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V102<br />


2 • JANUARY 2023

Our seven<br />

health science<br />

schools are<br />

training the<br />

caregivers all<br />

Mississippians<br />

need for the<br />

future.<br />

All for Your Health<br />

umc.edu/YourHealth<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 3

4 • JANUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 5




6 • FEBRUARY 2023


Sometimes you’ll see it in calendars –<br />

pictures that best depict each month.<br />

There’s never a question about February – it’s the HEART month<br />

– kept true to its theme by Valentine’s Day. Our staff especially enjoyed<br />

working on this month’s content because love is a universal language,<br />

and if it’s the authentic kind, it will always be expressed.<br />

I know you will enjoy this month’s stories that cover the everyday,<br />

thoughtful acts of love, to the extravagant, extremely costly expressions<br />

of love. Perhaps as you read these heart-warming stories, you’ll be<br />

prompted to create your own expressions of love.<br />

We all must agree that love is an action word. When we love<br />

someone, we want to do something for that person. It’s putting love<br />

into action that changes the world around us.<br />

Where’s a good place to start? Reading the love chapter in the Bible,<br />

I Corinthians 13, would be a great place. It will challenge you with its<br />

definition and actions. I remember hearing about a Christian lady who<br />

confessed that she did not love others as she thought she should. She<br />

began reading that chapter multiple times a day for months. Gradually<br />

her life grew into a beautiful expression of love and kindness to all she<br />

knew or met.<br />

I’m grateful for a month that’s associated with love and the joy that<br />

comes with sharing that love. However, I believe God equips His own<br />

with the ability to show love and kindness every month of the year.<br />

Join me in steeping in a verb that the Bible calls “the greatest of all.”<br />



Caroline Hodges<br />



Tahya Dobbs<br />


Daniel Thomas<br />

3dt<br />



Alisha Floyd<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin Dobbs<br />

STAFF<br />


Othel Anding<br />



Lexie Ownby<br />


Mary Ann Kirby<br />

STAFF<br />


Debby Francis<br />


Nikki Robison<br />


The Way We Were 8<br />

Rankin’s Red Carpet 13<br />

J. Gerard’s 34<br />

Reader Spotlight 41<br />

Ways to Say “I Love You” 43<br />

Kids Q&A 60<br />

Kids Who Care 68<br />

Iron Sharpens Iron 74<br />

Hometown Family 78<br />

Garage Treasures 88<br />

The Time Coin 98 ...see you around town.<br />

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<br />

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.<br />

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.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 7

Marianna & Dan Martin<br />

Camille Anding<br />

One of nine children, Dan<br />

had special plans for Dan. His<br />

That’s when he spotted<br />

day was marked with torrential<br />

Martin learned a lot about<br />

grieving family eventually moved<br />

Marianna. He hadn’t seen her<br />

rains. Dan laughs as he recalls<br />

relationships during his<br />

to Puckett, MS, during Dan’s<br />

in almost four years, but his<br />

getting lost on the way to the<br />

childhood in Crestview, Florida.<br />

junior year. That’s when<br />

immediate response was,<br />

coast for their honeymoon. He<br />

When his mother died after<br />

Marianna McLain, a ninth<br />

“Good gracious alive!” He had<br />

believes the flooding had a lot<br />

childbirth, leaving him and<br />

grader, spotted Dan. She recalls<br />

found a “doll!”<br />

to do with it.<br />

his siblings with one parent,<br />

how all the girls “fawned” over<br />

He asked her for a date in<br />

The description of their<br />

Dan found himself with adult<br />

this good-looking young man,<br />

December, and they were<br />

married life is filled with fond<br />

responsibilities at the age of<br />

and she also remembers how he<br />

engaged the following Valen-<br />

memories – a cute garage<br />

sixteen.<br />

never gave her a second look.<br />

tine’s Day. That next Christmas<br />

apartment in Jackson, law<br />

That life-changing situation<br />

In 1958, Dan returned home<br />

on December 27, 1959, Dan<br />

school at night for Dan and a<br />

held the potential for an<br />

after a three and a half year<br />

gave his doll his last name.<br />

daytime job of delivering mail<br />

unfavorable future, but God<br />

military stint in Germany.<br />

Marianna said their wedding<br />

from six to six o’clock to help<br />

8 • FEBRUARY 2023

“ We just<br />

get along -<br />

we enjoy<br />

each other’s<br />

company!”<br />

make their living. Marianna<br />

mate as possessing a generous<br />

and Dan touts a thirty- year<br />

When asked about clues to<br />

graduated from Mississippi<br />

portion of thoughtfulness.<br />

span of playing tennis every<br />

their happily married years,<br />

College and worked as a<br />

Along with his years as an<br />

Sunday afternoon with<br />

Dan spoke first, “Marianna has<br />

nutritionist at the University<br />

attorney, Dan has served in the<br />

Waymon Tigrett, Jack Root,<br />

never contested any decisions<br />

Medical Center.<br />

senate, and Marianna is still a<br />

and Jack Rhodes.<br />

I’ve ever made.” Marianna<br />

Even though the couple sat<br />

member of the Official<br />

The Martin’s two children,<br />

added, “He’s always discussed<br />

opposite each other during the<br />

Mississippi Women’s Club<br />

Dana Martin Dossett and<br />

decisions with me, but it’s been<br />

interview, it was obvious that<br />

where she’s served as president.<br />

husband Randy, and son<br />

his call. His decisions are<br />

their hearts were side by side.<br />

First Baptist Church Brandon<br />

Garron Martin and wife<br />

usually wiser than mine.”<br />

When describing their marriage,<br />

has been their church anchor<br />

Wanda, live close by so<br />

After being with them<br />

Marianna said, “We just get<br />

since 1960.<br />

enjoying their four grandsons<br />

briefly, it’s obvious that two of<br />

along – we enjoy each other’s<br />

The two have been active<br />

and two great-grandsons<br />

their wisest decisions were<br />

company!” She describes her<br />

mixed-doubles tennis players,<br />

brings them added delight.<br />

choosing each other.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 9

Founded to serve Mississippi’s petroleum industry<br />

back in 1954, Ergon is trusted today by customers<br />

in more than 90 countries around the world.<br />

We offer innovative solutions for asphalt and<br />

pavement preservation, specialty oils, specialty<br />

chemicals, transportation and terminaling, industrial<br />

and commercial construction and much more.<br />

Order online at<br />

order.newks.com<br />

Flowood | Township | Ridgeland | Jackson<br />

10 • FEBRUARY 2023

Students are explorers. Our<br />

job as educators is to help<br />

them FIND THEIR WAY<br />

academically, athletically,<br />

artistically, and spiritually.<br />

Amanda Slack<br />

Head of Lower School<br />

jacksonprep.net<br />

PreK-3 through grade 12<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 11

Grandparents to<br />

grandbabies, our<br />

specialized physicians<br />

provide specialized care.<br />

Your family is the most valuable gift you have. And, you want to<br />

choose the physicians that can deliver the most specialized care<br />

throughout your family’s life. There is a JEA physician for all the family<br />

members you love, grandparents to grandbabies. Specialized care for<br />

your very special family. Schedule an appointment today.<br />

12 • FEBRUARY 2023

BEST OF<br />

THE BEST<br />

Several years ago, the team at Hometown Publishing, publishers of<br />

Hometown Rankin Magazine, embarked on creating a red carpet<br />

event that would celebrate the outstanding business community in<br />

which we live and work. Rankin County’s Best of the Best Red<br />

Carpet Gala was born.<br />

This year, nominations were accepted in 70 categories, and<br />

online voting was used to determine the winner in each category.<br />

Winners were announced at the sold-out gala on January 12th.<br />

Anyone in the top five of any category has clearly established<br />

themselves as a leader–and for that we congratulate you! brate your<br />

achievements.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 13

14 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 15

BEST OF<br />

THE BEST<br />

Nominees<br />

&<br />

Wınners<br />

16 • FEBRUARY 2023

Dining<br />


Asahi Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar<br />

Fuji Japanese & Sushi Grill<br />

Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi Grill WINNER<br />

Osaka Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar<br />

Sushi Village, Richland<br />


Boo’s Smokehouse BBQ<br />

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit<br />

Kenova Smokehouse<br />

Smokehouse of Florence<br />

Sonny’s BBQ WINNER<br />


Burgers Blues Barbecue<br />

Crossroads Store & Grill<br />

Five Guys<br />

Laid Back Burger Shack<br />

Mugshots Grill and Bar WINNER<br />


Frisco Deli WINNER<br />

Jersey Mike’s Subs<br />

McAlister’s Deli<br />

Newk’s Eatery<br />

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches<br />


El Cabrito Mexican Restaurant<br />

El Potrillo Mexican Restaurant WINNER<br />

El Sombrero<br />

Fernando’s<br />

Los Cazadores<br />


Lost Pizza Co.<br />

Mazzio’s Italian Eatery<br />

Soulshine Pizza Factory<br />

The Cleaners by Pizza Shack WINNER<br />

Pizza Shack, Pearl<br />


LongHorn Steakhouse<br />

McClain Steakhouse WINNER<br />

Outback Steakhouse<br />

Table 100<br />

The Lost Mule<br />


Crumbl Cookies WINNER<br />

Sugar Magnolia Takery<br />

SweeTee’s Treats and Design<br />

The Blue Feather<br />

The Yard Milkshake Bar<br />

BEST BAR<br />

Black Axes<br />

McClain Tavern<br />

Shaggy’s on the Rez WINNER<br />

Table 100<br />

The Gallows Bar at Genna Benna’s<br />


Bless This Food Catering<br />

Fresh Cut Catering & Floral<br />

Georgia Blue<br />

McClain Catering<br />

The Hungry Goat WINNER<br />


Bougie Coffee<br />

Cups at Crossgates<br />

Mocha Mugs WINNER<br />

Rollin’ Beans<br />

Six Day Grind Coffee Company<br />



471 Nutrition WINNER<br />

Crossgates Nutrition<br />

Deep South Nutrition<br />

East Brandon Nutrition<br />

The Florence Nutrition<br />


Another Broken Egg<br />

The Do-Nut Shop Café, Richland<br />

Jo’s Diner<br />

Primos Café WINNER<br />

The Blue Feather<br />


Chicken Salad Chick WINNER<br />

Cross Country Grocery<br />

Frisco Deli<br />

Genna Benna’s<br />

Mama’s Kitchen<br />


Amerigo Italian Restaurant WINNER<br />

Cerami’s Italian Restaurant<br />

Half Shell Oyster House<br />

Jake’s<br />

Table 100<br />

Health<br />

& Wellness<br />


Dr. Carrie Nash,<br />

Baptist Medical Group<br />

Dr. James D. Polk WINNER<br />

Greenfield Family Healthcare<br />

Dr. John Brooks,<br />

MEA Pearl Primary Care Plus Clinic<br />

Dr. Marc C. Hellrung,<br />

St. Dominic’s Family Medicine<br />

Dr. Scott M. Kelly,<br />

Baptist Medical Clinic<br />


Baptist Medical Group, Flowood WINNER<br />

Florence Family Clinic<br />

Greenfield Family Healthcare<br />

Merit Health River Oaks<br />

Rankin Rural Medical<br />


Dr. Adam Adcock,<br />

The Children’s Clinic<br />

Dr. Alisha S. Vaughn,<br />

Rankin Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Dennis W. Rowlen WINNER<br />

