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Our<br />

Town<br />


2 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 3

4 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong><br />


Tahya Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin Dobbs<br />


Mary Ann Kirby<br />



Alisha Floyd<br />



Caroline Hodges<br />


Nikki Robison<br />



Lexie Ownby<br />


Debby Francis<br />



Melissa Kennon<br />


Daniel Thomas<br />

3dt<br />

STAFF<br />


Othel Anding<br />

Copyright HTMags.com / 601.706.4059<br />

200 Felicity Street / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be<br />

reproduced without written permission from the publisher.<br />

The management of Hometown Publications is not responsible<br />

for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.<br />

Whether you’re brand new to our community or have<br />

been here for years, Our Town–<strong>39042</strong> will help you<br />

find answers to questions about how the city works<br />

and how to get things done. This is a reference book–<br />

and you’ll find plenty of information about our local<br />

businesses as well as opportunities to engage with<br />

the city and other residents. We’re so glad you call<br />

Brandon home.<br />

INSIDE<br />

• Letter from the Mayor 6<br />

• City Government 9<br />

• New Resident Info 10<br />

• Parks & Recreation 14<br />

• Senior Services 17<br />

• Library 19<br />

• Childcare 21<br />

• Churches 23<br />

• Medical 25<br />

• Where Your Feet Are 26<br />

• What’s In a Street Name? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32<br />

• Retired Teacher Q&A 74<br />

• Friends 78<br />

• Magic of Lights 84<br />

• A Wish Come True 90<br />

• A Neighborhood Blessing 94<br />

• Clubs 100<br />

• Schools 108<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 5

From Mayor Butch Lee<br />

In the blink of an eye, we find ourselves one year from the last<br />

update and now in the middle of 2023. And what a year it is!<br />

Brandon can proudly claim many successes on which we can look<br />

back. Every bit of Brandon’s success speaks to the hard work and<br />

collective efforts of our board of aldermen, our city department<br />

heads, and our staff. Not only is the vibrancy of our community a<br />

credit to the administrative and operational works of our city<br />

team, but it is also a direct reflection of the contributions of our<br />

local businesses and our citizens of Brandon.<br />

The completion of the Grants Ferry Parkway – Phase C-2 is a<br />

perfect example of how all areas of Brandon came together to enable<br />

the success of this project. Aldermen, administration, staff,<br />

residents, and business owners, worked together to accomplish<br />

this portion of the project. Ongoing improvements within our<br />

water and sewer systems ensure that our infrastructure can support<br />

a healthy future for our residents. Projects like this and many others<br />

help us to provide a sound community for you and your families.<br />

Here in Brandon, residents can enjoy a multitude of community<br />

events. From our parks and recreations department to our thriving<br />

senior center, and numerous other city-sponsored events, everyone<br />

can find a place to meet neighbors and make friends. Just this<br />

past April, the City of Brandon hosted the Brandon Jubilee 2023.<br />

The five-day event hosted midway rides, an artists’ market, family<br />

movie night, pickleball, baseball, and wheelchair tennis tournaments<br />

culminating in a night of music with Lynyrd Skynyrd and<br />

guest Randy Houser. We look forward to the Brandon Jubilee<br />

becoming an annual event and hope you do too. Another event of<br />

note this past year was our Magic of Lights holiday light extravaganza.<br />

The first year of hosting was a huge success with over<br />

40,000 vehicles from local visitors to visitors as far away as Dallas<br />

and Atlanta. Magic of Lights is sure to grow and become a mustsee<br />

holiday event right here in your hometown.<br />

Brandon’s ranking as the 2nd safest city in Mississippi for six<br />

years in a row allows for residents and visitors to gather and enjoy<br />

all that Brandon has to offer. Along with safety, our community<br />

boasts A-rated schools. Often you can find our Brandon Police<br />

Department partnering with our schools encouraging a solid<br />

relationship with our peace officers and fostering a strong, safe<br />

learning environment. Partnerships like this are what people see<br />

in our thriving community, calling them to join in and make<br />

Brandon their hometown.<br />

Even when emergencies happen, like the flash flood in August<br />

of ’22, Brandon made national news with pictures of neighbors<br />

helping neighbors. This incident required evacuation of an assisted<br />

living home—another example of the dedication of our community.<br />

First responders, city employees, and nearby residents quickly<br />

jumped into action. The Brandon Fire Department continually<br />

reports quick response times at our board of alderman meetings,<br />

contributing to our high safety rating.<br />

From large emergency response events to the tiniest of gestures<br />

from a thoughtful neighbor, I am thankful for the community of<br />

people we call Brandon. We at the City of Brandon are your neighbors.<br />

We hope to continue this forward motion from this past<br />

year and will only strive to get better. We look forward to the good<br />

things to come—and are grateful for your support as we do.<br />

6 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 7

8 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

The Brandon Board of Aldermen meets twice a month, on the first and third Monday<br />

of each month, starting at 6:00pm. If a holiday falls on that Monday, the board meets<br />

the following day. All board meeting agendas and minutes can be found at<br />

www.brandonms.org<br />


Angela Bean<br />

City Clerk<br />

abean@brandonms.org<br />

Brian Roberts<br />

Fire Chief<br />

broberts@brandonms.org<br />

Wayne Dearman<br />

Police Chief<br />

wdearman@brandonms.org<br />

Sam Hawkins<br />

Community Development<br />

Director<br />

shawkins@brandonms.org<br />

Paul Brannon<br />

Public Works Director<br />

pbrannon@brandonms.org<br />


Sharon Womack<br />

Alderman at Large<br />

swomack@brandonms.org<br />

601-624-3603<br />

Jarrad Craine<br />

Ward 1<br />

jcraine@brandonms.org<br />

601-454-2506<br />

Cris Vinson<br />

Ward 2<br />

cvinson@brandonms.org<br />

601-824-8884<br />

Harry Williams<br />

Ward 3<br />

hwilliams@brandonms.org<br />

601-825-8970<br />

Lu Coker<br />

Ward 4<br />

lcoker@brandonms.org<br />

601-573-0281<br />

Dwight Middleton<br />

Ward 5<br />

dmiddleton@brandonms.org<br />

601-278-9637<br />

David Farriss<br />

Ward 6<br />

dfarris@brandonms.org<br />

601-540-1711<br />

Aldermen & Department Heads<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 9

New Resident Info<br />

Brandon was incorporated in 1831 as the county seat of Rankin County, Mississippi.<br />

Over the years, Brandon has experienced positive growth while maintaining its<br />

small-town charm. Brandon has an A-rated school district, a Class 4 fire rating, and<br />

is the 2nd safest city in Mississippi. The City of Brandon is 1 of 14 Welcome Home<br />

Cities in the state, as recognized by the Mississippi Development Authority.<br />

Brandon Police Department<br />

1455 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.7225<br />

Brandon Fire Department<br />

601.824.4636<br />

Station 1<br />

629 Marquette Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Station 2<br />

6577 Grants Ferry Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Station 3<br />

147 Kennedy Farm Parkway<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Station 4<br />

1058 Star Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Station 5<br />

16 Woodgate Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Station 6<br />

213 Poindexter Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Rankin County<br />

Emergency Management<br />

601 Marquette Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.1499<br />

Rankin County Safe Room<br />

651 Marquette Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.1480<br />

Rankin County Tax Collector<br />

Vehicle Registration and Title<br />

211 East Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.1467<br />

Driver’s License Location<br />

3851 Highway 468<br />

Pearl, MS 39208<br />

601.420.6342<br />

Circuit Clerk’s Office<br />

211 East Government Street<br />

Suite A, Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.1475<br />

M-F 8:00am - 5:00pm<br />

Marriage License<br />

• No appointment is needed,<br />

but you must arrive by 4:30pm.<br />

• The bride and groom must<br />

come to the circuit clerk’s office<br />

together to apply.<br />

• Marriage license cost $37<br />

- CASH ONLY.<br />

• Proof of age must be provided<br />

in the form of a driver’s license,<br />

birth certificate, or other legal<br />

documents. If either applicant is<br />

under 21 years of age, he/she<br />

must have consent from parents<br />

or legal guardians.<br />

• If applicants have previously<br />

been married and divorced or<br />

lost a spouse through death, the<br />

applicant will need to provide<br />

the month, day and year the<br />

marriage ended.<br />

• Once a license is issued, it does<br />

not expire.<br />

Rankin County Chamber<br />

of Commerce<br />

601-825-2268<br />

Public Works Department<br />

1000 Municipal Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.824.4579<br />

601-824-4579<br />

water@brandonms.org<br />

Monday-Friday 8am-5pm<br />

The City of Brandon Public<br />

Works Department consists of<br />

five divisions: water, sewer, streets,<br />

sanitation, and water administration.<br />

Together these divisions provide<br />

many of the basic services that<br />

are required for those that work<br />

and live in the City of Brandon.<br />

Some of the Public Works<br />

Department services include<br />

• Pothole and asphalt repairs<br />

• Water and sewer infrastructure<br />

maintenance and operations<br />

• Maintenance of City right-ofways<br />

and storm water drainage<br />

systems<br />

• Major and minor infrastructure<br />

projects<br />

• Operations and maintenance<br />

of traffic signals<br />

• Street signage maintenance<br />

• Garbage pick-up<br />

• Mosquito abatement<br />

• Review of subdivision<br />

construction plans<br />

• Residential leaf pickup<br />

• Emergency response during<br />

inclement weather events and<br />

other situations<br />

• Utility Billing Services<br />

10 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Community Development<br />

