salute the industry and businesses

ibution they make towards our quality of life.

expanding businesses and industry.

The Madison County Business League & Foundation is a private,

stakeholder-based support organization that works with

business owners and decision makers to discuss topics that

affect economic development.

Together, we continue to build upon the economic

development infrastructure of Madison County.

We recognize and salute the industry and businesses

for the contribution they make towards our quality of life.

135 Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046

601.832.5592 | madisoncountybusinessleague.com

Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046

.5592 | madisoncountybusinessleague.com

135 Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046

601.605.0368 | madisoncountyeda.com






Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS 39046

1.605.0368 | madisoncountyeda.com

SEPTEMBER 19, 2021





MCEDA Executive Director Joey Deason

presents the 2021 Vision award to

David Conn, partner with 4 Top Hospitality

(Amerigo, Anjou, Char, Saltine, Sombra.

and 4 Top Catering)


MCEDA Executive Director Joey Deason

presents the 2021 Visionary Leadership to

Phyllis Johnson, executive director of the

Mississippi State Board of Nursing.

The Madison County

Economic Development

Authority and the Madison

County Business League

& Foundation created the

VISION award in 2010 as a

means of recognizing and

thanking certain stand-out

Madison County businesses

for their unique or remarkable


their investments in people,

and the resulting impact

their operations have on

the local area economy.


2020-2021 MCBL&F Chairman Wesley

Goings, president of Telapex - parent company

of C Spire, passed the gavel to 2021-22

Chairman Ray Balentine, vice president of

Michael Baker International.


Miss Mississippi Holly Brand

44 • JANUARY 2022

PHOTOS: Deryll Stegall


MCBL&F Wesley Goings presents the

2020 Madison County Young Professional

of the Year award to Austin Stewart,

an attorney with Adams & Reese.


MCBL&F Chairman Wesley Goings presents

the 2021 Madison County Young Professional

of the Year award to Anne Marie Smith

with 4 Top Catering.


2020-21 Madison County Business League & Foundation

Chairman Wesley Goings presented appreciation plaques

to outgoing board of directors Renee Rice with BankFirst,

and Doug Hederman with Hederman Brothers.


Front L-R: MCBL&F Chairman Ray Balentine, Adjutant General of the

Mississippi National Guard Janson D. Boyles, General Harold Cross

MCBL&F Executive Director Jan Collins, General John Wallace

MCBL&F Immediate Past Chairman Wesley Goings

Back L-R: Pastor Jason Dillon, MCEDA Executive Director Joey Deason,

Brian Johnson, MCBL&F Past Chairman Barney Daly

Hometown MADISON • 45

46 • JANUARY 2022

CALL NOW: 601-401-3299





Hometown MADISON • 47


to be of Service.


When Karen Morris moved to the Jackson area from Hattiesburg

two and a half years ago, she wanted to get involved in the community.

Her tenth grade daughter joined the Jackson Sub Deb program,

and Karen learned about the Jackson Symphony League.

Susan Marquez

48 • JANUARY 2022

“I got on the board of the Jackson Symphony League

(JSL) and took on the leadership role of running the Sub Deb

program.” Now president of the JSL, Karen is still involved

with Sub Deb.

The Jackson Symphony League was founded in 1955 and

has contributed through its exhaustive efforts in education,

information and fundraising to ensure the success and

vitality of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. To continue

that mission to reach out to the community’s youth, the JSL

launched Jackson Sub Debs in 1960.

Jackson Sub Deb is a partnership with the Mississippi

Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and the JSL. It is a program

that provides community service opportunities to girls in the

Jackson Metro area in grades ten, eleven and twelve. “We have

202 girls this year from sixteen schools,” says Karen, “We have

students from as far south as Florence High School to as far

north as Germantown High in Gluckstadt, and as far west as

Clinton High to as far east as East Rankin High School.”

The girls in Sub Deb have certain requirements throughout

the year, from ushering at MSO concerts to attending

education and training programs, as well as selling raffle

tickets to benefit the MSO. There are twelve concerts

scheduled each season, and Sub Debs sign up to usher at two

of the concerts. Sometimes the concerts have a theme, and the

girls will dress in appropriate outfits to add to the atmosphere.

Education and training sessions run from 45 minutes to

one hour and can be educational, fun, and entertaining. Some

of the subjects covered at the E&T trainings include a car care

clinic, self-defense workshop, and even a dorm decorating

class. The girls also assist with give-back shopping days by

sharing on their social media. “When we asked each girl to

share our raffle ticket sale on their social media, we watched

the ticket sales increase at an incredible rate,” says Karen.

“What they do is powerful and so beneficial to the MSO.”

One of the tasks Karen asked of the students was to write

a thank-you note to the musicians in the symphony. “Their

messages were so heart-felt and sincere. We are compiling

Hometown MADISON • 49

them all to give to the orchestra members for Christmas.”