Rankin Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Joseph Edwards,<br />

Rankin Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Sam J. Denney,<br />

The Children’s Clinic<br />


Blake Hobbs,<br />

Apex Physical Therapy<br />

Christopher Loftin WINNER<br />

Genesis Physical Therapy<br />

Greg Horlock,<br />

Elite Physical Therapy<br />

Peyton Willoughby,<br />

Performance Therapy<br />

Spencer Shoemaker,<br />

Performance Therapy<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 17

18 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 19


Ashley Shivers, NP<br />

Puckett Medical<br />

Donald Garrett, NP<br />

Greenfield Family Healthcare<br />

Kelley Martin, NP WINNER<br />

Florence Family Medical Clinic<br />

Mary Claire Ponder, NP<br />

Baptist Medical Group<br />

Roxian Odom, NP<br />

MindFULL Mental Health Clinic<br />



Capital Ortho<br />

Davis Therapeutic Services<br />

GI Associates & Endoscopy Center<br />

Mississippi Sports Medicine<br />

& Orthopaedic Center WINNER<br />

New Path Counseling<br />



Dr. Chris Kneip,<br />

Capital Ortho<br />

Dr. Donald Baker,<br />

Merit Health Orthopedics<br />

Dr. James A. Moss WINNER<br />

Mississippi Sports Medicine<br />

Dr. Michael R. Nichols,<br />

Oral and Facial Surgery of Mississippi<br />

Dr. Shane Sims,<br />

Women’s Health Associates<br />


Dr. Brad Kennedy,<br />

Kennedy Chiropractic Clinic<br />

Dr. Chad Brown,<br />

Brown Chiropractic Clinic<br />

Dr. Haley Fortenberry,<br />

Brandon Family Chiropractic<br />

Dr. Joanie Winstead,<br />

Reservoir Chiropractic<br />

Dr. Lynn Fowler WINNER<br />

Fowler ProChiropractic<br />

& Wellness Center<br />



Dr. Amanda Burke,<br />

Burke Dental Group<br />

Dr. Erin Green,<br />

Grants Ferry Family Dental<br />

Dr. Jason Cox WINNER<br />

Belle Meade Family Dental<br />

Dr. Kyle Reed,<br />

Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry<br />

Dr. Sarah Langston,<br />

Dental Wellness<br />



Dr. Anh Giang Edwards,<br />

Professional Eyecare Associates<br />

Dr. Anna Taylor WINNER<br />

Taylor EyeCare Family Optometry<br />

Dr. J. Minor Pace,<br />

20/20 VisionCare<br />

Dr. Mark Allen,<br />

The Optical Shoppe<br />

Dr. Tina Sorey,<br />

Eyecare Professionals<br />


Focus Fit<br />

Reservoir CrossFit<br />

Squad232 Training<br />

thebarrE<br />

The Club at Crossgates WINNER<br />


DeAngela Hall,<br />

The Peaceful Escape, LLC<br />

Ky’sha Lawson,<br />

Healing the Mind Body Connection, LLC<br />

Lacey Clark WINNER<br />

The Wellness Spa<br />

Nicole DuVall, Soul Synergy<br />

Tiffany Melton, The Relaxation Nook<br />



Jamie Stewart Watson,<br />

The Skin Studio<br />

Jenny Warren,<br />

Green Wellness Spa<br />

Lindsey Frazure,<br />

Green Wellness Spa<br />

Megan McLeod WINNER<br />

The Face Bar<br />

Trista Boles,<br />

The Relaxation Nook<br />

Miscellaneous<br />


Black Axes<br />

Brandon Amphitheater<br />

McClain Safari Park WINNER<br />

Party Safari<br />

Spinners<br />



Apex Physical Therapy<br />

Southern Homes Real Estate WINNER<br />

thebarrE<br />

Three Rivers Real Estate<br />

Tutor Family Dentistry<br />



McClain Lodge<br />

Mississippi Braves<br />

Mississippi HomeCare Home Health<br />

Origin Bank WINNER<br />

Zavation<br />



AccentCare Home Health<br />

Capital Ortho WINNER<br />

Ergon<br />

Miskelly Furniture<br />

Mississippi Sports Medicine<br />

& Orthopaedic Center<br />



Iron Sharpens Iron<br />

Ever Reaching Community Outreach<br />

The Mustard Seed WINNER<br />

Baptist Children’s Village<br />

Wounded Warriors of Mississippi<br />

20 • FEBRUARY 2023

Professionals<br />


Formeka Ball,<br />

Ball Tax & Accounting Services<br />

Jennifer G. Brown,<br />

Garrett & Garrett, PC<br />

Kimberly D. Foreman, CPA, PC WINNER<br />

Michael Antonescu,<br />

Antonescu & Company<br />

Tom Windham, CPA<br />

Windham & Lacey<br />


Adam Haver,<br />

JH&H Architects<br />

Ben Kitchens WINNER<br />

JH&H Architects<br />

José Arellano,<br />

Pryor Morrow<br />

Jeff Prewitt,<br />

P&N Designs, LLC<br />

Judson Wallace,<br />

Home Plan Designs<br />


Jeffrey Arnold,<br />

Arnold and Associates<br />

Jeremy McNinch,<br />

McNinch Law Firm<br />

Keri Haralson Carroll<br />

Mel Coxwell, P.A.<br />

Shannon Elliott WINNER<br />

Elliott Law Firm<br />


Chas Gualano,<br />

Trustmark Bank Financial Services<br />

Cody McDavid,<br />

Regions Bank<br />

Daniel Boyd,<br />

Boyd Financial Coaching<br />

Dywayne Watkins WINNER<br />

Raymond James Financial Services<br />

Andrew Comans,<br />

Trustmark Bank Financial Services<br />


Community Bank WINNER<br />

Origin Bank<br />

PriorityOne Bank<br />

Renasant Bank<br />

Trustmark<br />


Jack Stuart WINNER<br />

PriorityOne Bank<br />

Jessica Allen,<br />

The First Bank<br />

Johnny Beck,<br />

Origin Bank<br />

Kasey Finklea,<br />

Diversified Mortgage<br />

Shane Dubois,<br />

Community Bank<br />

Melissa Usry,<br />

Community Bank<br />


Brandy Gordon,<br />

The Insurance Center<br />

Brent Sistrunk,<br />

Shelter Insurance<br />

Clancy Walker,<br />

Insurance Protection Specialists<br />

Malcolm Houston,<br />

State Farm<br />

Tanner Wilson WINNER<br />

Farm Bureau<br />


Heart of The South Homes WINNER<br />

Hearst Construction<br />

Lyles Signature Homes<br />

S & S Builders of MS, Inc.<br />

4B Construction<br />



Born Again Home Remodeling<br />

& Roofing, LLC WINNER<br />

JLS Rebuilders, LLC<br />

Kitchen Creations<br />

Ming Construction, Inc.<br />

Sawyer Custom Construction, LLC<br />



AmeriSpec Inspection Services<br />

Chadwick Inspection Services<br />

Clear View Property Inspection<br />

Cornerstone Inspections, LLC<br />

Magnolia Inspections, LLC WINNER<br />



The AC Doctors<br />

AirCo - Heating & Air Conditioning Services<br />

Climate Masters WINNER<br />

Pure Air Consultants<br />

Southern Air Services<br />



Ambiance Landscape, LLC WINNER<br />

Landscape Creative, LLC<br />

Premier Lawn Professionals, LLC<br />

Scarlet Oak Lawn Care<br />

Watson & Sons Lawn & Landscape Services<br />


Jenny Winstead,<br />

Southern Homes Real Estate<br />

Kim Griffin WINNER<br />

Weichert Realtors Innovations<br />

Kimberlee Haralson,<br />

NextHome Realty<br />

Layla Hutton,<br />

Local Real Estate<br />

Tabatha Johnson,<br />

Three Rivers Real Estate<br />


Charlotte Stringer Photography WINNER<br />

Erica Burleson Photography<br />

Katelyn Hambick,<br />

Katelyn Anne Photography<br />

Victoria Ashley,<br />

V Ashley Photo<br />

Watson Photography<br />


Darrell’s Auto<br />

Durr’s Dents & Dings<br />

Gleason Tire<br />

The Service Station<br />

The Tire Depot WINNER<br />


Express Cleaners<br />

Nu-Way Dry Cleaning<br />

Safeway Cleaners WINNER<br />

The Cleaners on Old Fannin<br />

Wells Cleaners<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 21

22 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 23


Animal Medical Hospital<br />

Brandon Veterinary Clinic<br />

Crooked Creek Animal Hospital<br />

Hometown Veterinary Hospital WINNER<br />

Oakdale Animal Hospital<br />


Bob’s Pool Service<br />

P&P Pools<br />

Paradise Pools<br />

Pool Works WINNER<br />

Premier Pools & Spas<br />



Brandon Rentall<br />

K & M Rentals<br />

Mississippi Machinery<br />

Rankin Rental WINNER<br />

RentAll Rentals<br />


AllPro Clean<br />

Heavenly Helpers<br />

Pace Cleaning Services WINNER<br />

Vivian’s Cleaning Services<br />

Wendy’s Cleaning Service<br />


Brittany Odom,<br />

LBAC Travel<br />

Heather Graves,<br />

Magical Moments by Heather Graves<br />

Jonie Burns,<br />

Muse Magical Travel<br />

Lacey Hedgepeth,<br />

Magnolia Travel Group<br />

Laurie Lester Sledge WINNER<br />

Academy Travel<br />



Chateau Pines Assisted Living<br />

Cooperwood Senior Living WINNER<br />

Plain View Assisted Living<br />

The Blake<br />

Villa South<br />


Circle of Friends<br />

FBC Brandon Children’s Center<br />

Kids Are Kids Learning Center<br />

Miss Mandy’s Daycare<br />

Railroad Center Daycare WINNER<br />


Ashford Place Apartment Homes<br />

Highpointe at Crossgates Apartment Homes<br />

Village at Crossgates<br />

The Vineyard At Castlewoods<br />

Windsor Lake<br />

Apartment Homes WINNER<br />

Retail &<br />

Professional<br />

Services<br />


Bob Boyte Honda<br />

Fowler Buick GMC<br />

Killough Auto Sales<br />

Noel Daniels Motor Company<br />

Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet WINNER<br />