601-825-4580<br />

www.brandonms.org/departments/<br />

community-development<br />

A building permit is required for:<br />

Shops and other accessory<br />

buildings, roofs, pools, additions<br />

and structure to remodels.<br />

A building permit is not required<br />

for: Fences, painting, replacing<br />

rotten wood and small cosmetic<br />

remodels.<br />

For electrical, plumbing and sewer<br />

repair projects, please contact the<br />

office for permit requirements.<br />

A rental inspection is required for<br />

all rental homes before tenants are<br />

allowed to move in and establish<br />

water and power accounts.<br />

All new Entergy and Southern Pine<br />

accounts must be accompanied<br />

by a permit issued by Community<br />

Development. Please contact the<br />

office for further information<br />

regarding power connections.<br />

For all permitting questions:<br />

permitting@brandonms.org<br />

For all code enforcement<br />

questions: code@brandonms.org<br />

Amphitheater<br />

The Brandon Amphitheater,<br />

opened in 2018, has become a<br />

premier music venue for artists<br />

and guests. From Chris Stapleton,<br />

Dave Matthews, and Imagine<br />

Dragons, guests can enjoy<br />

chart- topping artists at this<br />

beautifully-set venue.<br />

City Hall Live<br />

The City of Brandon also holds<br />

concerts and events at Brandon<br />

Municipal Complex. There are<br />

6-8 events held at “City Hall”<br />

annually, and they average 600-<br />

1200 visitors per event. These<br />

events bring an average of 6,600<br />

visitors. Located at the Brandon<br />

Municipal Center, the City Hall Live<br />

is the sister venue to BAMP. From<br />

children’s entertainment to music<br />

legends, this venue offers an<br />

intimate atmosphere where every<br />

seat is the best seat in the house.<br />

042 Farmer’s Markets<br />

• May 11, 2023<br />

• June 8, 2023<br />

• July 13, 2023<br />

• August 10, 2023<br />

• October 26, 2023<br />

Events & Parades<br />

• 042 Farmers Market<br />

• Fall Festival<br />

• Veterans Breakfast<br />

November 2023<br />

• Downtown Tree Lighting<br />

• Magic of Lights<br />

• Christmas Parade<br />

December 1, 2023<br />

• Princess Ball<br />

• Krewe de Roux<br />

• Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 11

Special Events<br />

Carley Keyes<br />

Events Coordinator<br />

Brandon Municipal Complex<br />

1000 Municipal Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601-825-5021<br />

Spaces for rent for private parties<br />

and or meetings available at<br />

City Hall or the Public Library<br />

Located at City Hall<br />

Two meeting spaces with 660<br />

square feet per room. Both rooms<br />

come with a drop down screen,<br />

ceiling projector, and counter for<br />

refreshments. Rental rates begin<br />

at $200 plus a $100 refundable<br />

deposit.<br />

For a larger room we offer our<br />

Senior Center with 132 capacity<br />

and 2,646 sq. ft. room. The center<br />

features a drop down screen,<br />

ceiling projector, sound system,<br />

microphone, and full kitchen.<br />

Rental rates begin at $400 plus<br />

a $200 refundable deposit. This<br />

rental includes sixteen tables and<br />

128 chairs. Additional tables and<br />

chairs are available for an additional<br />

rental charge.<br />

The largest room we offer is our<br />

Civic Center with 3,771 square<br />

feet room. The center offers two<br />

drop down screens, two ceiling<br />

projectors, sound system,<br />

microphones, and prep kitchen.<br />

Rental rates begin at $1,750<br />

plus a $500 refundable deposit.<br />

This rental includes twenty tables<br />

and 160 chairs.<br />

There is a flag depository for<br />

old flags located at City Hall.<br />

Located at the Public Library<br />

At the city’s public library we offer<br />

a larger room with 1,748 square<br />

feet. The room offers a number<br />

of tables and chairs, drop down<br />

screen and a full kitchen.<br />

The rental fee if $400 plus<br />

a $200 refundable deposit.<br />

A smaller conference room is<br />

available at the library during<br />

library hours only. The room<br />

includes a projector, drop down<br />

screen and a large conference<br />

table which can hold 20 people<br />

comfortably. Rental fee for this<br />

conference room is $125 plus a<br />

refundable deposit of $75.<br />

*all fees and deposits are<br />

subject to change<br />

Cemeteries<br />

Grounds maintained by<br />

Brandon Parks & Rec<br />

Brandon Memorial<br />

300 Highway 468<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Plots at can be purchased<br />

through City Hall at 601-825-5021<br />

Ponderosa Cemetery<br />

231 Appleridge Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Brandon Historical Cemetery<br />

165 Old Depot Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Light of Liberty<br />

School Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Brandon<br />

Amphitheater<br />

8190 Rock Way Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Grace Young<br />

Box Office Manager<br />

601-724-2726<br />

601-278-3876<br />

Facebook: BrandonAmpMs<br />

*Tickets available through<br />

Ticketmaster or the box office<br />

City Hall Live<br />

*Tickets available through<br />

Ticketmaster<br />

12 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 13

Parks & Recreation<br />

Brandon Parks<br />

& Recreation<br />

105 Kennedy Farm Parkway<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601-825-3047<br />

www.brandonparkandrec.com<br />

BBrandon Parks & Recreation<br />

Vbrandonparks_rec<br />

Jennifer Byrd<br />

General Manager<br />

Parks and Recreation facilities continue to<br />

be a local and regional draw for athletics,<br />

tournaments, and events. Brandon has<br />

eight parks spread across 425 acres.<br />

Brandon City Park<br />

1463 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

• 7 Full-Size Tennis Courts<br />

• 3 Junior Tennis Courts<br />

• 1 Children’s Playground<br />

Quarry Park<br />

222 Boyce Thompson<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

• 6 Baseball/Softball Fields<br />

with artificial turf<br />

Shiloh Park<br />

330 Shiloh Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

• 17 Baseball/Softball Fields<br />

• 11 Soccer Fields<br />

• 4 Pickle Ball Courts<br />

• 3 Playgrounds<br />

• 1 Splash pad<br />

14 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Splash Pad<br />

322 Shiloh Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601-825-3047<br />

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm<br />

Saturday 10am-6pm<br />

Sunday 1pm-6pm<br />

Free Admission<br />

(Ages birth- 12 months and over 50)<br />

$5 Admission<br />

(Ages 1 - 49)<br />

Individual Season Pass $50<br />

Family of 4 Season Pass $150<br />

$25 per additional person<br />

Party packages available<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 15

16 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

The City of Brandon Senior Center<br />

is a recreation center for persons<br />

55 years of age and older. They are<br />

located at 1000 Municipal Drive<br />

inside Brandon City Hall. The Senior<br />

Center offers a variety of programs,<br />

special events, activities and classes<br />

which are low-cost or absolutely<br />

free! Call 601-824-7095 or visit to<br />

find out more.<br />

Fitness<br />

• Sit & Be Fit<br />

• Cardio Combo<br />

• Tai Chi<br />

• Yoga<br />

• Line Dancing<br />

Special Events<br />

• Day Trips<br />

• Luncheons<br />

• Holiday Events<br />

Activities<br />

• Learn to play Bridge<br />

• Crochet<br />

• Men’s Coffee<br />

• Learn to Speak<br />

Spanish<br />

• Book Club<br />

• Bible Study<br />

• Dominoes<br />

• Art<br />

• Music Group<br />

• Beading Class<br />

Senior Services<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 17




For complete details on these benefits and more,<br />

contact the Rankin County Farm Bureau office<br />

at 601-825-5056.<br />


18 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

1475 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.2672 / cmrls.lib.ms.us<br />

