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2 • 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


The Way We Were 6

Homewtown Family 12

Hometown On the Move 18

Renewed, Restored, Redeemed

Miracle Ear 30

Giving Back 34

The Mark 37

Mercy House 38

Going the Distance 44

Kids Who Care 46

The Weight is Over 50

Rankin’s Red Carpet 57

The Time Coin 106

...see you around town.

www.facebook.com/hometownrankinmagazine. 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 Rankin may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The management of Hometown Rankin is not responsible for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

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

Hometown RANKIN • 3




4 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 5

Jaime & Ben Stein

Melanie McMillan

Ben and Jaime Stein’s love

story began in 1992, when the two

were students at Covington High

School in Louisiana. Ben, a senior,

and Jaime, a sophomore, were

introduced by a mutual friend and

soon began dating. Both ended up

at William Carey College, where

Ben played baseball and Jaime

played softball.

The couple married in 1997 and

made their home in Hattiesburg.

A short two years later, Jaime was

presented with a job opportunity

which would require the Steins to

relocate to the Jackson area. Jaime

accepted the position as an

accountant with Arthur Anderson

and the two moved to Rankin

County where Ben began teaching

and coaching at Northwest Rankin

High School.

Jaime and Ben settled into their

new hometown and like many

young couples, stayed busy with

their respective careers. The family

grew with the arrival of daughter

Kayley and son Bryce, and juggling

work and household responsibilities

was more difficult. “Those days

were hard without family close by,”

says Ben. “Tax season for Jaime

coincided with baseball season

for me and it wasn’t easy trying

to balance it all, but we always

supported each other and worked

it out.”

In 2008, Ben took on a new role

as assistant principal at Northwest

Rankin High School, and in 2014

he became the head principal.

Jaime is the vice president for

corporate tax at C-Spire, where

she’s worked for eight years.

Although their careers keep them

busy, family is their top priority.

“We never missed our children’s

events,” says Jaime, “although

sometimes it meant going in

separate directions with each

child.” Their daughter Kayley, a

teacher at Pisgah Elementary, is

married to Austin Bennett and

expecting their first child, a boy, in

March. Son Bryce is a student at

South Georgia Technical College,

where he is training to be a diesel


Like most couples who have

been married for many years,

there have been good times as well

as difficult times for Jaime and

Ben. Several years ago, what

started as a seemingly innocuous

headache for Ben became a very

scary situation for the couple.

“I had a headache at work one

morning and didn’t think much

of it, but I ended up leaving early

that day because it got more

intense, and nothing was helping.”

The pain continued to increase

throughout the night and Ben had

a CT scan the following day. He

went home to await the results,

6 • JANUARY 2022

“God provided a

miracle for me.”

but the pain medicine he was

given didn’t provide any relief, so

he ended up in the ER. Admitted

to the hospital, it was discovered

that Ben had a tumor on his

pituitary gland and optic nerve,

and surgery was performed just

three days after the initial headache.

“God provided a miracle for me,”

says Ben. “The tumor had ruptured

and released from the optic nerve.

I was originally told I would most

likely need hormones and

chemotherapy, but they were able

to get all of the tumor.”

The affection that Ben and

Jaime shared as high school

sweethearts is still evident after

many years of marriage. “Of

course, I was attracted to Jaime’s

beauty right away,” says Ben, “but

she possesses so many qualities

that I still see and love in her.

Pure of heart, humble, honest,

loyal, and family oriented - she is

all those things.” Jaime says of

Ben, “He has the biggest heart

and is very passionate about what

he does. He always puts others

before himself.” Ben and Jaime

agree that being supportive and

respectful of each other is so

important to a lasting relationship,

and they credit their parents for

setting a great example of what

marriage should look like. Ben’s

parents just celebrated their 50th

anniversary and Jaime’s parents

have been married for 47 years.

The loving relationship that

Ben and Jaime have with each

other has naturally extended to

their children. “I’ve certainly been

blessed with the best parents,”

daughter Kayley says. “They

worked hard to give my brother

and me the best childhood. They

have always been my number one

supporters and have shaped me

into the person I am today.

They’ve given me a wonderful

example of what a marriage looks

like as well as what great parents

look like. I cannot wait to see them

step into the role of Mimi and Pops

as my husband and I welcome our

first child in March. I am so proud

of them both and so grateful for

everything they’ve done for me.”

Bryce echoes his sister’s

feelings. “I am very lucky to have

parents who are so loving and

caring. From day one they have

been there for me and my sister in

every way. Through my life they

have instilled great morals in me.

They are always there for me

through the highs and the lows.

There are no words to describe

how thankful I am that I get to

call them my parents.”

Hometown RANKIN • 7

8 • JANUARY 2022





Why did you decide to make Rankin County

your home?