Blossoms & Blooms<br />

Chapman’s Florist WINNER<br />

Posh Butterfly Floral & Gifts<br />

Simply Southern Celebrations<br />

Willow Blu Florist, Gifts and Custom Framing<br />


Ashley HomeStore<br />

D. Noblin Furniture<br />

Miskelly Furniture WINNER<br />

Ross Furniture<br />

T & D Furniture<br />


Crossgates Jewelers<br />

Crown Jewelers<br />

Jackson Jewelers WINNER<br />

Kay Jewelers<br />

Mike Wright Jewelers<br />


Apple Annie’s Gift Shop WINNER<br />

Behold Gift Co.<br />

Boudreaux’s<br />

Mockingbird Marketplace<br />

O! How Cute<br />


Cockrell’s Farmers Market<br />

Doris Berry’s Farmers Market<br />

Lakeland Yard & Garden<br />

Rivers Greenhouse & Garden WINNER<br />

The Landing Plant & Feed<br />


Brandon Discount Drugs<br />

Flowood Drug Company<br />

Olde Towne Drugs<br />

Polk’s Drugs WINNER<br />

Rhodes & Robby Rexall Drugs<br />



Itty Bitty Kid’s Boutique<br />

Southern Raised Children’s Boutique<br />

The Punky Rooster<br />

Traditions<br />

Willow + Grace WINNER<br />



Flawless Boutique WINNER<br />

HayJo’s Boutique<br />

Red Wagon Boutique<br />

The Beach Look Boutique<br />

Tootsie Trends Boutique<br />


BMARKETED - Benavides, LLC<br />

Charlotte’s Screen Printing WINNER<br />

Hallett Group Marketing<br />

Pollchaps Screen Print & Embroidery<br />

Stewarts Screen Printing<br />


Firefly The Salon<br />

Meraki Hair Studio<br />

The Social House<br />

The Glossary WINNER<br />

Untamed Salon<br />


Jeremy Spann,<br />

J. Gerard’s Barber Salon<br />

Jessica Hudson,<br />

Meraki Hair Studio<br />

Lauren Carroll,<br />

Tassels Hair Shack<br />

Olivia Johnson,<br />

Firefly The Salon<br />

Tamara Shows WINNER<br />

Untamed Salon<br />


Classic Nails<br />

Infinity Nails WINNER<br />

Mississippi Nails<br />

Revel Nail Bar<br />

ZaZa Nails<br />

24 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 25

Rankin County young Young PRofessionals<br />

Professionals<br />

Seeds have the ability to grow where they are planted, whether that is on purpose by a farmer or accidentally by a<br />

bird or even the wind. People have the same ability as seeds. They can flourish where they are planted, dropped, or<br />

have fallen. Although a lot of young adults dream of moving out of their hometown upon college graduation, Rankin<br />

County has been blessed with many young professionals who have decided to plant their businesses or trades here<br />

and grow within the community.<br />

26 • FEBRUARY 2023

By taking advantage of the opportunities they have in their lives, they have been able to establish their roots here.<br />

These steps will help build a foundation to launch the next chapter in their lives and the community. With their skills<br />

they will care for us, make us beautiful, comfort us, and give us hope for the future. These young professionals are<br />

the future and upcoming business leaders and health providers who have chosen to make Rankin County a better<br />

place and call it their home.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 27

Heather Pennypacker<br />

Employer<br />

Town of Pelahatchie<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi College<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

I was born and raised in Pelahatchie.<br />

Rankin County is full of opportunities!<br />

Favorite place to eat in Rankin County<br />

El Sombrero<br />

Hobbies<br />

Playing with my kids, volunteering at Pelahatchie<br />

Baptist, and planning town events.<br />

Kari Gatlin<br />

Employer<br />

Pearl Jr. High School<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

Everyone is one big family!<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

Genna Benna’s and Amerigo<br />

Hobbies<br />

Travelling, reading, and drinking coffee.<br />

Haley Harper<br />

Employer<br />

Triangle Fastener Corp.<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Arkansas Tech University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

Rankin County is a place where you always<br />

feel at home. Everyone is so friendly. I’ve lived<br />

here since I was five and have always felt loved<br />

by the whole community.<br />

Favorite place to eat in Rankin County<br />

Kenova Smokehouse<br />

Hobbies<br />

Reading and spending time with family<br />

Darby Anderson<br />

Employer<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The big small-town feel! This has been a<br />

great place to live, post-college. I feel like<br />

I grew up here.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

The Cleaners and Mudbugs<br />

Hobbies<br />

Shopping, planning and directing weddings,<br />

hanging out with my dog Charlie, and my friends.<br />

28 • FEBRUARY 2023<br />

Jessica Pope<br />

Employer<br />

City of Brandon Parks and Recreation<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The welcoming nature of the community here.<br />

It made moving here that much easier!<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

Mudbugs, Half Shell and Genna Benna’s<br />

Hobbies<br />

Reading, hanging out with friends, my dog<br />

Louie, and running my side business,<br />

Two Doors Down Graphic Design.<br />

Angela Vann<br />

Employer<br />

Chick-fil-A<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Tulane University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

I love that it has a small-town feel, and is a close<br />

community that supports one another and<br />

meets all of our family’s needs.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

Georgia Blue, Genna Benna’s, Amerigo,<br />

and Chick-fil-A!<br />

Hobbies<br />

Spending time playing with my daughter<br />

Rylee and husband Brett.

Corban Nutt<br />

Employer<br />

The Winning Smile Dental Group<br />

Alma Mater<br />

East Central Community College,<br />

Accelerated Dental Assistant Academy<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

I love the community here.<br />

Favorite place to eat in Rankin County<br />

Mudbugs<br />

Hobbies<br />

Boating on the reservoir, travelling, and<br />

spending time with family and friends.<br />

Edward Gathman<br />

Employer<br />

U.S. Army<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Brandon High School<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The small hometown feel here.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

The Cleaners, Sonny’s, and El Potrillo.<br />

Hobbies<br />

Spending time with the wife and kids, hunting,<br />

fishing, and sports cars.<br />

Kevin Williams<br />

Employer<br />

Rankin County School District<br />

Alma Mater<br />

University of Southern Mississippi<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The schools and the families are the best here.<br />

Favorite place to eat in Rankin County<br />

El Cabrito in Florence<br />

Hobbies<br />

Working on my car, a 1973 Chevy Impala.<br />

Playing tennis with my daughter, Lauren.<br />

Roger Murphy<br />

Employer<br />

Entergy<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi State University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The small-town feel with all the amenities.<br />

My family is here, and this is where I grew up.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

The Cleaners and El Sombrero<br />

Hobbies<br />

Hunting and spending time with my daughter.<br />

Peyton Francis<br />

Employer<br />

Heflin Engineering<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Mississippi State University/<br />

Jackson State University<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

The people and the community.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

Genna Benna’s and The Cleaners<br />

Hobbies<br />

Hunting and working on cars.<br />

James J. Carter<br />

Employer<br />

BankPlus<br />

Alma Mater<br />

Tougaloo College<br />

Favorite thing about Rankin County<br />

Rankin County gives you big city vibes<br />

(shopping, good eats and entertainment) with a<br />

small town feel. It’s a great place to raise a family.<br />

Favorite places to eat in Rankin County<br />

Table 100, Genna Benna’s, and Soulshine Pizza .<br />

Hobbies<br />

Spending time with my family - my wife,<br />

Monique Carter, and our four daughters.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 29

30 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 31

32 • FEBRUARY 2023



What’s new at Shaggy’s on the rez?!<br />

We’ve added MORE VALUE by making our portions bigger, parties of 12 or more can<br />