Branch Manager<br />

Amy Lee brbm@cmrls.lib.ms.us<br />

Hours of Operation<br />

Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 8:00pm<br />

Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm<br />

Saturday 9:00am - 4:00pm<br />

Services Offered<br />

• Black and white printing/copying<br />

• Color printing/copying<br />

• Scanning • Faxing • Wireless Printing<br />

Services provided by the<br />

Friends of the Brandon Library<br />

• Free shredding services<br />

• Notary services / Nominal fee of $3.<br />

Available 10am-7pm Monday-Thursday, and<br />

10am-4pm on Friday. Additional times available<br />

by appointment.<br />

Library<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 19

20 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

For many years, childcare services have been an important and essential part of<br />

today’s working parents’ needs. Infants to kindergarten-age children are given care,<br />

training, and environments for learning social interactions. Our community offers<br />

these exceptional “second homes” for our children.<br />

Brandon Methodist Kindergarten<br />

Ages 3-5 years old<br />

www.brandonfumc.org/kindergarten<br />

205 Mary Ann Drive / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.5958<br />

Circle of Friends Learning Center II<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 4 years old<br />

2006 Creek Cove / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.2387<br />

Childcare<br />

Crossgates Baptist Kindergarten<br />

Ages 3-4 years old<br />

crossgates.org/weekday<br />

8 Crosswoods Road / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.2734<br />

Crossgates Methodist Children’s Center<br />

Ages 3-4 years old<br />

thechildrenscenterbrandon.com<br />

21 Crossgates Drive / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.0555<br />

First Baptist Brandon Children’s Center<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 4 years old<br />

www.fbcbrandon.com/childrens-center<br />

309 S. College Street / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.8686<br />

Kids Are Kids Learning Center<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 5 years old<br />

462 Luckney Road / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.0402<br />

Little Cam Cam’s Learning Center<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 5 years old<br />

305 W. Jasper Street / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.7951<br />

Miss Mandy’s Christian Daycare<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 4 years old<br />

783 Marquette Road / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.6224<br />

Silver Spoon<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 5 years old<br />

213 Woodgate Drive South / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.824.6093<br />

Tikes 2 Tots Family Childcare<br />

Ages 6 weeks - 4 years old<br />

213 Commerce Drive / Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.3101<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 21

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22 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Living in our hometown of Brandon with churches “on every corner” is a blessing and<br />

freedom we often overlook. Read our list of local churches in a spirit of thanksgiving!<br />

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one<br />

another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:25<br />

Brandon Assembly of God<br />

995 South College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.8188<br />

ag.org<br />

Brandon Baptist Church<br />

100 Brandon Baptist Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.824.1781<br />

brandonbc.org<br />

Brandon First United Methodist<br />

205 Mary Ann Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.5958<br />

www.brandonfumc.org<br />

Brandon Presbyterian Church<br />

209 South College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.5259<br />

www.brandonpres.com<br />

Crossgates Baptist Church<br />

8 Crosswoods Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.2562<br />

crossgates.org<br />

Crossgates United<br />

Methodist Church<br />

23 Crossgates Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.8677<br />

www.crossgatesumc.org<br />

First United Pentecostal<br />

Church of Brandon<br />

1368 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.7569<br />

brandonupc.com<br />

Grace Baptist Church<br />

1013 MS-471<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.824.7334<br />

www.gracebaptistonline.net<br />

Heart Church<br />

107 Office Park Drive<br />

Inside The Club at Crossgates<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.506.0714<br />

Hope Fellowship<br />

500 North College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.824.9088<br />

www.hfcbrandon.org<br />

Journey Church<br />

Downtown<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.874.9595<br />

journeypeople.cc<br />

Meadow Grove Baptist Church<br />

3221 Louis Wilson Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.5704<br />

www.meadowgrove.org<br />

North Brandon<br />

Church of Christ<br />

1029 MS-471<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.6497<br />

northbrandoncc.com<br />

Rock Star Baptist Church<br />

303 Tamberline Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.2560<br />

www.facebook.com/<br />

RockStarMBChurch<br />

St Luke’s Episcopal Church<br />

104 North College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.5839<br />

stlukes.dioms.org<br />

The Pointe<br />

1120 Star Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.591.1154<br />

www.thepointebrandon.com<br />

Churches<br />

Crossview Baptist Church<br />

687 Burnham Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.0412<br />

crossviewbc@att.net<br />

First Baptist Church<br />

of Brandon<br />

Office<br />

309 College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

Sunday Worship<br />

175 Boyce Thompson Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.6766<br />

601.825.3141<br />

www.fbcbrandon.com<br />

Nativity Lutheran Church<br />

495 Crossgates Boulevard<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.825.5125<br />

www.nativitylc.org<br />

New Life Assembly of God<br />

300 Shiloh Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.824.3030<br />

ag.org<br />

New Vision Fellowship<br />

652 Luckney Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

601.591.1267<br />

nvfms.org<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 23

24 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Healthcare delivery is changing. In addition to great medical care, patients expect easy<br />

access, affordability and convenience. In Brandon, we have a high standard with a focus<br />

on quality, convenience and a personalized care experience. We are able to bring acute<br />

and long-term care services closer to home through the following providers:<br />

Baptist Medical Clinic<br />

Family Medicine - Brandon<br />

1490 West Government Street / Suite 10<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.1936<br />

Family Health Care Clinic<br />

1551 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.3163<br />

Greenfield Family Healthcare<br />

762 Highway 468<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601-824-0988<br />

Merit Health Medical Group<br />

Primary Care<br />

2841 Highwy 18<br />

Brandon MS <strong>39042</strong> / 769-241-6207<br />

Merit Health Rankin<br />

350 Crossgates Boulevard<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.2811<br />

Merit Health Medical Group<br />

Orthopedics<br />

2841 Highway 18<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601-376-2818<br />

Rankin Children’s Group, PLLC<br />

1405 Crossgates Drive West<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.0925<br />

Rankin Primary Care Clinic<br />

103 Service Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.824.1491<br />

Region 8 Mental Health Services<br />

613 Marquette Road<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.824.0342<br />

Richard C. Randolph, M.D., P.A.<br />

348 Crossgates Boulevard / Suite 2200<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.825.2466<br />

St. Dominic’s<br />

Family Medicine - Brandon<br />

1297 West Government Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.200.4790<br />

TrustCare<br />

1645 West Government Street / Suite F<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong> / 601.829.6600<br />

Medical Facilities<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 25

Melanie McMillan<br />

Coach Kelsa Walker<br />

Where Your<br />

Feet Are<br />

When Kelsa Walker was a junior in high school, she went on a mission trip to Honduras.<br />

While there, she felt strongly that she was being called to work with young women.<br />

At the time, she imagined that she would go into full-time ministry in some capacity<br />