I grew up in Rankin County, and I knew this is

where I would want to raise my children one day.

How long have you lived in Rankin County?

I have lived here all my life.

Tell us about your family.

I am married to Doug Ragsdale, and we celebrated

our 20th anniversary in 2021. We have three

children: Chelsea, a graduate of Richland High

School and Ole Miss; Sydney, a senior at Richland

High School; and Preston, a sophomore at Richland

High School.

What is your favorite memory of living in

Rankin County?

My favorite memory would have to be the game

days. Football games, basketball games…they have

always been my favorite, and still are.

What are your three favorite places to eat in

Rankin County?

My favorite places to eat are Jerry’s Fish House,

Half Shell, and Primos Café.

What are some fun things to do in Rankin

County on the weekends?

I love to just ride around and sightsee. There are so

many hidden gems in Rankin County!

Share some things you enjoy doing in your

spare time.

My spare time is usually filled with something that

involves my children. When I am alone, I like to

read or watch scary movies.

What are three things on your bucket list?

My bucket list consists of going to California, Bora

Bora, and Hawaii!

Who is someone you admire and why?

The person I admire most would be my Aunt Sarah

- she keeps our family in line. She makes sure we

continue with traditions, and is so giving, never

asking for anything in return. She does so much for

everyone. I admire her compassion and how she

helps others.

Where do you see yourself ten years

from now?

I plan to still volunteer/help wherever there is a

need and open a food pantry.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Riding my bike with my brother, cousins, and

friends. We would have the best adventures on

those bikes!

If you could give us one encouraging quote,

what would it be?

This quote is dear to me: “Make everything you do


What is your favorite thing about

Hometown Magazines?

My favorite thing is how they highlight the big and

small things of Rankin County. The name says it all:


Hometown RANKIN • 9

10 • JANUARY 2022



JANUARY 9, 2022

1PM - 3PM






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Hometown RANKIN • 11

12 • JANUARY 2022

PHOTOS: For the Wild by Sammy


Tell us about your family.

We are the Munns! Our family includes Kyle and Misty, both 30.

We own Munn Roofing and Construction and also have two other

careers; we’ll talk more about those a little later.

We have two girls - Priscilla, who is five, and Ella Claire, who is two.

From traveling, hanging out with our family and friends, being in the

outdoors, and going to church, we love doing everything together as a

family. Oh, and going out to eat, I can’t forget to mention that one!

Our favorite spots are El Cabrito in Florence and Genna Benna’s in


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

Kyle and I met when we were in kindergarten at the ripe age of five

years old. We both had a crush on each other through elementary.

We went to school together at Simpson Central from K5-5th grade.

We began dating in January 2013 while at Mississippi State University

and made great memories while in Starkville. I graduated in December

2014 with a bachelor’s degree in finance, and Kyle graduated in

December 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

We got married in February 2016 at my home church in Star.

Hometown RANKIN • 13

Do you allow time to be with your

spouse for a date night?

I have to be honest; we don’t get a date

night every often, but when we do, we

usually end up at Amerigo in Flowood.

Recently, we have had an extra guest with

us on these “date nights” (Priscilla).

What brings you the greatest joy

as a parent?

Our girls are our world! I have to say, they

have taught us more than we have taught

them. The love they have for one another is

the sweetest thing I have ever seen. Kyle

and I look forward to the day they both

accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and

live on mission for Him!

Who is the financial manager in

your home?

MISTY I am most definitely, like 110%, the

financial manager in our home. With our

new business, Kyle has gotten a little more

experience in keeping up with bills and

when certain things are due, but I will say,

I enjoy doing our finances, so it doesn’t

bother me.

What is your discipline philosophy?

I would have to say we are still learning,

ourselves, what our discipline philosophy is.

Our girls sure do give us a run for our

money, but we try our best to guide them

in a Godly way to do what is right. But

when discipline is needed, Kyle has a tree

outside where he picks his switches from.

14 • JANUARY 2022

What do you see in your role as the

greatest benefit to your family?

MISTY I would say my greatest benefit to

my family is being the “planner.” I love to

always have fun things/trips planned for us

to do. Our weekends are usually filled with

fun agendas that keep us busy!

KYLE My greatest benefit to my family is

being a family man and striving to be the

spiritual leader that I am called to be.

I love spending time with my girls. I always

wanted a boy, but now I wouldn’t have it

any other way.

What’s a quick go to meal that isn’t

fast food? And who does the cooking?

Meatloaf, peas, and squash (or string bean)

casserole. I use my mama’s recipe for the

meatloaf and casserole, and they are super

easy, and it all can be done in under an hour.

If it’s in the kitchen, I am usually the one

cooking it. If a recipe calls for chicken or

turkey, Kyle always comes in to save the day

and will shred a rotisserie chicken for me

(they are so yummy). Kyle specialties are

breakfast food, grilling and frying, of course.