SKIP THE WAIT, oh and did we mention our $4 MARGARITAS ALL DAY, EVERY DAY?<br />


Hometown RANKIN • 33


Traditional Barbering with a Modern Approach<br />

SUSAN<br />


34 • FEBRUARY 2023

Jeremy Spann has created<br />

“a refuge of gentlemen,<br />

intellect and mighty fine<br />

hair services”<br />

in downtown Brandon.<br />

Located at 298 West Government Street, Jeremy opened<br />

J. Gerard’s Barber Salon a year ago as a destination for those<br />

requiring professionalism and precision. “We provide services<br />

for those who appreciate the finer things in life.”<br />

J. Gerard isn’t Jeremy’s first rodeo. He owned a salon in Pearl<br />

for eight years before opening J. Gerard’s. The Rankin County<br />

native is a second-generation hair stylist. “My mother was a<br />

stylist before me,” he says. “My sister, before she passed, worked<br />

with me.” And now his wife’s daughter has just finished<br />

cosmetology school.<br />

Jeremy grew up on Grant’s Ferry Road and graduated high<br />

school from Northwest Rankin. But he also spent some time<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 35

traveling around the country and abroad due to his father’s<br />

career in the military. “We lived in Kansas, Georgia, Germany,<br />

then back to Mississippi,” he says. “My mother’s family is<br />

from Brandon, and my father’s family is from the reservoir<br />

area.” After high school, Jeremy attended Traxler’s School<br />

of Hair in Jackson. But the truth of the matter is that<br />

Jeremy has been cutting hair since he was eleven years old.<br />

“I decided I would cut my own hair,” he recalls. “If<br />

someone was going to give me a bad haircut, I decided it<br />

should be me.” When he went to school, the other kids<br />

asked who had cut his hair. When they found out Jeremy<br />

did it himself they wanted him to cut theirs. “I charged three<br />

dollars a haircut,” he laughs. While he had a bit of a jumpstart<br />

on the haircutting game, Jeremy has been cutting hair<br />

professionally for twenty years.<br />

Jeremy had a strong vision of what he wanted his shop to<br />

look and feel like. “The atmosphere I imagined was a place<br />

with the intention of allowing people to escape their world.<br />

It’s for gentlemen who are progressive. Businessmen and<br />

heads-of-households. “Those men have a lot of stress in their<br />

lives. The walls of my shop are intentionally painted black.<br />

There is no loud music or bright colors. It is a calming<br />

atmosphere, and everything they need is here for them.<br />

If a person has to wait for a few minutes until their appointment<br />

time, they can relax and enjoy themselves.”<br />

A variety of services are provided at J. Gerard’s, including a<br />

massaging shampoo and conditioning, hot towel for a shave,<br />

and even straight razor shaves. “I’ve had many people fall<br />

asleep while I’m shaving them. That requires a lot of trust.”<br />

He provides special treatments to prepare the skin. “It’s<br />

very gentle. My clients really love it.” Jeremy says he can<br />

read people pretty well, and he can tell when people want<br />

to talk, and when they want to relax. “I consider what I do<br />

traditional barbering, but with a modern approach.”<br />

J. Gerard’s offers a membership that makes things easier<br />

for the clients. “Members can book a standing appointment,<br />

and they’ll know the chair will be open when they arrive. I will<br />

even fix them a drink. Some of my clients come early or stay<br />

a little after their services just to enjoy a cocktail and relax.<br />

It’s a very civilized way for them to unplug for a while. And<br />

the bonus is that they leave looking nice.” Jeremy calls it the<br />

Order of the Sun. “I took the concept from the universe.<br />

36 • FEBRUARY 2023

Every solar system has a central sun. I think of this place<br />

as the center where members can meet and network.<br />

It’s much more than a barber shop.<br />

It’s a place where men can matriculate<br />

through their horizons.”<br />

While most of his clients are men, Jeremy says he does<br />

have a few women who frequent the shop. “We get a few<br />

women who have short hairstyles. Most are career women<br />

who want to look good without spending a lot of time on<br />

their hair.”<br />

Jeremy’s wife, Shanna, helped him with the décor for<br />

J. Gerard’s. “I had the concept, and she added to it. She offers<br />

ideas, and she is someone I can trust. She understands my<br />

ideas.” Shanna owns an online boutique, Poized Lotus.<br />

“I do the photography for her,” says Jeremy. “We bounce<br />

ideas off each other. We’re a good team.”<br />

“ I develop relationships<br />

with my clients. They keep<br />

coming back because I<br />

deliver consistent service.”<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 37

THANKY U<br />

FOR VOTING US 2022’S<br />



The Cleaners<br />

by Pizza Shack<br />

38 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 39

40 • FEBRUARY 2023

READER<br />


Valerie<br />

GRISLE<br />

Why did you decide to make Rankin<br />

County your home?<br />

I applied for a social work position in the<br />

Jackson Metro Area back in 2000 and got<br />

a job offer in Brandon. I love the closeness of<br />

the community and the location.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

My husband, James, and I will be married<br />

24 years this coming April. I met my husband<br />

through a blind date which my former roommate<br />

set up. We have one child, Madison,<br />

who is a 16-year-old 10th grader that attends<br />

Brandon High School where she is on the<br />

dance team.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living<br />

in Rankin County?<br />

Friday Night Lights football games.<br />

Where are your three favorite places to eat<br />

in Rankin County?<br />

LongHorn Steakhouse, McAlister’s Deli,<br />

and Zaxby’s.<br />

What are some fun things to do in Rankin<br />

County on the weekends?<br />

Attending high school football games, concerts<br />

at amphitheater, and shopping at Dogwood.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing<br />

in your spare time?<br />

I love traveling, shopping, attending church,<br />

hanging out with family and friends, and<br />

volunteering. I am a member of the Rankin<br />

County Junior Auxiliary and serve as an<br />

advisor for Crown Club. The Junior Auxiliary<br />

is a non-profit organization and plays a vital<br />

part in the community with helping children<br />

who are in need. The organization is comprised<br />

of women who have big hearts and love<br />

to serve in the community.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

1. Go to Jamaica or Dominican Republic<br />

2. Open a small business<br />

3. Retire and enjoy life to the fullest<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

I admire my parents. Despite what happened<br />

through their divorce, they have always been<br />

there for me. They are two strong people who<br />

love God and have put whatever happened in<br />

the past behind them. They have compassionate<br />

hearts and don’t meet strangers. They bend<br />

over backwards for their family, no matter<br />

what. My parents have sacrificed so much for<br />

the family and put others before themselves.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

I plan on being retired and traveling.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

My favorite childhood memory is when my<br />

brother kept aggravating me and I knocked<br />

his front tooth out of his mouth. I didn’t get<br />

in trouble, which was good, but I felt bad for<br />

my brother because he had to walk around<br />

with a front tooth missing.<br />

If you could give us one encouraging<br />

quote, what would it be?<br />

I can do all things in Christ who<br />

strengthens me. – Phillippians 4:13<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

Hometown Magazines?<br />

I enjoy reading it and getting to know about<br />

the people and interesting things throughout<br />

the county. The magazine recognizes people<br />

across various ages, races, and cultures.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 41

42 • FEBRUARY 2023

ways<br />

to say<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

You”<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

We all know that people experience<br />

love in different ways. Have you ever<br />

researched the different types of love<br />

languages? Everyone is unique and<br />

different in their own way in how they<br />

want to express and receive emotions,<br />

like love. Some people want affection,<br />

others need praise, and for others,<br />

actions speak louder than words.<br />

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day and<br />

how to love others, not only can we say<br />

“I love you” this month, but forever<br />

after that. Saying “I love you” is not as<br />

challenging and intimidating as we<br />

may think. Check out this list to see<br />

how you can spread love to others today<br />

and every day:<br />

♥ Buy that special someone flowers<br />

♥ “I am here for you”<br />

♥ Bring homemade cookies<br />

to the office<br />

♥ Pay for the person behind you<br />

in the drive-thru<br />

♥ Go above and beyond to celebrate,<br />

even the small things<br />

♥ “I care a lot about you”<br />

♥ Take dinner over to the neighbors<br />

We hope this list gives you some inspiration on how to show love for<br />

others each and every day! Continue reading through the next few<br />

pages to check out stories of different ways to really say “I love you.”<br />

We hope you share the love this Valentine’s season and for the<br />

months after as well!<br />

♥ Help with a task you know has<br />

been stressing someone out<br />

♥ “This made me think of you”<br />

♥ Talk less, listen more<br />

♥ Give a hug<br />

♥ Write a note of appreciation<br />

or a “Thank You” card<br />

♥ Cook someone their favorite meal<br />

♥ Do the dishes for someone<br />

♥ “You fill my heart with joy”<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 43

Gift<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

The<br />

of LifeSusan<br />

You”<br />

Marquez<br />

44 • FEBRUARY 2023

When it comes to gifts to show one’s love for another, the choices<br />

are usually chocolate, flowers, and perhaps a nice dinner out.<br />

But Debbie Cline went in big for her husband, Terry.<br />

She gave him the gift of life.<br />

“I’ve had medical issues for the past thirty years,” says<br />

Terry. Diabetes and high blood pressure began taking a<br />

real toll on Terry’s body. “The high blood pressure<br />

damaged my kidneys to the point to where I had to go<br />

on dialysis.” Terry’s doctor put him on the transplant list<br />

at University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) hospital.<br />

In the meantime, Terry’s sister in Georgia got tested to<br />

see if she could donate a kidney to her brother. Debbie<br />

says that Terry’s sister was certain she would be a match,<br />

and when it was determined that she was not, she was<br />

heartbroken. Debbie recalls that at that point, she<br />

turned to the Lord and asked, “what now?” She prayed<br />

for her husband. “Then I felt God speaking to me. ‘You<br />

can do this!’ I had not even considered getting tested<br />

myself until then. It turns out I was a match.”<br />

The Clines have a strong faith. Terry is an associate<br />

pastor at the Jackson First Assembly of God on<br />

Highway 18. “I felt a perfect peace throughout the<br />

entire process,” says Debbie. Terry had to be evaluated<br />

to see if he could go through a transplant. In the<br />

process, he found out he had suffered a heart attack<br />

and needed to have stints inserted.<br />

Soon after that, Terry drove home from church and<br />

Debbie told him that UAB was trying to get in touch<br />

with him. “They told me to be in Birmingham the next<br />

day, they had a kidney. I thought about it and told them<br />

to bless someone else with that kidney, that we would<br />

proceed with our own plan. God worked it out.”<br />

Debbie and Terry went to UAB and the transplant<br />

of Debbie’s kidney into Terry’s body took place on<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 45