but didn’t know exactly what that would look like.<br />

26 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

ollowing high school, she earned<br />

earned a business degree from<br />

Delta State University and took a job at<br />

an agriculture company. “It took about thirty<br />

days of sitting behind a desk to realize it<br />

wasn’t for me,” she says.<br />

“I decided to get my teaching certificate<br />

through the alternate route program at<br />

Mississippi Valley State University and began<br />

teaching at Strayhorn School in Tate County.”<br />

Walker was a good athlete in high school,<br />

so it was only natural that she ended up<br />

serving as the coach for varsity basketball,<br />

softball, and cross country at Strayhorn.<br />

Although she was happy in Tate County,<br />

she needed services for her son that the<br />

school district didn’t provide at the time. She<br />

reached out to her uncle, Dr. Clyde Muse, for<br />

guidance. “I wanted his recommendation on<br />

where to find the resources my son needed,<br />

and he strongly recommended Rankin County<br />

schools,” says Walker. “I applied for a teaching<br />

position at Brandon Middle School and knew<br />

immediately that’s where I wanted to be.<br />

I began as a 7th grade math teacher there<br />

in 2009.”<br />

While teaching at Brandon Middle School,<br />

Coach Walker met basketball coach Linda<br />

Dear. “I had never lost my love of coaching,<br />

and I spent lots of time in the gym watching<br />

practices and talking with Coach Dear. She<br />

was so good to me and my children and<br />

made a big impact on my life. When she<br />

asked me to be her assistant coach, I gladly<br />

said yes.”<br />

In 2012, Kelsa was approached by Athletic<br />

Director Brad Peterson about starting a<br />

volleyball program at the middle school.<br />

“I knew nothing about volleyball,” Walker says,<br />

“but Coach Peterson assured me I could do it,<br />

that I could prepare them for the high school<br />

team. I had serious doubts, but I realized the<br />

Lord was opening a door. Who was I to say<br />

that door didn’t look like it was supposed to?<br />

His ways are not our ways.”<br />

Coach Walker hit the ground running,<br />

determined that the first middle school team<br />

would be competitive and successful, in spite<br />

of her lack of knowledge of the game. “God<br />

put people around me who poured into me<br />

and taught me the game,” says Walker. After<br />

two years coaching at the middle school, she<br />

became the head coach at Brandon High<br />

School, where she has been for nine years.<br />

She has clearly learned a thing or two about<br />

volleyball, as she has led the team to compete<br />

in the state championship, five times, and won<br />

it in 2017, 2018, 2021, and 2022. “The first<br />

group of seventh graders I coached at the<br />

middle school won the state championship<br />

as seniors at Brandon High, and that was the<br />

first volleyball state championship in school<br />

history, which made it even more special,”<br />

says Walker. “On paper, our program shouldn’t<br />

be where it is. It’s the Lord’s favor and blessing.”<br />

Coach Walker’s list of accolades is<br />

impressive, and a testimony to the hard work<br />

and dedication she has put in to learning the<br />

game she had never played. With a record<br />

of 253-57, she’s been named NFHS Coach<br />

of the Year twice, as well as the MAC Coach<br />

of the Year, and reached 200 career varsity<br />

wins in 2021. Her greatest impact, however,<br />

is on the players themselves, so much so<br />

that two of her former players now coach<br />

alongside her. Laine Marler, Class of 2018,<br />

is the assistant volleyball coach at the high<br />

school, and Olivia Garrett, Class of 2017,<br />

coaches the middle school team and assists<br />

with the high school team as well. Coach<br />

Walker has also been blessed to see<br />

numerous players go on to play at the<br />

collegiate level.<br />

Walker’s family has been a huge support<br />

to her on her coaching journey. Kelsa and<br />

her husband, Stephen, have four children,<br />

and their first grandchild, Walker, was born in<br />

December. Daughter Keeley and her husband,<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 27

Hunter, Walker’s parents, live in Birmingham where Keeley is a pediatric nurse. Their son<br />

Wesley is a 2019 graduate of Brandon High School and is an accomplished musician.<br />

Dysart is a senior who will continue his academic career at Mississippi College where<br />

he’ll play football. Son Graydon is in the 8th grade at Brandon Middle School where he<br />

was recently named Mr. BMS. “My family has been an integral part of our program,” says<br />

Coach Walker. “From cheering from the sidelines to running the scoreboard and video<br />

board, there’s nothing they haven’t been willing to do. They love this team as much as I<br />

do. It’s definitely a family affair.”<br />

It is evident when talking with Coach Walker that leading this team is far more than<br />

a job. She loves the players and invests in their lives as much off the court as on. “When<br />

I went on that mission trip years ago, I never imagined that being called to minister to<br />

young women would be through coaching, yet that’s exactly what God had in store,”<br />

says Walker. “I’ve learned that your mission field is where your feet are.”<br />

“Coach, Mentor, Friend…these are just a few words that<br />

come to mind when I think of Coach Kelsa Walker.<br />

Having had the opportunity to learn the game of<br />

volleyball under Coach Walker and now sharing<br />

that knowledge with young ladies, is a dream<br />

come true. Not only has she paved the way for<br />

me to excel as a coach, but she has also taught<br />

me that winning off the court is just as important<br />

as winning on the court. I will be forever grateful for<br />

the impact she has made in my life, and I am so thankful<br />

for the opportunity I have been blessed with to work side by side<br />

with Coach Walker at Brandon High School.”<br />


“Coach Walker is the most<br />

competitive yet tender-hearted<br />

person I know. She has been<br />

that way from the beginning<br />

and knows how to build up<br />

her players, school, and<br />

community. I am truly<br />

grateful for the influence<br />

she’s had on my life.”<br />


28 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

“I played for Coach Walker from the seventh grade all the<br />

way to my senior year of high school. What I remember<br />

and value most about Coach Walker is that her love<br />

for the game never overpowered the love she had<br />

for each player on her team. Coach Walker has a<br />

way of seeing people’s potential before they even<br />

see it themselves, and she knows how to bring it<br />

out of you each and every day. Coach Walker will<br />

always be more than a coach to me. She is my<br />

mentor and role model and has ultimately shaped me<br />

into the player and person that I am today. I will always be<br />

thankful for her.”<br />

– KATE BASS<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 29

30 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 31

32 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Most of us probably don’t<br />

pay attention to street names,<br />

especially if we know the route.<br />

Here are the stories behind<br />

some of the streets and<br />

roads we often travel.<br />

Charla Mitchell Jordan<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 33

College Street<br />

This street connects Highways 471 and<br />

468. It was one of the few original streets<br />

named in 1830 by Thomas S. Shaw when<br />

he surveyed Brandon. Brandon Female<br />

College, incorporated in 1867, was located<br />

at the intersection of South College and<br />

Jasper Streets. A historic marker identifies<br />

this area as “Seminary Square” and states,<br />

“The Brandon Male and Female Academy,<br />

later named Brandon Female College,<br />

was on this site until 1923, when it was<br />

replaced by Brandon High School.”<br />

Fun fact: Brandon’s first traffic light was<br />

at the intersection of College Street and<br />

Government Street/U.S. Highway 80.<br />

Overby Street<br />

This street is parallel to and one block<br />

west of College Street. It was named for<br />

the Overby family. Beginning in 1929,<br />

Overby family members Peter Lee Overby,<br />

Clay Overby, Norris Overby, and Ruel<br />

Overby all owned businesses in downtown<br />

Brandon, including a drug store, general<br />

merchandise store, and a movie theater<br />

(Lynne Theater). Overby Drugs in the<br />

Overby Building at the corner of College<br />

Street and U. S. Highway 80 was a landmark<br />

in downtown Brandon from 1946<br />

until the building burned in the late 1980s.<br />

Poindexter Street<br />

This street is parallel to and one block<br />

east of College Street. Poindexter was<br />

one of the names considered as a name<br />

for Brandon when it was incorporated in<br />

1830. George Poindexter was the second<br />

governor of Mississippi, 1820-1822, and<br />

is generally recognized as the “Father of<br />

Mississippi’s First Constitution.”<br />

Suzie Blue Court<br />

This street is in Hearts Ease Subdivision<br />

off East Sunset Drive. Susie Blue Buchanan<br />

(note different spelling) was the first<br />

woman to be admitted to practice before<br />

the Mississippi Supreme Court and was<br />

one of the first to be admitted to the<br />

Mississippi Bar in 1916. She specialized<br />

in land abstracts, and her book of Rankin<br />

County plats known as the “Susie Blue<br />

Book” is still used today. Suzie Blue Court<br />

is only a few blocks from the Buchanan<br />

family home now known as “The Magnolias”<br />

on College Street.<br />

Paige McDill Road<br />

This road connects U. S. Highway 80 East<br />

to Trickhambridge Road near the Rankin<br />

County Co-Op. It was named after Paige<br />

McDill, an 18-year-old Hinds Community<br />

College student who died in 1992 of<br />

injuries suffered in a traffic accident on<br />

Trickhambridge Road.<br />

34 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Kennedy Farm Parkway<br />