How long has Florence been

your home?

Growing up, I lived on the outskirts of

Florence, right over the county line, but

Kyle and I made Florence our home in

2015 and have loved every second of it.

Florence is a small hometown feel with a

community like no other. We don’t go

anywhere without seeing people we know,

and our girls are as social as we are.

How do you spend summer breaks?

The beach is our happy place. We love to go

to Destin as many times during the summer

as we can. The girls are mermaids at heart

and stay in the ocean all day long. Ella

Claire takes her best naps on the beach, too.

What are some of your favorite things

about Rankin County?

There are so many things about Rankin

County that we love. Safety would have

to be on the top of our list. Also, our girls

aren’t in “big school” yet, but one of the

main reasons we chose Florence as the

place to raise our family is because of the

phenomenal school district it offers.

Priscilla will start K5 at Steens Creek in

the fall, and she is so ready to be an Eagle!

What accomplishments make you

proud during your time living in


Being my Papaw’s (Papa Shack) granddaughter

is one of the things I am most

proud of. He was known not only all around

Florence but around Rankin County. He

served this county in ways that left marks

on so many people, that remind me, all the

time, of how much they thought of him or

what he did for them. My favorite memory

with my Papaw is when I went on the

campaign trail with him when I was nine

years old and helped him campaign for

Sheriff Ronnie Pennigton. Boy, did we

have a good time!

What do you do for a living and

what drives you to have that job?

MISTY I am the senior vice president of

marketing and business development for

Members Exchange Credit Union. At the

credit union, our main goal is to help the

people in our communities reach their

financial potential that they might not

even realize they are capable of. Offering

relatable banking experiences that members

feel good about is what I strive for. If I

know that I have helped one person,

financially or personally, whether it’s a

member or even an employee, I know

I am doing my job.

KYLE I am the superintendent of AAA

Construction and owner of Munn Roofing

and Construction. I enjoy meeting people.

We opened our business in September of

2021 and with being a new business owner,

I have enjoyed the challenges each job has

brought and seeing the finished product.


What’s your favorite thing to do

as a family?

PRISCILLA Going to the mountains.

ELLA CLAIRE Playing in the sand and

building a castle.

What your favorite restaurant?

PRISCILLA Amerigo when we get all the

Coke Zero.

ELLA CLAIRE “Kemo’s” (Primos)

What’s your favorite TV show?

PRISCILLA Mickey Mouse and Vampirina


Hometown RANKIN • 15

16 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 17


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!

18 • 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 RANKIN • 19

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.

20 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 21

22 • 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

Hometown RANKIN • 23


to First Responders





Why did you decide to be a policeman?

I honestly did not choose law enforcement as my first career.

I enjoyed being able to help people and first started off as a

volunteer fireman. I thought being a fireman was my way to help

others. After going through EMT school and not being able to find

a full-time fireman job, I rode with a close friend that was a police

officer. After riding one night, I knew that was a way that I could

give back and help others. Less than two weeks later, I was hired

and haven’t looked back since. It was obvious, God chose this path.

How long have you been with the Flowood PD?

Since January 2012.

Tell us about your family.

I am happily married with two kids.

What is the toughest thing you’ve experienced in your job?

I am sure many will agree in this line of work that death, by any

means, is the hardest. Police are always the first on the scene of

many fatalities. As an officer, you must learn to treat it as work

and leave work at work.

Share some things you enjoy doing in your spare time.

I am an avid hunter and fisherman. I also enjoy working on cars

and racing in my spare time.

What are three things on your bucket list?

Would like to go on a duck hunting trip in Argentina and

take my kids to Disney World. But most importantly, just

spend more time with my kids.

Who is someone you admire and why?

He probably doesn’t know this, but Ben Schuler. He was my

first police chief and a great leader. He has been a longtime

family friend and role model. He’s a god-fearing man that

has always trusted God to make his path. I can say he and

his family have always been there when needed.

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

what would it be?

Best advice I could give, put the phone down. Live life in person.

Stay off social media platforms and spend more time with family.

You will regret the time missed. Live life for today, not tomorrow.

What is your favorite thing about the City of Flowood?

The family feeling you get here. Everyone is treated as family

and is quick to help anyway they can.

What is your favorite thing about Rankin County?

That feeling of safety. It is great to know that we have a county that

will always go over and beyond to keep people safe, regardless of

whether they live here or are just passing through.

24 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 25

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26 • JANUARY 2022

Rankin Performing Arts Fall Production of Elf Jr. - December 10 -11

Register for Spring 2022 Classes and Summer 2022

Summer Camps at rankinperformingarts.com

Follow RPA on Facebook and Instagram @rankinperformingarts

Hometown RANKIN • 27

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.