46 • FEBRUARY 2023

August 25, 2014. “I was in ICU for 24 hours<br />

after surgery,” Terry recalls. “When I woke up<br />

I felt different. I had felt so bad for so long.”<br />

The Clines stayed at the dorms at UAB for<br />

five and a half weeks. “Our friends and family<br />

took care of us,” says Debbie. “They came to<br />

visit, and they brought food for us. Our church<br />

family was just as important. The support<br />

system from our church made all the difference.<br />

And my sister was with us the whole time.<br />

She stayed with me at a hotel before Terry was<br />

released. Then each of our four children spent<br />

a week with us.” Terry recalls that the first four<br />

weeks were the hardest. “Having one of our<br />

children with us each week made it easier.”<br />

Debbie and Terry’s love story began when<br />

they met at Southeastern Bible College in<br />

Lakeland, Florida, in 1977. Terry is from<br />

Georgia, and Debbie is from Alabama.<br />

After becoming friends, the couple began<br />

dating, and got married April 21, 1979.<br />

Terry was the associate pastor at the church<br />

where he grew up. After moving from Tifton,<br />

Georgia, to Kentucky, the couple settled in<br />

Mississippi thirty years ago.<br />

Looking back on it, both Terry and<br />

Debbie say their faith got them through<br />

the ordeal of surgery and recovery. “We had<br />

so many people praying for us, and that was<br />

such a comfort,” says Terry.<br />

“I am so grateful that I was able to provide<br />

the kidney Terry needed to survive,” says Debbie.<br />

“We don’t take anything for granted. Every day<br />

is a gift.”<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 47

48 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 49

Party<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

of<br />

Mistie Desper<br />

50 • FEBRUARY 2023

Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.”<br />

That is exactly what the Allen family has done when<br />

opening up their home and hearts to foster children.<br />

David and Nicole Allen, along with their children<br />

Bailey (14), Bowan (11), and Landri (9), knew they<br />

wanted a large family. Nicole said, “I just don’t know<br />

how to not be a mom to any kid in my presence. After<br />

our third child, we had such a strong desire for more<br />

children but were unable to do that naturally. The<br />

Lord had other plans for us and opened door after<br />

door to make fostering a possibility.”<br />

After much prayer, the family reached out to Rescue<br />

100 to begin the fostering process. Prospective foster/<br />

adoptive parents are required to complete a minimum<br />

of 12 hours of training. Rescue 100, in conjunction<br />

with the Mississippi Department of Child Protection<br />

Services, trains and equips foster parents typically in a<br />

weekend whereas typical training courses are spread out<br />

over five to six weeks. Together these organizations<br />

join together to streamline the training and licensing<br />

procedures for foster and adoptive parents. There are<br />

currently approximately 4,000 children in foster care<br />

in the state.<br />

Nicole recalled a church sermon where she felt an<br />

overwhelming confirmation that they were on the right<br />

path. She said, “The Lord showed us that this is really<br />

what we are supposed to be doing.”<br />

Soon, the Allens had their first foster child, Jay. He<br />

struggled quite a bit to the point where David and Nicole<br />

were unsure if they could provide what he needed. After<br />

a few months, they made the hard decision to no longer<br />

foster him but left the door wide open for his return in<br />

the future. Nicole admitted, “That time that he was gone,<br />

we just never could fully let him go. We made sure that<br />

if anything changed for him, we would welcome him<br />

back and make it all work.”<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 51

David and Nicole decided to up the age for their<br />

“I<br />

fosters and soon they were awaiting the arrival of<br />

another young man. Nicole said, “We were waiting for<br />

him to be released into our care, and month after month<br />

his release kept getting pushed back. It all really was a<br />

God thing because as we were waiting, we got our Ashton.”<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

Ashton came into the family two years ago when he<br />

was thirteen years old. He was only to be in their care<br />

for a mere two weeks. The family decided to help him<br />

have a normal Christmas while he was there. Nicole<br />

said, “He was just so easy. God made it all work to let<br />

Ashton stay.”<br />

It wasn’t long before Jay returned to the Allens to<br />

make the family complete. Landri said, “I like being able<br />

to be a big sister to someone and I like having an older<br />

brother that is kind and caring. I also love that we have<br />

more siblings to go through life with.”<br />

“I love having an older brother to be able to play<br />

with outside,” Bowan added.<br />

Ashton’s adoption was finalized in December 2021.<br />

Jay, now age four, had his finalized in March 2022.<br />

Nicole joked, “God worked things in the background<br />

to open the doors to foster. And we have two failed<br />

fosters–since our only two fosters, we adopted.”<br />

Now a party of seven, the Allen kids have settled<br />

into life with their new siblings. Bailey said, “The<br />

fostering and adoption process has made me more<br />

grateful that I have a loving family and it has helped<br />

me to see life from someone else’s perspective.”<br />

Nicole reflects, “I love seeing my husband as a dad.<br />

He loves me enough to do these radical things. This<br />

whole process has shown our family how to love<br />

outside of our home and sacrifice for each other.”<br />

David and Nicole firmly believe that every child<br />

deserves someone who will pour their heart into them<br />

and love them—even if only for a short time.<br />

52 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 53

54 • FEBRUARY 2023

YOU ARE<br />

WHY WE<br />

L VE<br />


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trust in us is something we never take for granted, and we look forward to<br />

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22ORIGIN203_HometownMag_Resize.indd 1<br />

Hometown 12/15/22 RANKIN 11:46 AM• 55

56 • FEBRUARY 2023

It’s about<br />

forgiveness<br />

Dr. Bobby McGuffie, pastor, flowood baptist church<br />

“I<br />

Love<br />

You”<br />

On January 15, 2023, I preached a message<br />

on a very difficult subject–Forgiveness. It was<br />

one of the most convicting messages I have<br />

personally ever preached. Why was it so<br />

convicting? Because there have been many<br />

times that I have not forgiven when forgiveness<br />

was due. However, as long as there is<br />

opportunity (personally or collectively), there<br />

is time to forgive.<br />

There was one portion of the message<br />

that I would like to share in order for us, as<br />

believers, to truly understand. Without going<br />

into great detail, the passage I used was from<br />

the story of Joseph. This is a story that you<br />

may be familiar with. Genesis 45:1 says,<br />

“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before<br />

all them that stood by him; and he cried,<br />

Cause every man to go out from me. And there<br />

stood no man with him, while Joseph made<br />

himself known unto his brethren.”<br />

Joseph did something very direct that<br />

many of us should do. When the time came<br />

for Jospeh to have a conversation with his<br />

brothers (those who had hurt him or sinned<br />

against him), who had thrown him into the pit,<br />

he removed everyone from the room who<br />

had nothing to do with it. When we desire to<br />

forgive someone, genuinely, we do not bring<br />

other people into the situation who have<br />

nothing to do with the sin or wrongdoing. For<br />

instance, we do not go talk to someone about<br />

the wrongdoing of someone else. Why?<br />

Because they don’t have a dog in the hunt,<br />

per se. We go to the one who has hurt or<br />

offended us and follow church discipline of<br />

Matthew 18.<br />

And if someone comes to you and tells<br />

you what someone did to them, how they<br />

hurt them, or talked about them, or anything<br />

remotely close to that—if you are a believer,<br />

shut it down! We should not listen to what<br />

someone else says, negatively, when we are<br />

not involved.<br />

I would venture to say that most everyone,<br />

who knows Jesus Christ as the Lord and<br />

Savior, would agree with the things written<br />

above. I would also venture to say that not<br />

one reader enjoys hearing their name come<br />

out of someone else’s mouth negatively.<br />

So, what do we do? If we are going to say<br />

anything that hurts our witness, causes our<br />

brother/sister to stumble, or negatively impacts<br />

someone in the future, we ought not do it.<br />

There is a reason that church discipline is in<br />

the Gospel.<br />

The reason is simple, there will be wrongdoing,<br />

but there is a solution made possible<br />

through the blood of Jesus! May we all be<br />

willing to forgive like Jospeh, but ultimately<br />

like Jesus!<br />

Do you remember what Jesus said while<br />

He was hanging on the cross (for you and for<br />

me)? He said, “. . . Father, forgive them; for they<br />

know not what they do.” –LUKE 23:34<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 57

58 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 59

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

11<br />

12<br />

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60 • FEBRUARY 2023

Ms. Holly Ballard’s Park Place Christian Academy 3rd Grade Class<br />

What does love mean to you?<br />

1 Waylon Bumpus<br />

11<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

Love means being helpful to others.<br />

Emmett Butler<br />

Sharing your toys even though you don’t want<br />

to because God wants you to be kind to others.<br />

Ethan Evans<br />

Love means to be kind to others because<br />

God was kind to us.<br />

Alana Harbison<br />

Love means playing with my baby brother<br />

and when I help my mom and dad. Love is<br />

when I share my toys.<br />

Cooper Jernigan<br />

Being kind to people because God is kind to<br />

us.<br />

Charlotte Jones<br />

Love means to be caring for others as God<br />

cared for us.<br />

Amelia McGrath<br />

Love means being kind. When my brother<br />

is kind to me, when I am kind to my brother<br />

and when I’m kind to my dog, mom, and dad.<br />

Sadie Merideth<br />

Patience because God had patience<br />

with Gidean.<br />

Kaiden Minor<br />

Love means whenever Jesus died on the<br />

cross for us and that I have a loving family.<br />

Kaleigh Minor<br />

Love means God because he gave us his<br />

one and only son.<br />

12<br />

13<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

17<br />

18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

Kelvin Nguyen<br />

Love means to be kind to one another<br />

as God first loved us.<br />

Jai Patterson<br />

Love is when my parents hug and kiss me<br />

before I go to school because God gave<br />

me good parents.<br />

Emmersyn Penn<br />

Love is Jesus dying on the cross for us.<br />

Connor Pyle<br />

Love is my mom and dad tucking me in.<br />

Jackson Ross<br />

Love means helping someone up when<br />

they fall.<br />

Evan Wallace<br />

Love means reading to my baby brother<br />

because God gave me my baby brother.<br />

Natalie Watkins<br />

Love means patience; as God was patient<br />

with us, I am going to be patient with others.<br />

Willow Webb<br />

Love is playing with my little sister whenever<br />

my mom and dad want me to because God<br />

wants me to play with my little sister.<br />

Benton Weimer<br />

Love means giving my mom a hug because<br />

God gave me a great mom.<br />

Cam Witcher<br />

Love means to be giving because God gave<br />

us his only son that died on the cross.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 61