Each year a legacy scholarship is awarded to a student who

has participated in Sub Debs for all three years. “It is a

$500 scholarship to thank them for their work on behalf

of the MSO,” says Karen. The scholarship is awarded at the

Sub Deb ball.

The ball, which began in 1967, is the highlight of the

social season for the Sub Deb participants. “Sub Deb is not

about the ball, it’s about the volunteer efforts put forth all

year,” says Karen. “The ball is their reward.” Those attending

the ball wear formal gowns and their escorts wear tuxedos.

This year’s ball will take place on April 1. Another big event

for the girls is the annual Mother-Daughter Tea. The girls

assist with plans for the special event.

Covid has affected the Sub Deb program, and

adjustments have been made to help prevent the spread

of the virus. “All of our events this year have been held

outdoors,” says Karen, “We usually do our E&T trainings

in the courtyard of Highland Village. And when students

usher at the symphony events at Thalia Mara Hall they are

required to properly wear a face mask. “We’ve also reduced

the requirements. Most of our girls are tenth graders, and

they don’t drive yet, which meant their mothers were having

to drive them to all their required activities.”

Karen says she has found working with the Sub Deb

girls to be quite rewarding. “My daughter is a senior this year,”

says Karen. “In another four or five years, when she is grown

and flown, I think I may want to get involved with Sub Deb

again. I really love it that much!”

50 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 51

601-362-6900 · mississippiarthritisclinic.com

Dr. Nancy Harrison,

Dr. Nancy Harrison,


"Autoimmunity is a difficult concept to grasp. My job

is to help patients understand their disease and how

to manage it. What I love about Rheumatology is the

patients and the lifelong relationship we form as we

fight through their chronic illness together."

-Dr. Harrison

Now Accepting

New Patients!

5th grade





campus tours begin January 2022.

Contact Tracie Mallard, Director of Admission, at 601.939.8611 or

tmallard@jacksonprep.net, for details on the application process.

52 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 53


to First Responders

What made you decide to work in EMS dispatch/

law enforcement?

NARLISE (EMS dispatcher) I work for Pafford because I’ve been in the

medical field my entire adult life. However, I have never seen what it was

like to be on the end with the caller on the line and literally be the first to

send a responder—the first person that the patient speaks to during an


JUSTIN (City of Ridgeland Police Department) I wanted to work in a

meaningful field where I would be able to impact a community in a

positive way.

How long have you been with Pafford EMS/Ridgeland

Police Department?

NARLISE I have been with Pafford since April of 2021.

JUSTIN I have worked for the City of Ridgeland since October of 2018.

Tell us about your family.

We are a small family of two with big hearts. We both come from loving

families where our parents gave their all to make sure we knew what it

was like to help others.

What is the toughest thing you have experienced

in your job?

NARLISE The hardest part about being a dispatcher is being the one

who transfers the call to the ambulance but not being able to physically

handle it yourself. We are working with assault victims, or heart attack

and stroke patients whose family members have never been placed in a

situation like this before.

JUSTIN I believe the toughest thing that I have experienced in this job is

being confronted with the negative stereotypes about police from the eyes

of the people that I genuinely try to serve. Although, attempting to be a

positive example that overcomes the stereotypes can be very rewarding.

Justin & Narlise




Who is someone you admire and why?

NARLISE My mother. She has molded me into the care-giving person

that I am today. Without her, I would not know what it was like to give

and want nothing in return but to see someone else’s life made better.

She has instilled in me the art of giving back. From working with Habitat

for Humanity and Mission on the Bay to the Canton Stewpot and shoe

boxes for our soldiers, everything I have done has been because she gave

me the opportunity.

JUSTIN My parents. They raised six troublesome kids and continuously

worked hard to provide for us.

54 • JANUARY 2022

What are three things on your bucket list?

NARLISE Travel to Japan; Get to my ideal weight; Hike the Grand

Canyon the day before the New Year so that when the fresh year

rolls around, I can see the sunrise on a beautiful landscape and

know that I am starting it anew.

JUSTIN Win a Strongman pro card; Travel internationally;

Make it to retirement.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person,

what would it be?

NARLISE “Don’t do tomorrow what can be done today.” I heard

this quote on a tv show once, and it has stuck with me since. At

times, we want to put off our responsibilities for tomorrow instead

of handling the situation at that moment, and I feel like that is what

puts us behind everyone else.

JUSTIN Aspire to achieve something truly great and work

relentlessly to attain it.

Share some things you enjoy doing in your spare time.

NARLISE I enjoy reading thriller novels or cooking. But, honestly,

time is hard to come by when you work 12-hour shifts.

JUSTIN I enjoy relaxing at home, eating good food, and training

in the gym for Strongman competitions.

What is your favorite thing about Madison County?

NARLISE The way we all work together to keep our areas safe for

our loved ones. The respect that we have for one another is what

keeps this county going, regardless of the color of our skin or

backgrounds. When a person is walking through a door, we hold it

open. When asked a question, it is always answered with a yes

ma’am or no sir.