28 • JANUARY 2022



Hometown RANKIN • 29

30 • 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 RANKIN • 31

32 • 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 RANKIN • 33



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.”

34 • 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 RANKIN • 35

36 • JANUARY 2022

Susan Marquez

When Joe Thrasher planted a

church three years ago, he says

the Lord put it on his heart to have

a special ministry for men. “I am so thankful

for the many faithful ladies in the churches I’ve

been involved in over the years. They are the ones

that have kept things going. But it’s important

that the men be involved too. We need to capture

them and get them to truly be involved in the

church, and to work alongside the women.”

Joe planted The Way church, which is part of

the Mississippi Church Plant Network of the

Mississippi Baptist Convention. The church is

located at 498 Northshore Parkway on the

Rankin side of the Ross Barnett Reservoir. Joe

serves as the lead pastor of the church.

“My idea is to meet men where they are,”

says Joe. “So many men have a passion for the

outdoors, and that conversation can provide the

ability to connect with men in a spiritual way.

The outdoors is the connection to conversation.”

Joe says he wants to talk with men about what

it means to be intentional, and to be a good

husband, father, and a good man. The result

of that is a life group within the church called

The Mark.

The Mark is a Bible study group that meets at

the church on Wednesday nights from 7pm to

8:15pm. It is not necessary to hunt or fish

to be involved. Some guys enjoy camping, or just

being outdoors. Others would like to spend more

time outdoors and the group provides that opportunity.

“We have put together events which

provide opportunities for folks to get out,” says

Joe. “We have had a father-son fishing tournament

and a men’s breakfast, and our goal is to

grow into more events in the future.”

Joe says there are just three regulations to be

involved with The Mark ministry. “You have to

have habits, hurts or hang-ups,” he states. “That

just about covers all of us! I don’t have the nicest

testimony. I’ve made some bad choices in the past.

But what we want to get across is that with God’s

grace, regardless of our past, we are healed. It’s OK

not to be OK. That’s what Christ died for, and it

is his grace that will get us through. There is hope

for anybody.”

The next step for The Mark ministry is a

podcast. “We’ve talked to Casey Combest at Blue

Sky Productions, and we are gearing up to record

the first season. We already have ten guests lined

up. I’m not sure when the first episode will be

released, so stay tuned!”

Hometown RANKIN • 37



Adult &Teen


Melanie McMillan

38 • 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 RANKIN • 39

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.

40 • 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 RANKIN • 41

42 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 43

44 • 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 RANKIN • 45

46 • 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 RANKIN • 47

48 • JANUARY 2022

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.

Hometown RANKIN • 49

50 • 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 RANKIN • 51

52 • 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 RANKIN • 53

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

54 • 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 RANKIN • 55



56 • JANUARY 2022

Six years ago, the team at Hometown Publishing,

publishers of Hometown Rankin Magazine,

embarked on creating a red carpet event that would

celebrate the outstanding business community

in which we live and work. Rankin County’s

Best of the Best Red Carpet Gala was born.

This year, nominations were accepted in sixty-eight

categories, and online voting was used to determine

the winner in each category. Winners will be

announced at the sold-out gala on January 13th.

Anyone in the top five of any category has clearly

established themselves as a leader–

and for that we congratulate you!

We wish you continued success in 2022

and are honored to celebrate your achievements.


Hometown RANKIN • 57



Asahi Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Fuji Japanese & Sushi Grill

Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi Grill


Osaka Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar


Boo’s Smokehouse BBQ

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit/Brandon

Kenova Smokehouse

Smokehouse of Florence

Sonny’s BBQ


Black Axes

Burgers & Blues

Crossroads Store & Grill

Laid Back Burger Shack

Mugshots Grill and Bar


Chicken Salad Chick

Frisco Deli

Jersey Mike’s Subs

McAlister’s Deli/Brandon

Newk’s Eatery/Flowood


El Cabrito Mexican Restaurant/Florence

El Potrillo Mexican Restaurant/Brandon

El Sombrero/Flowood


Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant/Pearl


Hungry Howie’s Pizza

Lost Pizza Co.