This street borders Shiloh Park. Carroll<br />

Henry Kennedy, born in Rankin County<br />

in 1902 to Richard and Marion Kennedy,<br />

was a businessman and member of the<br />

Mississippi State House of Representatives<br />

1956-1960 and 1964-1976. He owned<br />

thousands of acres of land in Rankin<br />

County. Shiloh Park is located on farmland<br />

previously owned by the Kennedy family,<br />

hence the name “Kennedy Farm Parkway.”<br />

Shiloh Road<br />

This road starts at Louis Wilson Drive,<br />

goes past Shiloh Park, and continues<br />

through Shiloh to Pelahatchie, where it<br />

intersects with Highway 43. Oral history<br />

states that in the late 1820s, a small group<br />

of pioneer pilgrims was traveling westward<br />

through Mississippi in covered wagons<br />

pulled by oxen. A little girl in the group<br />

was swinging from a grape vine, and she<br />

fell and died. After her burial, her parents<br />

would not continue the journey, and a<br />

greater part of the group decided to remain<br />

and settle there. They felled trees and built<br />

homes and a small church. The settlement<br />

was known as Shiloh Community.<br />

Mary Ann Drive<br />

Connecting the downtown Brandon<br />

square to Louis Wilson Drive, this street<br />

was renamed Mary Ann Drive after Mary<br />

Ann Mobley was crowned Miss America<br />

1959. Mary Ann won the crown in<br />

September 1958, and the new street sign<br />

was in place by October 3, 1958, when she<br />

was welcomed home with a huge parade<br />

down Capitol Street in Jackson and then a<br />

motorcade through downtown Brandon.<br />

Louis Wilson Drive<br />

This road connects U. S. Highway 80<br />

East to Highway 18 South. Brandon native<br />

Louis Hugh Wilson was the first and only<br />

man to enlist in the U. S. Marine Corps<br />

as a private and then climb his way to<br />

commandant, the top position of the<br />

Corps. He won the Medal of Honor in<br />

World War II (Fonte Hill, Guam, 25-26<br />

July 1944) and served in important<br />

capacities in the<br />

Korean and<br />

Vietnam<br />

conflicts.<br />

Busick Well Road<br />

This road begins at Mary Ann Drive<br />

and dead ends near Louis Wilson Drive.<br />

From 1905-1909, Busick’s Mineral Wells<br />

and Hotel was one of the leading resorts<br />

in Mississippi. In addition to the hotel,<br />

there were four guest houses, a golf course,<br />

and croquet courts. It was known for its<br />

excellent food and, of course, mineral<br />

water. It was built two miles south of<br />

Brandon by Henry Anderson Busick, a<br />

prominent merchant, businessman, and<br />

extensive landowner in Rankin County.<br />

It burned in 1909, and Mr. Busick then<br />

built a family home on the property.<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 35

36 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 37

2nd Annual<br />

I Remember Martin<br />

Parade & Festival<br />

January 16<br />

Brandon Middle School<br />

38 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 39

proud to serve Brandon<br />

and the surrounding community<br />






1 4 8 0 W G O V E R N M E N T S T , B R A N D O N , M S 3 9 0 4 2<br />

40 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 41

City of Brandon<br />

2023<br />

Princess<br />

Ball<br />

Hometown Magazines had the<br />

privilege of sponsoring nine<br />

beautiful young girls to attend the<br />

City of Brandon’s Princess Ball<br />

held on February 10th.<br />

They were treated to shopping<br />

and picking out their own dresses<br />

which were provided for the event,<br />

and were also provided beautiful<br />

corsages from Chapman’s Florist.<br />

What a fairytale night!<br />

Thank you to these<br />

City of Brandon officers for<br />

stepping up and making the evening<br />

extra special for these young ladies:<br />

Officer William McIntyre<br />

Officer Nick Pittman<br />

Sgt. Brad Martin<br />

Investigator Robbie Reid<br />

Officer JP Dragoo<br />

Officer Aaron Conley<br />

Officer Troy Dukes<br />

Asst. Chief Marshall Pack<br />

Chief Wayne Dearman<br />

42 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 43

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<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 45

Brandon Garden Club<br />

Tablescapes<br />

Luncheon<br />

February 24<br />

Brandon Municipal Complex<br />

46 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 47

www.MichaelGuest.ms<br />

Paid for by Friends of Michael Guest<br />

<strong>39042</strong><br />

Our<br />

Town<br />

48 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

COMING SUMMER 2023<br />

We are excited to announce JJB Brands 4th Moe’s Southwest Grill and re-opening our<br />

Pizza Hut in one location. Soon you will be able to hear “Welcome to Moes!” and where<br />

NO ONE OUTPIZZAS THE HUT! at 316 Stripling Lane in Brandon, MS.<br />

JJB Brands was founded in 2017 and is locally owned and operated. Find out more about<br />

us at www.JJBBrands.com<br />

Currently accepting applications to join our upbeat and fun atmosphere, flexible schedules<br />

and competitive pay and much more!<br />

Text “HUT” to 242424 <br />

Text “JJBMOES” to 242424<br />

YOU look AWESOME to work with!<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 49

50 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong><br />

Krewe de Roux<br />

Parade &<br />

Block Party<br />

February 17<br />

Sponsored by<br />

Rankin County Chamber<br />

and City of Brandon

Krewe de Roux<br />

Gumbo Cook-Off<br />

& Car Show<br />

February 18<br />

Sponsored by Rankin County Chamber<br />

and City of Brandon<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 51

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Calculators<br />

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Other Real Estate<br />

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BankPlus was founded as a true community bank.<br />

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Source<br />

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Member FDIC.<br />

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52 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 53


March 18 • Downtown Brandon<br />

54 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 55

56 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 57

58 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong><br />

Brandon<br />

Mayor’s Prayer<br />

Breakfast<br />


<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 59

60 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

"The Finest in<br />

Fitness!"<br />

Call Today!<br />

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B R A N D O N , M S 3 9 0 4 2<br />

www.ClubatCrossgates.com<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 61

Back To<br />

School Bash<br />

August 15, 2022<br />

Brandon City Hall<br />

62 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 63

64 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>


WE LOVE Serving YOu!<br />

601.914.2500 • 237 W Government St, Brandon, MS<br />

pizzashackpizza.com • scan to view our menu or order online<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 65


Veterans Day<br />



66 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 67

68 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>




Steven Wallace<br />

601-825-5242<br />

swallace@insassociate.com<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 69