62 • FEBRUARY 2023

v o t e d " b e s t D i n n e r "<br />

Thank you for your votes!<br />

ridgeland | flowood | amerigo.net<br />


Hometown RANKIN • 63

White Chicken Chili<br />

• 2 lbs. of diced/cooked chicken<br />

(no bones or skin)<br />

• 1 onion diced and sauteed<br />

• 1 package McCormick white<br />

chicken chili seasoning<br />

• 4 cans of white beans, drained<br />

• 1 cup of chicken broth<br />

• 4 oz. of cream cheese<br />

• 8 oz. of sour cream<br />

• 6 oz. of heavy cream<br />

• 1 can of diced green chilis<br />

• 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack<br />

cheese<br />

Dice chicken into cubes and cook.<br />

Dice and sauté onion. Add cooked<br />

chicken, onion and remaining<br />

ingredients in a crockpot.<br />

Stir and cook until<br />

cheese is<br />

melted.<br />

Cabbage, Sausage<br />

& Potato Soup<br />

• 1 lb. Conecuh sausage,<br />

sliced into bite-sized pieces<br />

• 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil<br />

• 3 medium leeks, slices into<br />

⅛ rounds, white and pale green<br />

parts only<br />

• 2 medium carrots,<br />

peeled and diced<br />

• 1 stalk celery, diced<br />

• 1 small green cabbage,<br />

chopped into bite-sized pieces<br />

• 3 cloves garlic, minced<br />

• 6 cups chicken or vegetable<br />

stock<br />

• 1 lb. red potatoes, diced<br />

• 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning<br />

• 1 bay leaf<br />

• Kosher salt and freshly cracked<br />

black pepper, to taste<br />

Add sausage to a large stockpot and<br />

cook over medium heat for 5-6<br />

minutes, flipping occasionally, until<br />

lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon<br />

to transfer the sausage to a separate<br />

plate and set aside.<br />

Add olive oil, leeks, carrots, and<br />

celery to the pan, and stir to combine.<br />

Sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.<br />

Then add cabbage and garlic, and<br />

sautee for 4 more minutes, stirring<br />

occasionally.<br />

Add stock, potatoes, Italian<br />

seasoning, bay leaf, cooked sausage,<br />

and stir to combine. Continue<br />

cooking until the soup reaches a<br />

simmer. Reduce heat to mediumlow,<br />

cover, and simmer for 15<br />

minutes or until the potatoes are<br />

cooked and tender.<br />

Taste and season with a few generous<br />

pinches of salt and black pepper as<br />

needed. (Depending on how<br />

seasoned your sausage is, feel free to<br />

stir in extra teaspoon of Italian<br />

seasoning if you think it needs some<br />

extra flavor. A pinch of crushed red<br />

pepper flakes and/or a Tbsp. of<br />

white vinegar will also help bring<br />

out the flavors.)<br />

Serve warm. Refrigerate in sealed<br />

containers for up to 3 days or freeze<br />

for up to 3 months.<br />

64 • FEBRUARY 2023

Shrimp & Black Bean Soup<br />

• 1 large onion, chopped<br />

• 1 Tbsp. of olive oil<br />

• 2 14.5 oz. cans reduced sodium<br />

chicken broth<br />

• 2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes<br />

with green chiles, undrained<br />

• 2 cups of frozen corn<br />

• 1 15 oz. can black beans,<br />

rinsed and drained<br />

• 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes,<br />

undrained<br />

• 4½ tsp. chili powder<br />

• 1 tsp. sugar<br />

• ½ tsp. salt<br />

• 1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp,<br />

peeled and deveined<br />

• ¼ cup minced fresh parsley<br />

In a dutch oven, sauté onion in oil for<br />

3-4 minutes or until tender. Add<br />

broth, tomatoes and green chiles,<br />

corn, black beans, tomatoes, chili<br />

powder, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil,<br />

stirring occasionally. Reduce heat;<br />

cover and simmer for 20 minutes.<br />

Baked Potato Soup<br />

• 12 slices of bacon<br />

• ⅔ cup butter or margarine<br />

• ⅔ cups all-purpose flour<br />

• 7 cups milk<br />

• 4 large baked potatoes,<br />

peeled and cubed<br />

• 4 green onions, chopped<br />

• 1¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese<br />

• 1 cup sour cream<br />

• 1 tsp. salt<br />

• 1 tsp. ground black pepper<br />

Place bacon in a large skillet and cook<br />

over medium-high heat, turning<br />

occasionally, until evenly browned,<br />

about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain bacon<br />

slices on paper towels; crumble and<br />

set aside.<br />

Meanwhile, melt butter in a stockpot<br />

or dutch oven over medium heat.<br />

Gradually add flour, whisking until<br />

well combined. Slowly pour in milk,<br />

whisking constantly until smooth<br />

and thickened.<br />

Green Enchilada Soup<br />

• 2.5 lb. boneless/skinless chicken<br />

breast<br />

• 28 oz. can green enchilada sauce<br />

• 24 oz. can chicken broth<br />

• 1 cup half and half or heavy cream<br />

• 2 cups Monterey jack cheese<br />

• 4 oz. cream cheese<br />

(cubed and softened)<br />

• 4 oz. of green salsa<br />

• Salt and pepper to taste<br />

In a 6-quart slow cooker, add chicken<br />

breast, green enchilada sauce, and<br />

chicken broth. Cook on low for 6 to 8<br />

hours.<br />

Remove chicken and shred. Add<br />

chicken, Monterey jack cheese, cream<br />

cheese, half and half, and green salsa<br />

to slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to<br />

warm and stir until the cheeses are<br />

melted. Serve and enjoy. Delicious<br />

topped with avocado, cilantro, green<br />

onion, and sour cream.<br />

Creamy Cheddar Cheese<br />

Soup<br />

• ¼ cup butter<br />

• 1 onion, chopped<br />

• ¼ cup all-purpose flour<br />

• 3 cups chicken broth<br />

• 3 cups milk<br />

• 2 8 oz. packages shredded cheddar<br />

cheese<br />

Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan<br />

over medium-high heat. Add onion<br />

and cook until tender, about 5<br />

minutes. Stir in flour to make a roux.<br />

Add broth and cook, stirring<br />

constantly, until the mixture is slightly<br />

thickened. Add milk and cook until<br />

just boiling, stirring constantly.<br />

Working in batches, blend the soup in<br />

a blender until smooth. Return soup<br />

to the saucepan and cook on medium<br />

heat until just boiling. Remove from<br />

heat and whisk in cheese until melted.<br />

Stir in shrimp and cook 5-6 minutes<br />

longer or until shrimp turn pink. Stir<br />

in parsley.<br />

Add potatoes and onions and bring<br />

to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce<br />

heat and simmer for 10 minutes.<br />

Stir in crumbled bacon, cheddar<br />

cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper.<br />

Continue cooking and stirring until<br />

cheese is melted.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 65

66 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 67

68 • FEBRUARY 2023


Emma Blue Hull<br />

Susan Marquez<br />




IN THE BAG.<br />

The Hartfield Academy senior organized<br />

a project that provides necessities to the<br />

homeless and others in need. She got the idea<br />

in what most people think of as an idyllic<br />

place.<br />

With its beautiful beaches, cool breezes<br />

and palm trees, most people don’t think of<br />

Hawaii as a place where people may be in<br />

need. “Last summer I went to Hawaii with<br />

a group from St. James Episcopal Church,”<br />

says Emma Blue. “Throughout the week,<br />

we worked with five different organizations<br />

for the homeless and I met some amazing<br />

people along the way.” Three of the organizations<br />

they worked with were packing<br />

bags with food and other necessities to pass<br />

out to the homeless in their communities.<br />

“We actually had the opportunity to be on a<br />

Zoom call with the director of a government<br />

homeless initiative,” says Emma Blue. “That<br />

was an incredible experience.” Emma Blue<br />

was inspired and wanted to act on what she<br />

had learned. “I loved the idea and decided to<br />

make some of my own to keep in my car.”<br />

When Emma Blue returned home, she<br />

shared her idea with some of her friends.<br />

“We brainstormed a way to get a larger<br />

community involved, and that’s how<br />

Blessing Bags was started.” Students at<br />

Hartfield have joined Emma Blue in<br />

collecting donations and packing the bags.<br />

Throughout the month of November,<br />

items for the bags were collected. Donations<br />

included gently used backpacks, blankets,<br />

and jackets. Food in pop-top cans and bulk<br />

snacks were collected as well. And finally,<br />

items for hygiene were collected. To make it<br />

easier for people to make donations, and to<br />

be sure they got the right kind of items for<br />

the bags, Emma Blue set up an Amazon wish<br />

list link. That act alone resulted in more<br />

donations, as people could just complete<br />

their purchase and they were done – no<br />

need to collect items and drop them off at<br />

the school.<br />

Once the items were collected, the bags<br />

were packed. The students involved in the<br />

Blessing Bag project have partnered with<br />

Shower Power, a ministry for people<br />

experiencing homelessness in the downtown<br />

Jackson area. A group of seniors from<br />

Hartfield helped to distribute the bags<br />

during December. Leftover donated items<br />

were donated to Shower Power.<br />

Emma Blue is always looking for ways<br />