Papa John’s/Brandon

Pizza Shack/Pearl

Soulshine Pizza Factory


Boo’s Smokehouse BBQ


McClain Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse

Table 100


GB Bakery

Sugar Magnolia Takery

The Blue Feather

The Yard Milkshake Bar

Twisted Kitty Creations Cakes and Designs


BB’s Live

Buffalo Wild Wings

Missy Sippy Roof Top Bar/Sheraton Flowood

Table 100

The Gallows Bar at Genna Benna’s


Bless This Food Catering

Fresh Cut Catering & Floral

Georgia Blue

McClain Catering

The Hungry Goat


Bougie Coffee Company

Cups at Crossgates

Heavenly Sno and Espresso

Mocha Mugs

The Blue Feather


Another Broken Egg

GB Bakery

The Blue Feather

Primos Café



Burgers & Blues

Cross Country Grocery

Fannin Mart

Georgia Blue/Flowood

Mama’s Kitchen


Amerigo Italian Restaurant

Cerami’s Italian Restaurant

Genna Benna’s

Half Shell Oyster House

Table 100


& Wellness


Dr. Brad Madden, Merit Health/Flowood

Dr. Carrie Nash,

Baptist Medical Group/Brandon

Dr. James D. Polk,

Greenfield Family Healthcare

Dr. Michael Albert, Rankin Rural Medical

Dr. Scott Davis,

Baptist Medical Group/Richland


Baptist Medical Clinic/Brandon

Greenfield Family Healthcare/Brandon

Merit Health/Flowood

Rankin Rural Medical/Richland

Whatley Family Medical/Florence


Dr. Adam Adcock,

The Children’s Clinic/Flowood

Dr. Daniel Mullins,

The Children’s Clinic/Flowood

Dr. Dennis W. Rowlen,

Rankin Children’s Group/Brandon

Dr. Joseph Edwards,

Rankin Children’s Group/Flowood

Dr. Dr. Timi Oluwarotimi Adepoju,

EmPower Children’s Clinic/Pearl


Alyssa Fuller,

Elite Physical Therapy/Richland

Blake Hobbs, Apex Physical Therapy

Brooks Fortenberry,

Performance Therapy/Florence

Greg Horlock, Elite Physical Therapy/Richland

Spencer Shoemaker,

Performance Therapy/Brandon

58 • JANUARY 2022


Ashley Shivers, NP, Puckett Medical

Donald Garrett, NP,

Greenfield Family Healthcare/Brandon

Jennifer Pate,

Tri-County Pulmonary & Sleep Clinic/Flowood

Karen Seago, NP, Merit Health/Pearl

Sonya Whatley,

Whatley Family Medical/Florence



Capital Ortho/Flowood

MindFull, P.A./Brandon

MS Sports Medicine and

Orthopaedic Center/Flowood

New Path Counseling/Flowood

Southern Diabetes Care/Florence



Dr. Anna Asher,

Belle Meade Medical Dermatology

Dr. Chris Kneip, Capital Ortho

Dr. Donald Baker,

Merit Health Orthopedics/Pearl

Dr. Jep Cole,

Cole Facial Clinic and Skin Care

Dr. Temeka Johnson,

Lakeland Premier Women’s Clinic


Chateau Pines Assisted Living

Peach Tree Village Assisted Living

Plain View Assisted Living

The Blake at Flowood

Villa South Assisted Living


Dr. Brad Kennedy,

Kennedy Chiropractic Clinic

Dr. Chad Brown,

Brown Chiropractic Clinic

Dr. Haley Fortenberry,

Brandon Family Chiropractic

Dr. Justin Brumfield,

Brumfield Chiropractic

Dr. Chris Fowler,

Fowler ProChiropractic & Wellness Center


Dr. Erin Green, Grants Ferry Family Dental

Dr. Jason Cox, Belle Meade Family Dental

Dr. Sara Langston, Dental Wellness

Dr. Brad Williams, Pelahatchie Dental Group

Dr. Amye Shamburger, Reservoir Smiles



Dr. Anna Taylor,

Taylor EyeCare Family Optometry

Dr. Mark Allen, The Optical Shoppe

Dr. Patrick Beatty,

Taylor EyeCare Family Optometry

Dr. Anh Giang Edwards,

Professional Eyecare Associates

Dr. Tina Sorey, Eyecare Professionals


Burn Boot Camp/Flowood

Coyote Fitness/Flowood

Cut & Dry Gym/Spillway

Fitness 1440/Richland

The Club at Crossgates


Lacey Clark, The Wellness Spa

DeAngela Hall, The Peaceful Escape

Tiffany Melton, Massage by Tiffany

Lizzie Valdez, The Skin District

Tony Templeton, Reservoir Chiropractic



Jane Wasser, The Skin District

Jenny Warren, Green Wellness Spa

Megan McLeod, The Face Bar

Mindy Speights, Cole Facial Clinic & Skin Care

Trista Boles, Serenity Facials



Formeka Ball, Ball Tax & Accounting

Jason Witcher, Witcher CPA

Jennifer Brown, Garrett & Garrett

Kimberly D. Foreman, CPA, PC

Kristi Thompson, Barlow & Company


A. Bruce Wood, JH&H Architects

Chas Smithers,

Smithers Engineering & Consultants

Jeff Prewitt, P&N Designs, LLC

Mike Thompson, Thompson Place Making

Jose’ Arellano, Pryor Morrow


Ann Regan Barlow, McNinch Law Firm

Mel Coxwell, P.A.