70 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 71

72 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Calendar of Events<br />

June 24 Dog Days of Summer<br />

September 21 Wine Down Downtown<br />

October 19 Wine Down Downtown<br />

October 21 OKTOBERFEST<br />

November 16 Wine Down Downtown<br />

November 30 Christmas Tree Lighting<br />

For more info visit us at<br />

www.brandonmainstreet.com<br />

Your Brandon Main Street is a not-for-profit organization<br />

that is 100% volunteer led, focused on helping to grow<br />

Brandon area businesses. We know there are currently<br />

more tools and options than ever to support local<br />

businesses. We take pride in being comprised of local<br />

business owners and leaders, striving to advocate<br />

on behalf of Brandon area businesses.<br />

Brandon is much more than another great city.<br />

Brandon is a true community! This is a direct result of<br />

our residents, leaders, business owners, and visitors.<br />

The Brandon Main Street will work to continue<br />

fostering that sense of community and<br />

connecting people with one another.<br />

We are a different place.<br />

We are Brandon!<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 73

Retired<br />

Brandon<br />

Teachers<br />

What is<br />

something<br />

your students<br />

would be<br />

surprised to<br />

know about<br />

you?<br />

Leslie Sirmon<br />

25 years teaching<br />

All 25 years teaching in Brandon<br />

My students AND friends would be<br />

surprised to know that I would go back to<br />

the classroom in a minute if I could have<br />

the same kids and teach the same things!<br />

And I have most of my class pictures and<br />

I pray that they are happy and have good<br />

memories of 4th grade.<br />

Susan Cates<br />

25 years in education<br />

24 of them in Rankin County<br />

I started my career at Sebastopol, taught<br />

12 years at Pelahatchie Elementary, and<br />

the last 12 years in Brandon as an administrator<br />

at Rouse and Brandon Elementary.<br />

I think my students would be surprised<br />

to know just how special they make me<br />

feel when I see them out and about and<br />

they recognize and remember me being<br />

their kindergarten teacher or one of their<br />

principals way back when. It is super<br />

exciting to know you have played a key<br />

role in their life.<br />

Pam Sparks<br />

30 years teaching<br />

in Rankin County<br />

28 years in Brandon<br />

My students would be surprised to know<br />

that I’m a dead eye at target shooting,<br />

and that I once (purposely) hung upside<br />

down while zip lining!<br />

74 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Susan Lott<br />

38 years teaching<br />

23 years teaching in Brandon<br />

My students would probably be surprised<br />

to know I contemplated teaching physical<br />

education at one time.<br />

Ginger Parker<br />

38 years teaching<br />

22 years teaching in Brandon<br />

My students might be surprised to know<br />

that I travel about 9,000 miles, one way,<br />

to visit my daughter who lives in Australia.<br />

Susan Puckett<br />

33 years teaching<br />

8 at Rouse Elementary<br />

First Grade<br />

My students may be surprised to know<br />

that I like to dance. When my husband<br />

and I were dating in the ‘70s, we won a<br />

disco dance competition. Funny thing was<br />

that we weren’t even aware that we were<br />

in a contest on the dance floor. I guess we<br />

had the best unplanned choreography to<br />

“Staying Alive!”<br />

Carol Booth<br />

34 years teaching<br />

29 years teaching in Brandon<br />

I think my students would be surprised<br />

that I attended Brandon School grades<br />

1-12. They may also be surprised to know<br />

that I am still alive.<br />

Brenda Emmons<br />

30 years teaching<br />

All 30 years in Brandon<br />

Grades 2-4<br />

I am an avid Brandon and MSU sports fan,<br />

but they probably don’t know that I played<br />

basketball from 7th grade through junior<br />

college.<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 75

76 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 77

Friends<br />

Sarah Rein<br />

So many of the stories we came to<br />

love as children are centered on great<br />

friendships. As an adult, it’s still hard<br />

to think back on the tale of Charlotte’s<br />

Web and not tear up at the sacrifice<br />

Charlotte makes to save Wilbur.<br />

And if you or your children have read<br />

Where the Red Fern Grows, you’ve<br />

openly wept at the special love Billy<br />

and his hounds shared.<br />

If these imaginary tales of affection<br />

capture our hearts, how much more do<br />

we gravitate to stories of authentic love<br />

between our fellow human beings?<br />

Brandon is often touted as a growing<br />

city with small-town charm - a place<br />

that still has that family feel and where<br />

people treat each other like friends.<br />

Enjoy a few of the many stories in our<br />

town that prove that is still the case.<br />

I’ll be there for you, when the rain<br />

starts to pour....<br />

When Abby Troxler graduated from college at Mississippi State University<br />

in 2004, she knew she wanted to make her home in Brandon. She and her<br />

husband Drew, who she married in 2006, wanted to return to the town they’d both<br />

grown up in. Abby wanted to teach in the school system she’d graduated from, and<br />

they couldn’t imagine raising a family anywhere else.<br />

Returning to their home community would prove to be vitally important - but for<br />

reasons Abby couldn’t have imagined at the time. In 2011, after teaching third grade<br />

for eight years, Abby gave birth to their first child - a boy they named Baker.<br />

Heartbreakingly, Baker experienced serious complications after birth that led to his<br />

death at only two months of age. Their Brandon family was quick to step in. Abby<br />

shares, “When we lost our first son, the outpouring of love and support we received<br />

from my principal at the time - Dr. Sue<br />

Townsend - was literally indescribable.<br />

They would meet in the library at 6:30 and<br />

hold hands for prayer if Baker had a surgery<br />

that day. They raised money and had a<br />

special day they called Hats Off to Baker<br />

Day. It was one of the most humbling things<br />

I have ever witnessed.”<br />

The next year, the Troxlers welcomed<br />

their second son, Baylor. Beginning a new<br />

year of teaching while processing the loss<br />

of Baker and also getting ready to welcome<br />

Baylor was not an easy load to balance. But,<br />

in a sweet reminder of the closeness of their<br />

hometown, every one of Abby’s new<br />

students knew the story of Baby Baker. Their families had talked about him, and<br />

prayed for him. And now, they were excited to celebrate the Troxlers’ new addition<br />

while keeping Baker’s memory alive. In fact, Abby has a handful of students from<br />

that special third grade year - they’d now be in their twenties - who stayed in<br />

touch...checking on Abby and sending cards and messages.<br />

In addition to the community at large, Abby has a group of Brandon friends she<br />

has been close to for almost fifteen years. Much like Abby and Drew, these couples<br />

graduated from Brandon and chose to buy homes in the ‘042 area. They started<br />

their families around the same time and are getting to watch their children attend<br />

the same schools they did. In God’s kindness, several of those friends had sons<br />

the same year Abby had Baker. She has been thankful to have a front-row seat to<br />

the friendships that would have been Baker’s and imagine her oldest son running<br />

around with the group. With Baylor only one year younger, he has a built-in set of<br />

friends and loves the thought of feeling near to his big brother through them.<br />

During her initial year teaching at Brandon Elementary, Abby met another first-year<br />

teacher who became like a sister - Rebecca Penton. They’ve remained the best of<br />

friends for the last twenty years. Drew was also fortunate to form a close group of<br />

friends who bonded around their “Fantasy Football League.” The league led to a full<br />

on draft with a board, men’s weekends at the lake, and culminated in a trophy<br />

78 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

celebrating the winner. That lucky winner would then return the prize the following year. After a decade<br />

of losing graciously, Drew finally took home the trophy this past year. What none of the men knew then<br />

was that it had changed hands for the final time.<br />

On March 28th, 2023, Drew shockingly and unexpectedly passed away. In the blur of the following<br />

days, weeks, and months, their friends formed a circle around Abby and Baylor - bearing their burden<br />

with them in whatever ways they could. The night of Drew’s death, they began pouring into the hospital<br />

to pray and be present and help with funeral plans. “They stayed with me at my house, answering the<br />

door and talking to guests when I couldn’t get out of bed, stocking our house with groceries, snacks,<br />

and toiletries without my even asking. They picked up Baylor and took him on fun outings or to play<br />

with their own kids so he was busy and entertained. They’ve prayed for me non-stop and changed<br />

plans at the last minute when they knew I needed someone to<br />

come be with me.” People have bought keepsakes for Abby to<br />

remember Drew by and made sure to check on Drew’s parents<br />

and sister as well as Abby’s parents. Drew’s friends and Baylor’s<br />

soccer team dads have even raised money and organized<br />

someone to take care of Abby’s yard for the next year.<br />

Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of their story is<br />

how well these men and women are modeling friendship for the<br />

next generation. Baylor’s select soccer team was supposed to<br />

play in a tournament the weekend after Drew’s death. But the<br />

coach, manager, and parents, all agreed they needed to<br />

withdraw from the tournament and prioritize something more<br />

important. All of the parents took the kids to “Spinners” that day<br />

and they skated, bowled, played arcade games and just<br />

enjoyed time together.<br />

Drew’s football league has decided to “retire” the trophy and<br />

are giving it to Baylor with their names and phone numbers<br />

engraved on the back so he can always reach out to one of his<br />

dad’s friends when he needs to.<br />

When it was time for Abby and Baylor to step back into their<br />

everyday reality, all their people were ready. “My first day back<br />

at StoneBridge was almost two weeks after Drew passed, and<br />

it was a day I was very nervous about. When I walked into my<br />

empty quiet classroom that morning, several teachers had<br />

written all kinds of sweet notes. There was a grief book from a<br />

friend, a card from the entire school, Chick-fil-A, donuts and<br />

coffee, just laid out ALL over my desk and I was in awe of the<br />

kindness these teachers naturally have in them. Countless people, including my principals, Dr. LaMarcus<br />

Norman, Dr. Melissa Stephens, and Melanie Wells, as well as our counselor, Christy Tigrett, checked in<br />

on me and told me to take my time and if I needed a minute, I could just sit in their office and cry.<br />

That made it so much easier.”<br />

Baylor’s teachers (both Brandon graduates - Lana Purvis & Alison Campbell) have been such<br />

blessings for him to have his fifth-grade year. “They were absolutely amazing during this tragic time.<br />

His classes made precious cards with all of his favorite things drawn on them with sweet letters and<br />

uplifting messages. They had a bag of his favorite candy and goodies on his desk when he returned<br />

and just made him feel so special and loved.”<br />

“I have only been able to survive these tragedies because of the incredible support I have<br />

received from the community, and I am so proud to say I live in Brandon.”<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 79