JUSTIN My favorite thing is living in the City of Ridgeland. Being

in an interracial marriage, I feel more at home living there amongst

the diverse population, and we have received nothing but kindness

from the people there.

Hometown MADISON • 55

The CHALKBOARD Madison Schools

Madison Central

2021-2022 PTO Board Members

First L-R: Dawn Russell, Beverly Johnston, Sally Harrison, Rachel McCaffrey, Adelene Killens, and Frank Riley

Second L-R: Kapka Elenkov, Lea Miler, Mary Ann Spell, Susan Hetzel, Tiffiney Carter-Washington, and Rhonda Boles

Third L-R: Carrie Ainsworth, Collin Hutchinson, Becky Covington, Mandy Walters, Kathy Storm, Trisha Coleman, and Wendy Powell

Fourth L-R: Gena Dear, Deanne Walberg, Courtney Dean, Angie Brunini, Karla Rives, Christie Smith, and Bonney Henderson

Fifth L-R: Kathryn Stewart, Bridgett Chisolm, Devin Moseley, and Charlie Price.

Pawprint yearbook won the following awards at the MSPA

fall conference held at the University of Southern Mississippi

Monday, November 1: 2021 Best Yearbook of the Year for the

state of Mississippi; best yearbook cover design; best

yearbook photography; best copy; finalist for best yearbook

academic photo (Abby Boyd); finalist for best feature spread

(Olivia Heard); finalist for best feature writing/reporting

(Grayson Franks); finalist for best senior advertising; finalist

for best yearbook feature photo (Ella Gibbs); finalist for best

sports spread (Grayson Franks); finalist for best sports writing/

reporting (Grayson Franks); finalist for best sports writing/

reporting (Abby Boyd and Grayson Franks); and finalist for

best yearbook sports photo (Elizabeth Walters). Pictured is the

2022 Pawprint yearbook staff who attended the conference.

Back row left to right are Mackenzie Mercer, Angel Kaur,

Rachael Carpenter, Lucy Hawk and Joaquin Chade-Mendez.

Third row left to right are Rhyin Singleton, Landry Gates,

Fancier Shi, Anna Edgar and Sarah Corley. Second row left to

right are Rebecca Warren, Audrey Jenkins, Elizabeth Walters

and Olivia Heard. Front row left to right are Kate Elizabeth

Lewis and Abby Boyd. The 2021 editors were Payton Abner,

(current freshman at Mississippi State University), Haley Cote

(current freshman at the University of Mississippi), Ella Gibbs

(current freshman at the University of Alabama) and Adeline

Walters (current freshman at Mississippi State University).

The staff is advised by Vicky Williams.

56 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown MADISON • 57

TheTime COIN

Camille Anding

The calendar shouts 2022. And with

the New Year I have great intentions

- bordering on resolutions.

The first is collecting material for a book entitled: From Mysteries to Meals.

It will be a simple task because all the collectibles are presently frozen stiff in

our freezer stationed nearby in our carport.

The upright freezer isn’t oversized, but it is a bit larger than average and keeper of unnamed

containers and bags that hold items I deemed worth saving. Just what kind of items, you

wonder? That’s the mystery of my book. A few containers are labeled; the majority are not, and

I’m well aware that it’s a job that’s months past due. Every freezer shelf is crowded, and every

drawer is spilling over. Even the icemaker is screaming, “Too tight!!”

There’s no better time than the present, the beginning of a new year, to give me that initial push

to begin. My first step is where and how to begin – a shelf at a time or a random selection of three

or four items per meal. I’m certain that the largest number of mystery containers hold small

portions of vegetables that I saved for soup day. Our freezer testifies that soup day hasn’t been

on my calendar for months. That day WILL be on my calendar this week.

The meat and remaining-casserole containers will know their destiny once they are thawed.

I will be a chef extraordinaire if I can concoct edible dishes from taco meat and sweet potato


Within two, maybe three weeks, I’ll have a clean, spacious, organized freezer with breathing

room for the icemaker. I’ll have created a variety of new dishes for my recipe book, and we’ll

eat so much “mystery” soup that choosing to dine out will be an opportunity with unparalleled


There’ll be spiritual lessons, too. 1) I’m blessed to live in a land that has leftovers and modern

conveniences designed to store them. 2) A large pot of soup (if not too mysterious) should be

shared so there won’t be any leftovers recycled to the freezer. 3) It’s a wise person who labels

things and NOT people.

58 • JANUARY 2022











The Gatlin






20 22













Feb. 11 – Dylan Scott

Feb. 12 – Joe Nichols

Feb. 13 – The Gatlin Brothers

Feb. 16 – Justin Moore

Feb. 17 – Neal McCoy

Feb. 18 – Gary Allan

Feb. 19 – Bellamy Brothers





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If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

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