Shannon Elliott, Elliott Law Firm

Tameika Bennett, Bennett Law Office

William Welch, Welch Law Firm


Andrew Comans, Trustmark Bank

Carl Easley, Easley Investment Consultants

Chas Gualano, Trustmark Bank

Dywayne Watkins,

Raymond James Financial Services

Mylan Anderson, Smith Moore



Community Bank/Brandon

Origin Bank/Flowood

PriorityOne Bank/Brandon

Trustmark Bank/Castlewoods


Jessica Allen, The Mortgage Connection

Kasey Finklea, Diversified Mortgage

Shane Dubois´, Community Bank

Tonya Leach, PriorityOne Bank

Whitt Conner, Community Bank


Clancy Walker, Insurance Protection Specialists

Malcolm Houston, State Farm/Flowood

Matt Pitts, State Farm/Brandon

Rachel Crane, Alfa Insurance/Pearl

Tanner Wilson, Farm Bureau/Florence

Hometown RANKIN • 59


4B Construction

Brandt Builders

Lyles Signature Homes

Mike Roberson Builders

S & S Builders



Kitchen Kreations

Ming Construction

Outdoor Innovations Design & Build

Sawyer Custom Construction

Stephens Custom Renovations



Accolade Home Inspections

Cornerstone Inspections

Clear View Property Inspection

Magnolia Home Inspection

RealPro Inspection



AirCo - Heating & Air Conditioning Services

AKM Air Solutions

Brady’s Heating and Cooling

Pure Air Consultants

The AC Doctors



Ambiance Landscape, LLC

Lawn Perfection, LLC

Murphy’s Lawn & Landscape

Plant It Earth

Scarlet Oak Lawn Care


Layla Hutton, Local Real Estate

Emily Phillips, Havard Real Estate Group

Kim Edwards, Southern Homes Real Estate

Kimberlee Haralson, NextHome Realty

Mitsy Merritt, The McCaughan Company


Alexis Davis, ALD Photography

Erica Burleson Photography

Watson Photography

Tiffany Givens, Tiffany G Photography

Warren Brothers Media


A&M Auto Mechanics

A1 Gear & Auto

Darrell’s Auto

Gleason Tire

The Tire Depot


Express Cleaners/Flowood

Kolb’s Cleaners/Brandon

Nu-Way Dry Cleaning/Brandon

Safeway Cleaners/Pearl

Wells Cleaners/Flowood


Brandon Animal Hospital

Crossgates Veterinary Clinic

Hometown Veterinary Hospital

Luckney Animal Hospital

Oakdale Animal Clinic


Circle of Friends

FBC Brandon Daycare

Kids Konnection

Miss Mandy’s Daycare

Railroad Center Daycare


Bob’s Pool Service

Clearwater Pools

P&P Pools

Paradise Pools

Pool Works



Brandon Rentall

K & M Rentals

Puckett Rents

Rankin Rental

RentAll Rentals


Advanced Steam Extraction

Heavenly Helpers

Mighty Men Enterprises, LLC

Pace Cleaning Services

Super Clean Cleaning Services


Brittany Odom, LBAC Travel

Elisa Wilson, Sweet Destinations, LLC

Jennifer Muse, Muse Magical Travel

Lacey Hedgepeth, Magnolia Travel Group

Mindi Phillips, Beloved Getaways

Retail &




Bob Boyte Honda

Fowler Buick GMC

Gray-Daniels Ford

Noel Daniels Motor Company

Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet


A Yellow Rose

Chapman’s Florist

Joy Flower Shoppe

Simply Southern Celebrations

Willow Blu Florist, Gifts and Custom Framing


Boudreaux’s Timeless Treasures

D. Noblin Furniture

Miskelly Furniture

Ross Furniture

T & D Furniture


Crossgates Jewelers

Crown Jewelers

DNS Diamonds

Jackson Jewelers

Mike Wright Jewelry


Apple Annie’s Gift Shop

Downtown Giftery

Mockingbird Marketplace

O! How Cute


60 • JANUARY 2022



Cockrell’s Farmers Market

Doris Berry’s Farmers Market

Lakeland Yard & Garden

Rivers Greenhouse & Garden

The Landing Plant & Feed


Brandon Discount Drugs

Family Drug Mart

Olde Towne Drugs

Polk’s Drugs at Crossgates

Rhodes & Robby Rexall Drugs



Itty Bitty Kid’s Boutique

Southern Raised

The Punky Rooster


Willow + Grace



Flawless Boutique

Red Wagon Boutique

The Beach Look Boutique

The Punky Rooster

Whimsy Willows Boutique


Meraki Hair Studio

Rock Paper Scissors Hair Salon

Shine & Glo Salon

The Social House

Untamed Salon


Ashton Thomas, Salon 042

Jessica Dennis, Salon 042

Jessica Hudson, Meraki Hair Studio

Julie Jones, Rock Paper Scissors Hair Salon

Morgan Wilke, The Glossary/Brandon


VIP Nails & Spa/Flowood

Infinity Nails/Brandon

Radiant Nails/Flowood

ZaZa Nails/Richland

Guitar Nails/Florence


Charlotte’s Screen Printing

Hallet Group Marketing

Oneway Promotional Products

Pollchaps Screen Print & Embroidery

SignMark, LLC



Black Axes

Break iT Smash Rooms

ePlex Connection City

McClain Safari Park




Elite Physical Therapy/Richland

Greenfield Family Healthcare

NextHome Realty Experience

Performance Therapy/Brandon

The Blue Feather



Kare In Home Hospice

Mississippi Braves

Mississippi HomeCare

NewSouth NeuroSpine

Zavation Medical Products



Brown Bottling Group

GI Associates

Merit Health/Brandon