she can serve her community, and the staff<br />

and faculty at Hartfield are grateful for<br />

her time and hard work in organizing the<br />

Blessing Bag project. Jim DeLaughter,<br />

head of the upper school at Hartfield, also<br />

teaches the senior Bible class with Benton<br />

Ingram. “We took on the Blessing Bags as<br />

our senior bible class project,” he says. “After<br />

filling all the bags, we prayed over each one.<br />

We truly wanted each bag to be a blessing<br />

to the recipient.”<br />

Emma Blue says that the Bible class<br />

wrote letters of encouragement that were<br />

put into each bag. “Ten of our seniors took<br />

the bags to Shower Power to distribute.”<br />

Emma Blue plans to attend the University<br />

of Southern Mississippi in the fall. “I plan<br />

on majoring in entrepreneurship, and maybe<br />

studio or digital art.”<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 69

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Hometown RANKIN • 71

72 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 73

Alexander Nazario<br />


In the United States, a vast majority of<br />

people that we encounter have no idea that<br />

modern-day slavery is happening in our own<br />

backyard.<br />

It was during a gathering of like-minded<br />

individuals that changed my life forever when<br />

our conversation steered towards things we<br />

could do to help the local community. All our<br />

wheels started turning and we immediately<br />

began to research what we believed was the<br />

largest problem that our community and state<br />

were facing. As our focus landed between<br />

recovery or human trafficking intervention, we<br />

realized that human trafficking was an area in<br />

which the state of Mississippi has limited<br />

resources. We encountered numerous safe<br />

houses and programs for recovery, but there<br />

were limited programs for survivors of human<br />

trafficking and human trafficking awareness.<br />

At that time, Mississippi rated #2 in the U.S.<br />

with the most cases of human trafficking – as<br />

of now, we rate #1.<br />

Shortly after this conversation, I went to<br />

Mexico. It was there in Mexico that I was able<br />

to become very hands-on and interact with<br />

many human trafficking survivors. We even<br />

connected with a team in Texas that works<br />

with survivors of human trafficking. After<br />

returning to the United States, I had a burning<br />

desire to help more survivors of human<br />

trafficking. I was not able to sleep at night<br />

thinking about those survivors and the terrible<br />

circumstances they have been through. I was<br />

waking up in a warm bed every day while<br />

someone out there was being abused, and<br />

that put a burden on my heart.<br />

I immediately knew I had to do something,<br />

and that is how Iron Sharpens Iron came to<br />

be. Iron Sharpens Iron partnered up with<br />

Senda De Vida in Mexico. This partnership<br />

has allowed us to provide so much help and<br />

guidance to many survivors of human<br />

trafficking. Iron Sharpens Iron has been able<br />

to accommodate many survivors’ needs by<br />

providing a safe place for participants and<br />

sustaining their basic needs. We also assist in<br />

relocation efforts, with local and out-of-state<br />

agencies that can accommodate survivors.<br />

Since our partnership with Senda De Vida in<br />

Mexico, we have been in direct contact with<br />

approximately 7,900 survivors from several<br />

countries.<br />

The main purpose of Iron Sharpens Iron<br />

is to train, restore, and assist in the healing<br />

process of survivors of human trafficking.<br />

We would not be able to make this possible<br />

without utilizing sources and programs within<br />

our community and partnering together with<br />

other organizations that also have common<br />

views in the fight against modern-day slavery.<br />

Celebrate Recovery, Beautiful Deliverance,<br />

Senda de Vida, Impact Youth Program, The<br />

Pointe Church, The MS District Pentecostal<br />

Church of God, and Elevate Church are some<br />

great resources and organizations that fight<br />

to end human trafficking and help spread<br />

awareness every day in this state.<br />

74 • FEBRUARY 2023

It is important for us to keep raising<br />

awareness every day of human trafficking in<br />

the state of Mississippi. Teams in Louisiana,<br />

Texas, and Florida that we partner with and<br />

work with have a higher awareness rate than<br />

in our own state, and that is something worth<br />

fighting for to make a change and an impact.<br />

Iron Sharpens Iron also focuses internationally,<br />

and we focus on 13 countries which<br />

include Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico,<br />

Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Venezuela,<br />

Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Belarus, and Russia.<br />

We also focus on the Mexico border, with a<br />

presence in Texas. We have volunteers that<br />

help us raise awareness about Iron Sharpens<br />

Iron and the fight against human trafficking in<br />

Texas, Louisiana, and in Florida.<br />

Our programs include “Impact Summer<br />

Camp,” where the participants can spend a<br />

week outside their environment to heal from<br />

their trauma and have the chance to enjoy<br />

what it is like to be a kid again. We provide<br />

meals, games, and worship. After the week is<br />

over, we give them an opportunity to stay<br />

connected throughout the year with monthly<br />

meetings and activities until they meet again<br />

the following summer. The camp forms<br />

long-lasting friends and a support group.<br />

We want to ensure the participants of the<br />

summer camp that they are not alone.<br />

The fight to stop human trafficking is a<br />

hard fight, but solely a fight that is from the<br />

Lord, given the fact that Beautiful Deliverance,<br />

Celebrate Recovery, and SWAG ministries<br />

are 100% volunteer based. Approximately<br />

two-thirds of our program’s participants have<br />

experienced some form of human trafficking,<br />

which just shows how real modern-day<br />

slavery is in today’s world. Participants<br />

experience healing from any hurt, habit, and<br />

hang up, aiming to fulfill neuroplasticity healing.<br />

We offer services to over 350 individuals a<br />

month, with a meal at each meeting, and<br />

worship. Following worship, Iron Sharpens<br />

Iron participants break out into classes.<br />

Our intent for the following years is to<br />

bring the fight to our backyard and make sure<br />

the human trafficking ranking in Mississippi<br />

drops below #1 in the United States. By raising<br />

awareness and training to the local community,<br />

NGO, local schools, and businesses, with the<br />

intent to prevent and identify potential new<br />

victims, we can help fight to stop end human<br />

trafficking.<br />

All of the efforts of Iron Sharpens Iron<br />

have been funded by CEO, Alexander<br />

Nazario’s retirement check, and our team<br />

is formed of volunteers that have a burning<br />

desire to help others and they love to see<br />

the restoration of others.<br />

www.isiron.org<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 75

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76 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 77

78 • FEBRUARY 2023

The Givenses<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

Brad, 33 is a soldier with the MS National Guard and works full<br />

time as a federal technician with the Guard. In his spare time, he<br />

enjoys working with metal fabrication and is currently rebuilding<br />

a Honda bobber motorcycle.<br />

Tiffany, 38 is the owner and operator of Tiffany G. Photography.<br />

She loves traveling, geocaching, and thrift store treasure hunting.<br />

Our church family at McLaurin Heights Baptist is a huge part of<br />

our lives. They have celebrated and grieved with us through so<br />

many ups and downs. We also both love our school district and<br />

try to stay involved by volunteering with the PTSO.<br />

Skye, 16 is a Pearl High School cheerleader and a member of<br />

the Pearl Singers. She loves re-watching her favorite TV shows<br />

again and again.<br />

Rainer, 14 runs cross-country at PHS, is a member of the<br />

NJROTC, and plays baritone in the Pearl Pirate band. He enjoys<br />

playing all types of instruments and going out with friends. Both<br />

Skye and Rainer are members of the MS National Guard youth<br />

council, and enjoy helping plan events and support services for<br />

other military kids.<br />

Calder, 9 trains at the Ninja Warrior Arena and loves every<br />

minute. He also enjoys playing the piano, Bible drill, and reading<br />

Harry Potter.<br />

June Bradly, 3 is always the life of the party. She loves her<br />

family and tells them so! Playing with Barbies and going to the<br />

playground are her favorite things to do.<br />

For the past few years, our favorite thing to do together as a family<br />

has been kayaking! It always feels like such a relaxing time on the<br />

water. It is also an activity that our whole family enjoys, which is<br />

hard to find when you have kids at all stages.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 79