I’ll be there for you, like<br />

I’ve been there before...<br />

There is no substitute for longevity in a friendship.<br />

New friends are a gift to be treasured but there is nothing<br />

like a shared history to bond you to someone. Being with<br />

people who know your stories, your family, and your inside<br />

jokes feels like being at home. Friendships that last<br />

decades are hard-won but oh-so-comfortable once you<br />

have them.<br />

In the 1970’s Sally Larson began a friendship with a<br />

handful of ladies who, unbeknownst to them at the time,<br />

would see each other through the remainder of their adult<br />

lives. Like the formation of a rock band, the group was<br />

recruited a few at a time from 1972-1973. One lady would<br />

bring in someone else they knew from the subdivision (all<br />

the women lived in Crossgates - in fact, four of them still do),<br />

and then that woman would invite her next door neighbor,<br />

etc. Eventually, the group grew to include eight regulars -<br />

Carol Atkinson, Tally Carrol, Nancy Ranager, Charlene<br />

Pierce, Jamie McKlemurry, Joyce Wiman, and Pat Wolcott.<br />

“We began having cookouts with our husbands on<br />

Friday or Saturday evening. Everyone would bring something.<br />

And we all had children in the Brandon schools<br />

together. Most days we just said we’re meeting on one<br />

of our decks at 5:00 or 5:30. We called it porching, and<br />

we did that for years...just getting to know each other.<br />

None of us had cell phones, of course, so that was how<br />

we socialized. We learned about each other’s families and<br />

where we grew up. The pace of life was just slower.” And,<br />

in contrast to so many women in today’s world, Sally insists<br />

they did not feel the need to clean up or get put together<br />

to have each other over. “Oh gosh, we were always in blue<br />

jean shorts - it was very casual.” Substitute black yoga<br />

pants for denim shorts, and I think this advice translates<br />

really nicely for our generation.<br />

Eventually, the group started going on trips together.<br />

One of the couples had a lake house and another had a<br />

cabin in the mountains. There were lots of girls’ trips and<br />

laughs. But when you are friends for forty years, there is<br />

plenty of heartache to walk through as well. One of the<br />

original eight has since died, two have moved away, and<br />

each of the women has lost their husband. But they got<br />

through it together. “It wasn’t always easy, but we just<br />

nourished those friendships, found things in common,<br />

and supported each other.”<br />

80 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

I’ll be there for you,<br />

‘cause you’re there<br />

for me too...<br />

When Mattie Holly and Mariah Morris met in<br />

kindergarten, it seemed an unlikely pair to develop<br />

a close friendship.<br />

Kelly, Mattie’s mom, recalls, “They were really kind of<br />

opposite in personality. Mariah is quiet and reserved,<br />

and Mattie will talk to anyone and you never know what<br />

she’ll say.” But the pair seemed destined for a special<br />

connection right away. Kelly continues, “It was like they<br />

never really got tired of each other and balanced each<br />

other out so well. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them have<br />

a fight and they just understand each other. They<br />

understand the other’s good and bad days and don’t get<br />

jealous or mad.” And truly, how many pre-teen girls could<br />

you say that about?<br />

Their friendship blossomed throughout elementary<br />

school as they grew a shared love of dance at Mississippi<br />

Metropolitan Dance Academy. Fast forward many years<br />

and the pair has just made the Brandon Middle School<br />

dance team together. Their childhood is filled with<br />

memories of tailgating at the high school football games<br />

and spending the night at each other’s homes.<br />

It helps that their mothers are close friends - even<br />

serving as president and vice-president of the middle<br />

school’s PTO - who are able to model a healthy friendship<br />

for their girls.<br />

And if you ask the girls what they love about each<br />

other? Mattie says, “Mariah is kind, always thinking of<br />

others and just completely slays (a term lost on those<br />

of us who are middle-aged readers but seems to be<br />

quite positive)! I love everything about her.”<br />

Mariah says, “Mattie has been a true friend through<br />

thick and thin. She is always up for a good time, no matter<br />

how silly, and I know I can count on her for anything.”<br />

When asked what advice these young girls - with<br />

so much life ahead of them - would give about what’s<br />

important in a friendship, they give an answer we would<br />

all do well to remember. “We always put each other<br />

before ourselves.”<br />

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,<br />

but in humility count others more significant than<br />

yourselves. –Philippians 2:3<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 81

82 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 83


The Brandon Amphitheater was transformed into a light-filled venue<br />

for the 2022 holiday season. The drive-through holiday-themed display ran<br />

from November 18, 2022, and lit the night sky nightly through January 9, 2023.<br />

84 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

The “Magic of Lights” display is a nationwide production by Family Entertainment Live,<br />

a family-oriented entertainment holding company headquartered in Medina, Ohio.<br />

Partnering with FEL were local sponsors Entergy and WLBT-TV. “We were excited to<br />

bring Magic of Lights to the Brandon community and the Brandon Amphitheater for<br />

the first time ever and hope it becomes an annual holiday tradition,” said Ken Hudgens,<br />

CEO of Family Entertainment Live.<br />

The event featured dozens of light displays, illuminated canopies, and digital<br />

animation, all constructed with over two million lights, including one million<br />

individual LED lights. “With our focus toward being a quality community for<br />

families to live, work, and play, the City of Brandon Amphitheater is the natural<br />

destination to host an enjoyable, drive through Christmas presentation of this<br />

caliber for people of all ages,” says Brandon Mayor Butch<br />

Lee. “Our efforts are geared towards transforming our<br />

Quarry Park Trails that surround the Brandon Amphitheater<br />

into a magical experience filled with memorable moments<br />

for years to come. We are excited this year to be one of 21<br />

locations in North America to host a Magic of Lights show.<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 85

Attracting a show of this magnitude, with sister show events<br />

in locations such as the NFL Gillette Stadium in Boston, the<br />

NFL Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, and the<br />

Daytona National Speedway in Daytona, Florida, speaks well<br />

for our hometown and life in Brandon.”<br />

Ted Fortenberry, regional vice president and GM of WLBT<br />

says, “We were excited to present the Magic of Lights at<br />

Brandon’s Amphitheater. It was the perfect setting for this<br />

fantastic family holiday experience. Helping to bring in events<br />

like Magic of Lights so families can create lifelong holiday<br />

memories fits perfectly with WLBT’s commitment to serve<br />

the communities of Central and Southwest Mississippi.”<br />

Visitors to the event enjoyed the tour’s displays from the<br />

comfort of their own vehicle. Displays featured a 32-foot tall,<br />

animated Mattel’s Barbie, and prehistoric Christmas display<br />

featuring life-sized dinosaurs celebrating the season. Other<br />

displays included a Big Foot Monster Trucks, Winter Wonderland,<br />

as well as Magic of Lights favorites including the Twelve Days<br />

of Christmas, Toyland, and the 200-foot long Enchanting<br />

Tunnel of Lights. “Magic of Lights is a nostalgic and festive<br />

experience for guests of all ages,” says Hudgens.<br />

Each Magic of Lights venue features custom scenes that<br />

will become a tradition for that location while some portions<br />

of the scenes will be new, never before seen displays. The<br />

numbers to create the event are staggering. The total Magic<br />

of Lights event used 12.6 miles of light cord. It takes 3,750<br />

man-hours to set up each Magic of Lights event. Each Magic of<br />

Lights event uses about ten miles of steel to build the displays<br />

and ten miles of LED lighting installed inside of the displays,<br />

which are designed, bent, cut, and welded into about 800<br />

frames that are combined in different color configurations to<br />

create each show’s giant winter holiday scenes. Each frame<br />

of each scene is designed using state-of-the-art technology.<br />

And each display is hand-built in-house from fifteen pages of<br />

design specifications. Scenes are as high as 32 feet tall, and as<br />

long as several hundred feet.<br />

An exciting addition to this year’s Magic of Lights at the<br />

Brandon Amphitheater is a Holiday Village. Families will be<br />

able to enjoy the holiday festivities up-close and in person.<br />

Mayor Lee says more than 40,000 vehicles visited the Brandon<br />

and Rankin County communities. “This Christmas light event<br />

has paved the way for this to become an annual, family<br />

friendly show in the years ahead.”<br />

Watch for earlybird ticket sales to begin in October 2023.<br />

86 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 87

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88 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 89

A Wish Come True<br />


The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit<br />

charitable organization that allows children with critical<br />

illnesses to experience the fulfillment of their greatest<br />

wish. Make-A-Wish grants more than 15,600 wishes<br />

per year. However, there is a massive gap between that<br />

number and the 27,000 children diagnosed annually<br />

with qualifying illnesses. Each year, Brandon High<br />

School raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation<br />

of Mississippi in hopes of allowing more children to<br />

be able to have their wish fulfilled. Students, parents,<br />

faculty, teachers, and administrators all participate in<br />

these fundraising events.<br />

This school year, Brandon High School was given the<br />

honor of pairing with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of<br />