Pearl Public School District

Rankin County School District



The Mustard Seed

Ever Reaching Community Outreach

Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County

Shannon’s Home for Hope

The Center for Violence Prevention

...and the winner is...

Hometown RANKIN • 61





Vision Correction & Laser Cataract Vision Correction & Eye Exams Vision Correction & Laser Cataract Laser Cataract & Blade-Free LASIK

Best Eye Care in Mississippi. With Lakeland Drive locations in

Jackson and Flowood, Mississippi’s best eye care and vision

correction expertise has never been more accessible or convenient.

Schedule your appointment today, and See the Difference.

240 Belle Meade Point in Flowood | 1501 Lakeland Drive in Jackson | EyeCare4MS.com | 601.366.1085

62 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 63

64 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 65

66 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 67

68 • JANUARY 2022

601-591-CLUB (2582)

Thank you Rankin County for

placing us in the top 5 for


Hometown RANKIN • 69

t h a n k y o u f o r v o t i n g u s i n t o t h e

t o p 5 f o r " b e s t D i n n e r " i n R a n k i n c o u n t y !

r i d g e l a n d | f l o w o o d | a m e r i g o . n e t


70 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 71



For nominating Gray Daniels Ford

Best Car Dealership!


72 • JANUARY 2022








Shane Dubois NMLS# 642326 | Whitt Conner NMLS# 1691175

Hometown RANKIN • 73

Send money

in the



Send money straight from your smartphone to friends,

family or millions of others with access to Zelle. It’s

free, fast and secure with your BankPlus Mobile

Banking app. Learn more at bankplus.net.

1. Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient’s email address or U.S.

mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle. 2. Must have a bank account in the

U.S. to use Zelle. 3. In order to send payment requests or split payment requests

to a U.S. mobile number, the mobile number must already be enrolled with Zelle. 4.

Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC

and are used herein under license.

© Copyright 2021 BankPlus.

Member FDIC.

74 • JANUARY 2022

Our outstanding staff has said

it for years and now it’s official.



GI Associates was

voted top 5 Best

Places to work in

Rankin County


Hometown RANKIN • 75

Top 5 Insurance Agents

in Rankin County ! *

Tanner Wilson

Rankin County Agent


Go with the Home Team


for voting us into the

Top 5




Auto · Home · Life

*Annual votes compiled by The Caswell Messenger Readers’ Choice Awards

*Annual votes compiled by Hometown

Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards

Mississippi’s Premier Assisted Living and

Memory Care Community

350 Town Center Way | Flowood, MS 39232

(601) 401-4906 | blakeliving.com/flowood

76 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 77

JH&H would like to Thank You for nominating and

voting Bruce Wood in the Top 5 for Best Architect.

Best of the Best in Rankin County.

1047 N. Flowood Drive | Flowood, MS 39232

601.948.4601 | jhharchitects.com

78 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 79

80 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 81

82 • JANUARY 2022


MON. - SAT. : 6AM-6PM








Hometown RANKIN • 83

84 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 85

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Hometown RANKIN • 87

88 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 89







Ready to serve all of your physical therapy needs!

Visit us at MyElitePT.com to request an appointment.

90 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 91

The staff at Rankin Rural and Dr. Albert

thank you for the nominations!

129 Center St. Richland, MS / 769-233-7141

92 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 93

94 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 95

96 • JANUARY 2022





Origin has been proud to support our customers and communities

through everyday business and unexpected challenges for more than 100 years.

Your trust in us is something we never take for granted, and we look forward to

opportunities to build even greater relationships over the next hundred years.


Hometown RANKIN • 97


98 • JANUARY 2022

Voted Best Dinner four times!

Shrimp Trio available now through January!

115 Laurel Park Cove Suite 105 | Flowood, MS

769-257-7586 | www.halfshelloysterhouse.com

Hometown RANKIN • 99

100 • JANUARY 2022





Hometown RANKIN • 101

ISO 9001

ISO 17025

We show the world what measurement can do.