How did you meet and how long have you been married?<br />

Tiffany We met at my brother’s deployment send-off party.<br />

He was my brother’s best friend, and we didn’t tell him when we<br />

started dating!<br />

Brad On our first date, I was just talking away and she asked me<br />

if I was going to kiss her or not. We started dating 13 years ago and<br />

have been married 11 years last September.<br />

Do you allow time for a date night?<br />

We LOVE date night! It’s especially easy since we have the best<br />

live-in babysitter. We think it’s very important to set aside time for<br />

just the two of us. We love trying new restaurants. It’s always fun to<br />

browse a bookstore after dinner. If we get a chance to have a daytime<br />

date, we enjoy visiting used bookstores.<br />

What brings you the greatest joy as a parent?<br />

Watching our kids through each stage of their lives. They’re slowly<br />

becoming the people they’re going to be, and who God wants them<br />

to be. It has been really eye opening to realize we will have a senior<br />

next year! The years pass by so quickly. That’s why I enjoy taking<br />

photos. I can look back on each of those stages and remember the<br />

pride that came with each one. When you see them learning what<br />

you’ve been trying to teach them, it makes you feel like the effort has<br />

been worth it.<br />

Who is the financial manager in your home?<br />

Brad and I maintain a joint bank account that we both contribute to.<br />

We always make decisions about large expenses together. I feel like we<br />

stay on the same track as far as spending goes because our financial<br />

goals are mostly the same. I’m sure there are areas where we could<br />

improve our budget.<br />

When your children were younger, what was your<br />

discipline philosophy?<br />

Because our children are so spread out, we still have young ones. We<br />

have always tried to teach our kids that actions have consequences,<br />

whether natural or imposed. If you wear shorts in the winter, you<br />

may be cold. If you don’t do your chores, you don’t get to go out with<br />

friends. Our philosophy hasn’t changed much; the consequences<br />

have just changed to become age appropriate as they get older.<br />

What do you see in your role as the greatest benefit to<br />

your family?<br />

Tiffany I have always seen my role as encourager to my kids. I try<br />

to encourage them to do their best, to practice and study, to seek<br />

God’s will in their lives. I’m sure they would tell you that sometimes<br />

I encourage them too much. I believe my role as wife to Brad is to<br />

support his decisions, to encourage him when he needs it, and to be<br />

his best friend. He is definitely mine!<br />

Brad Being the provider and spiritual leader. I hope they can learn<br />

from my example what it means to care for and lead a family.<br />

What’s a quick go-to meal that isn’t fast food?<br />

And who does the cooking?<br />

Brad I probably do most of the cooking because I enjoy it. I turn on<br />

some music and get to work. Because we’re on the go a lot, we use our<br />

crockpot all the time. We all love red beans and rice.<br />

How long has Pearl been your home?<br />

Tiffany I grew up mostly in South Jackson. After college, I landed<br />

in Rankin County. We have been in Pearl almost 14 years.<br />

Brad I also grew up in Jackson, but graduated from NWR when<br />

my family moved to Flowood. Shortly after graduation, I joined the<br />

National Guard and moved out on my own. When Tiffany and I<br />

met, I moved to Pearl and have been here since. I don’t plan on<br />

leaving either.<br />

What are some of your favorite things about<br />

Rankin County?<br />

We like how close we are to shopping, recreation, and family-friendly<br />

activities. We feel safe with our family in Rankin County. We love<br />

the Pearl Public School District and our church, which is very close<br />

to our home.<br />

How do you spend your summer breaks?<br />

Tiffany I make my own schedule, so I love summers with the kids!<br />

We always try to make a summer bucket list of things we wouldn’t<br />

normally get to do during the school year. We like to sleep late, visit<br />

museums and parks, try out new lunch places, go geocaching, kayak,<br />

swim, visit the library, etc. The kids also love to go to camps, and we<br />

try to visit Dauphin Island each year.<br />

Brad Working. There is no such thing as a summer break.<br />

What accomplishments make you proud during your time<br />

living in Pearl?<br />

Tiffany I’m proud of the business I have been able to build. We are<br />

always proud of athletic championships the kids have been part of.<br />

This is not an accomplishment, but I am so proud of the way our<br />

community lifted up our family when Brad was diagnosed with<br />

cancer in 2021. We were encouraged, supported, and prayed for way<br />

above anything we ever expected.<br />

Brad The relationships we have built with people here. We are<br />

thankful to be part of such an awesome community.<br />

What drives you to have the job that you have?<br />

And what do you do for a living?<br />

Tiffany I work as a photographer and I get to take photos all over<br />

the metro, mostly in Rankin County. I get to meet so many people<br />

and help them preserve their memories. My flexible schedule means<br />

that I get to do preschool with my kids when they are little and spend<br />

breaks with them once they start school. I love what I do!<br />

Brad I work as a mechanic for the National Guard, repairing and<br />

maintaining all types of equipment for local guard units. I enjoy<br />

working with my hands and I like to think I am good at what I do.<br />

80 • FEBRUARY 2023

Questions<br />

for the children<br />

What’s your favorite thing<br />

to do as a family?<br />

Skye Travel to new places.<br />

Rainer Kayaking<br />

Calder Kayaking<br />

June Bradly Going out to eat.<br />

What your favorite<br />

place to eat?<br />

Skye The Blue Feather<br />

Rainer Salsa’s in Pearl<br />

Calder Sushi Village<br />

June Bradly Sushi Village<br />

What’s your favorite<br />

TV show?<br />

Skye Gilmore Girls<br />

Rainer Wednesday<br />

Calder I would rather play<br />

video games!<br />

June Bradly Princess Fun Place<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 81

Thank You!<br />

Best Place to Work - Large Employer<br />

Rankin County's Best of the Best!<br />

601-987-8200 · capitalortho.com<br />

82 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 83

2nd Annual<br />

I Remember Martin<br />

Parade & Festival<br />

January 16<br />

Brandon Middle School<br />

84 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 85

DONORS<br />


give furniture, appliances,<br />

building materials & more!<br />


give their time & talents<br />

to help run the store<br />


find great stuff & awesome<br />

deals for a good cause<br />

thousands of tons of<br />

material from landfills<br />


Tuesday - Saturday · 9:30 am to 5:00 pm<br />

Call 769.209.5100 or visit habitatmca.org<br />

86 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 87

Garage<br />

Treasures<br />

What might be junk to one individual<br />

may well be a treasure to another.<br />

That was the thinking of Beth Bowman,<br />

a former staff member at First Baptist<br />

Church Brandon, when she came up<br />

with the idea of a church-wide garage<br />

sale and was instrumental in getting it<br />

scheduled into the events of the church.<br />

This year’s organizers are Kay Baden,<br />

Kenny Carter, Davis Watts, Anita<br />

Fortenberry and Leslie Williamson.<br />

There’s a three-fold<br />

purpose for the sale...<br />

1. Those working the sale earn hourly<br />

wages which help pay for mission<br />

trips they would like to join.<br />

2. The community benefits by having<br />

access to inexpensive, quality items<br />

for sale. Families that have had their<br />

homes destroyed by fire or natural<br />

disasters can furnish their dwellings<br />

with affordable furnishings.<br />

3. With three services each Sunday,<br />

regular church members rarely meet<br />

with the entire congregation. The sale<br />

remedies that, with over 200 people<br />

involved in the sale each year.<br />

The fellowship is wonderful!<br />

88 • FEBRUARY 2023

An extra dividend goes to non-profits<br />

like ERCO, prison ministries, nursing<br />

homes, and Good Samaritan Center,<br />

which pick up all of the remaining items<br />

that don’t sell.<br />

The event has become so popular<br />

that last year’s traffic was a real issue.<br />

To remedy that, the garage sale will<br />

be divided into two weekends. Only<br />

furniture will be for sale on February<br />

25th. Tickets for that day are $15.<br />

March 3-4 will be the sale days for all<br />

other items with seventeen stations<br />

selling home goods, medical, holiday,<br />

housewares, clothes, and jewelry,<br />

and there’s no charge for those days.<br />

The church members pick up donations<br />

all year from church members and nonmembers.<br />

If you love t-shirts, those are<br />

free at the garage sale. One lady made<br />

jump ropes out of donated t-shirts for<br />

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.<br />

The event raised over $50,000 the last<br />

two years with the majority of that going<br />

to missions. Thanks to this mega-garage<br />

sale, six people were able to go to London<br />

this past year to participate in street<br />

evangelism in addition to many others<br />

who benefitted from working this event.<br />

Mandy Barry, FBC Brandon member, is<br />

one of those people. “Missions is a huge<br />

part of my spiritual life. I love missions!<br />

The yearly garage sale raises funds to<br />

support missions, whether locally or<br />

internationally. God calls us to go and<br />

make disciples. I am so grateful for<br />

FBC Brandon’s support and vision to<br />

spread the Gospel. Matthew 28:19-20”<br />

So, if you love a good bargain,<br />

while being a vital part of missions,<br />

mark these dates on your calendar.<br />


February 25th 8am-2pm<br />

FRIDAY<br />

March 3rd 7am-3pm<br />


March 4th 7am-1pm<br />

309 South College Street<br />

Brandon 39042<br />

To donate items, please call the<br />

church office at 601-825-6766.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 89

90 • FEBRUARY 2023

Thank You!<br />




MississippiSportsMedicine.com<br />

Congratulations<br />


MSU Admissions Counselor<br />

Recipient of Outstanding<br />

Rankin County Professional<br />

admissions.msstate.edu<br />

Mississippi State University Is An Equal Opportunity Institution.<br />

Congratulations, Roger Murphy.<br />

Strong leadership powers Mississippi.<br />

Entergy proudly congratulates Roger Murphy for being<br />

recognized as a top young professional by the Rankin Hometown<br />

Magazine. Roger joined our team in 2020 and currently serves<br />

Rankin County and surrounding areas as an engineer. Congratulations,<br />

Roger, and thank you for your commitment to the community.<br />

A message from Entergy Mississippi, LLC ©2023 Entergy Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.<br />

Hometown RANKIN • 91

SALUTE<br />

to First Responders<br />

How long have you been with the Flowood PD?<br />

A little over three years.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

My family is a long way from here. I don’t see them often,<br />

but when I do, I report everything I’ve seen and done<br />

with my career and personal life to them.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have experienced in your job?<br />

Watching the mindset of society slowly change in the way<br />

law enforcement officers are perceived in the public eye.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your spare time.<br />

There are several things that I do in my spare time but some of<br />

the top things are martial arts, train with weaponry, tinkering<br />

with gadgets and devices, and always trying to learn something<br />

different.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

To eventually get back home and relax. Travel the rest of the<br />

world, sail the Aegean Sea and anchor in Santorini to watch<br />

the sun set. Have a glass of Bordeaux wine in the Côte d’Azur.<br />

Sergeant<br />

Colby<br />

MORGAN<br />


Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

Probably my father. He is the smartest person I know.<br />

He always seems to have an answer—whether I want to<br />

hear it or not. He isn’t too proud to learn from others,<br />

no matter what his knowledge base is.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person,<br />

what would it be?<br />

Work in silence. Accomplish your goals quietly and don’t let<br />

anyone know what you’re doing until it is done. Stop trying<br />

to gain the superficial approval through social media.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the city of Flowood?<br />

100% Cups Coffee!<br />

92 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 93

Greet Spring in the Garden!<br />

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Hometown RANKIN • 95

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Hometown RANKIN • 97

TheTime COIN<br />

Camille Anding<br />

College days were fun days for me.<br />

It was truly independent living and a carefree attitude that was a gift from my parents - chiefly<br />

because they paid all my expenses my freshman and sophomore years. I helped supplement<br />

a small amount of my monetary needs the remainder of my college life with part time work,<br />

but it was those first years of life-on-my-own that I loved.<br />

Marriage and family were far from my thoughts as I indulged in my freed lifestyle.<br />

Life moves quickly. Love intervened, and suddenly my conversations turned from “I” to “we.”<br />

“I” meant lonely and too quiet. “We” meant fun, laughter and a kind of joy I hadn’t experienced.<br />

Marriage vows could make us “we” permanently, so I chose “we.”<br />

The “we” was truly the joy and more than I had hoped. I hadn’t been surprised by that joy,<br />

but I was surprised when my doctor told me that my tiredness wasn’t from a lack of vitamins.<br />

I was pregnant!<br />

The initial shock carried me to wondering how this unknown family member-to-be would<br />

affect our utopia of marriage. Life was just about as perfect as it could be. Was all of that about<br />

to change? I had no idea what kind of changes were coming.<br />

The love that God pours into our hearts for spouses, parents and siblings is prodigious, but<br />

that mother’s love that He supplies comes in king-size quantities. How else does one explain<br />

a totally dependent stranger suddenly consuming its mother’s quality sleep with no complaints<br />

for that interruption? Every need is met for that tiny creature that can’t speak a word, because<br />

a mother soon learns to interpret that infant’s cries. With that love, God sends Wonder Woman<br />

hearing to the mother that enables her to detect a change in her infant’s breathing in the same<br />

room or down the hall.<br />

Before postpartum leaves, a mother BEAR makeover invades the new mother. A shield like no<br />

other allows or denies any or all access to the newborn. The mother remains on guard 24/7<br />

whether rested or exhausted!<br />

I’m grateful that I asked Jesus to invade my heart when I was young. That gave me insight into<br />

the various kinds of His love that I have experienced over the years. When our first grandchild<br />

was born, I scooped her – gently – into my arms and said, “Lord, how can such love continue?”<br />

Then in more blessed years, God gave me the joy of holding our first great-grandchild.<br />

By now I have no words to describe my Father’s love, but I somehow think a mother might<br />

have the closest understanding. God truly is LOVE.<br />

98 • FEBRUARY 2023

Hometown RANKIN • 99

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