Your partner for weighing & measurement &

metrology services since 1947

At Michelli Weighing & Measurement, we show the world

what measurement can do by providing customers with

comprehensive service & high-quality equipment that

offers each of them an easier, more efficient way to

perform their job functions through the use of weighing

& measurement technology.

29 service areas in 11 states

Fleet of heavy duty test trucks

+ Team of experienced local technicians

Unmatched service support

The products you need paired with the service & experience you can trust

Rental Equipment Available

Calibration | Sales | Service | Rental

Our goal is to help you get the best equipment for your

application at a reasonable price.

The Michelli team is made up of local technicians,

committed to delivering the highest quality of service in

a safe environment.

Let us help you find solutions to increase

efficiency, decrease loss & ensure quality.

*ISO 9001 Registration is applicable to G.T. Michelli Co., Inc. in Harahan, LA, Michelli Measurement Group, Inc. in Santa Fe Springs, CA & Aabbott-Michelli Technologies, Inc. in Houston, TX.

MWM About Us - R9

102 • JANUARY 2022

Providing quality equipment & service for a wide range of measurement disciplines

Weighing | Force | Torque | Pressure | Dimensional | Electrical | Temperature | Frequency

The Michelli Weighing & Measurement Team is here to help

Michelli sells a wide range of weighing & measurement equipment, which is produced by the highest quality equipment

manufacturers in the world.

ISO 9001

ISO 17025

Michelli account managers are product specialists. They take the time to ask the right questions prior to making a

recommendation, in an effort to gain a complete understanding of your application, environment & budget. After we’ve

learned about your business, we can recommend weighing & measurement equipment to fit both your need & your budget.

The Michelli service team is made up of expert scale & calibration technicians & a fleet of heavy duty test trucks.

With 29 service areas located throughout 11 states, support from Michelli is never too far away. Our technicians will ensure

your equipment is installed, grounded & calibrated properly. The Michelli service team can also offer tips on preventative

maintenance to keep operations running smoothly, and provide timely & dependable service should you ever need repairs.

Michelli customers benefit the most from service agreements, which help reduce the cost of preventative maintenance services,

and ensure you have access to 24/7 call-out service.


• Light, medium & heavy capacity scales

• High precision instruments

• Laboratory balances

• Industrial scales

(truck scales, rail scales, etc.)

• Measurement equipment

• Calibration Equipment


• Calibration

• Installation

• Preventative Maintenance

• Equipment Repair

• Weighing System Development

Weighing Systems & Custom Programming

Turn your scale into a multi-tasker and increase productivity.

Give us a call to discuss ways weighing & measurement could help simplify your operations.

Equipment Financing Available

Don’t wait until later to get the equipment you need now.

Harahan, LA

(504) 733-9822

Olive Branch, MS

(662) 890-9073

Birmingham, AL

(205) 621-3151

Stockton, CA

(209) 464-9469

Phoenix, AZ

(800) 903-8823

Baton Rouge, LA

(225) 927-0682

Jackson, MS

(601) 936-6900

Texarkana, AR

(870) 774-1521

Fresno, CA

(800) 903-8823

Reno, NV

(800) 903-8823

Let’s work together.

Bossier City, LA

(318) 747-9730

Greenwood, MS

(601) 936-6900

Little Rock, AR

(501) 455-4301

San Jose, CA

(800) 903-8823

Las Vegas, NV

(800) 903-8823

Lafayette, LA

(337) 484-1304

New Albany, MS

(601) 936-6900

Springdale, AR

(479) 750-4942

Bakersfield, CA

(800) 903-8823

Monroe, LA

(318) 343-3422

Columbia, MS

(601) 731-2544

Nashville, TN

(615) 878-2219

Chula Vista, CA

(619) 240-3613

Seattle, WA

(971) 250-1277

Sulphur, LA

(337) 882-5115

Mobile, AL

(251) 661-3656

Houston, TX

(281) 437-2005

Santa Fe Springs, CA

(562) 903-1669

Portland, OR

(971) 250-1277

*ISO 9001 Registration is applicable to G.T. Michelli Co., Inc. in Harahan, LA, Michelli Measurement Group, Inc. in Santa Fe Springs, CA & Aabbott-Michelli Technologies, Inc. in Houston, TX.

MWM About Us - R9

Hometown RANKIN • 103

104 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 105

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.

106 • JANUARY 2022

Hometown RANKIN • 107





Our team of heart specialists are here for your routine

and preventive cardiac care through lifestyle support,

minimally invasive treatments and in emergent situations.

When you put your heart in our hands, you get the

benefit of skilled, experienced cardiovascular specialists

and Merit Health Heart’s collaborative approach to care.

To learn more, visit MeritHealthHeart.com

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

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