Mississippi to fulfill the wish of local student Ames Lee.<br />

Ames is a 9-year-old boy who is fighting acute<br />

myeloid leukemia (AML). He was diagnosed with<br />

AML on January 6, 2022. Ames has had a bone<br />

marrow transplant that was donated by his younger<br />

brother. He lives in Pelahatchie with his family and is<br />

a third-grader at Pelahatchie Elementary School.<br />

Ames enjoys playing with his toy figurines and loves<br />

animals and Roblox. When given the opportunity to<br />

choose, Ames chose to go to Yellowstone National<br />

Park in Wyoming.<br />

Brandon High School started plans for the most<br />

recent Make-A-Wish fundraiser in the fall of 2022.<br />

The Class of 2023 was in charge of the first fundraising<br />

event. They wanted to do something to “give back.”<br />

As a class, they set a goal to raise $371, or roughly $1 per<br />

student. Through the first fundraiser, the class of<br />

2023 raised $386, passing their goal.<br />

In the spring of 2023, the Brandon High School<br />

student council began brainstorming fundraising ideas<br />

for Make-A-Wish. The sponsors came up with the idea<br />

of a teacher-only silent auction. Clubs and businesses<br />

donated items or gift cards for the auction. Teachers<br />

then bid on each item with all proceeds going towards<br />

the charity. Overall, the auction raised $851 for the<br />

Make-A-Wish Foundation.<br />

Another way teachers got involved was through<br />

buying hamburger lunch plates. The hamburgers and<br />

sides were cooked and donated by Brandon High<br />

School’s Ag department. Through this fundraiser, the<br />

Ag department helped raise $820 for Ames. After<br />

90 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

ainstorming more ideas, Make-A-Wish t-shirts were<br />

proposed. The student council loved the idea and<br />

designed a T-shirt for this specific Make-A-Wish<br />

fundraising event.<br />

With the help of local business, Charlotte’s<br />

Screen Printing, the student council sold specially<br />

designed t-shirts to people in the City of Brandon<br />

raising $1,260. The final fundraiser before the pep<br />

rally to celebrate Ames was selling stars. The stars<br />

were blue stars that were hung in the hall of Brandon<br />

High School. After purchasing a star, students could<br />

either write their name or the name of a loved one<br />

who was currently battling, or who had previously<br />

battled cancer, on the star. For many students, the<br />

stars were more than just a way to donate to a good<br />

cause. This allowed them to donate in memory of<br />

loved ones.<br />

Critical illness has affected many people’s lives and<br />

for some students, helping Ames achieve his dream was<br />

far more personal than just a fundraiser. Each star<br />

that was sold was worth $1 and the student council<br />

raised $978 for the fundraiser off of stars alone.<br />

On March 10, 2023, BHS held the Make-A-Wish<br />

pep rally to celebrate Ames and how much the school<br />

had raised for him. Students donated money on the<br />

way into the pep rally, raising an additional $614.<br />

The pep rally was over two hours long, and while there<br />

were other events, the main focus was on Ames.<br />

Numerous “We love Ames” chants occurred and<br />

Ames was given VIP seating. During the pep rally,<br />

a Make-A-Wish representative, Ames, and his<br />

mother, were presented with a check from Brandon<br />

High School. The goal for the fundraiser was $2,000<br />

to cover expenses for Ames’ trip to Yellowstone. The<br />

check was for $4,523, more than doubling the school’s<br />

initial goal. Not only did the school far exceed its<br />

expectations, but the amount raised this year was the<br />

largest in school history.<br />

On behalf of Brandon High School and the<br />

Brandon High School Student Council, thank you to<br />

everyone who donated to allow Ames to experience<br />

his dream.<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 91

92 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Service is Ergon’s legacy and livelihood. We were<br />

founded in Jackson nearly 70 years ago — built to<br />

serve industries essential to global manufacturing and<br />

infrastructure. The Ergon family shares a commitment<br />

to doing right for our employees, our communities and<br />

our customers. Learn more at ergon.com.<br />

Ergon Corporate Ad - <strong>39042</strong> Annual Directory 4 x 5 — 2023.indd 1<br />

4/25/23 11:15 AM<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 93

A Neighborhood Blessing LEXIE OWNBY<br />

What is Christmas? For the Center Pointe covenantsprotected<br />

community that is nestled on 72 acres in the heart<br />

of East Brandon off Trickhambridge Road, Christmas is a lot<br />

of things. It all started with a group of several ladies from the<br />

early neighborhood in 2005—Eleanor Johnson, Judy Williams,<br />

Becky Merrill, and Mary Jane Kennedy, just to name a few.<br />

After getting together in prayer to decide on a theme for<br />

Christmas that would be God-honoring, the women of the<br />

neighborhood came up with the idea of putting white wooden<br />

cut-out letters at the beginning of the subdivision that read<br />

“Christmas Is….” Each homeowner could choose a word of their<br />

own desire, Christ-honoring or seasonal.<br />

94 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

“As you went down Center Pointe Drive and the other streets,<br />

each house would have white letters outside of their house<br />

with what ‘Christmas Is…’ to them. You would see Jesus,<br />

Redeemer, Hallelujah, and keep driving farther, followed by<br />

Peace on Earth, Christ, Family, and Angels Singing,” said Center<br />

Pointe homeowner Mary Jane Kennedy.<br />

Homeowner Vernon Johnson took it upon himself to<br />

inexpensively cut out all the letters and paint them white,<br />

with the help of other husbands in the neighborhood. He also<br />

stores all the molds at his home for more words and phrases<br />

to come as new neighbors move in each year and are eager to<br />

participate in the neighborhood Christmas tradition.<br />

Through the past 16 years, a manger scene made from wood<br />

was added as well as a Christmas tree. The “Christmas Is…”<br />

tradition has become a Center Pointe neighborhood blessing<br />

and is something each homeowner looks forward to every<br />

holiday season. Don’t forget to put Center Pointe subdivision<br />

on your list when out looking at Christmas lights! There are<br />

so many reasons to be thankful this season and make note of<br />

what Christmas is and means to you!<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 95

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<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 97

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<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 99

Clubs<br />

The definition of a club - a group of persons organized for a social, literary,<br />

athletic, political, or other purpose. Brandon offers a great choice for those inclined<br />

to organized social gatherings. Our area clubs have united members who have<br />

invested in the advancement of our hometown. Check out this list in our area:<br />

Rotary Club<br />

Founded in 1905, Rotary is the world’s oldest and largest international service organization. The 34,000 Rotary<br />

clubs across the globe are composed of 1.2 million business leaders, friends, and neighbors located in over 200<br />

countries and territories. Together they create positive, lasting change in their local areas and around the world.<br />

From community service to working for a polio-free world, Rotary’s universal motto is “Service Above Self.”<br />

Rotarians in Rankin County participate in a multitude of service projects such as children’s literacy and reading<br />

programs, student scholarships, helping needy families at holidays, hosting community blood drives, assisting<br />

with building community parks, providing dictionaries to third graders and supporting clean water projects abroad.<br />

The Rankin County Rotary Club meets at noon in Genna Benna’s private dining room.<br />

www.rotary.org/join • 601.572.7319<br />

Crown Club<br />

Service Project of Junior<br />

Auxiliary of Rankin County<br />

Crown Club encourages the young<br />

women of Rankin County during<br />

their 8th through 12th grade years<br />

to build leadership skills, foster<br />

good character, and understand<br />

the importance of good citizenship.<br />

Crown Club members experience<br />

the act of caring for others through<br />

community service projects.<br />

100 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

The Exchange Club of Crossgates<br />

Exchange, America’s service club, is a group of men and women<br />

working together to make our communities better places to live through<br />

programs of service in Americanism, community service, charities, youth<br />

activities, and its national project, the prevention of child abuse. This club<br />

was formed in 1976 as a local chapter of the National Exchange Club<br />

dedicated to the Exchange Club covenant of service. The Exchange<br />

Club of Crossgates meets at Penn’s Restaurant on Highway 80 on the<br />

1st Thursday of every month at 6:30pm.<br />

Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County<br />

Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County is a non-profit service organization for<br />

women who desire to serve and improve their communities. Through a<br />

variety of hands-on projects that cover a wide sector of the community,<br />

JARC members implement the ideals of their national motto: “Caring<br />

Hearts. Helping Hands. Changing Hearts.”<br />

rankinja.org / publicrelationsjarc@gmail.com<br />

www.crossgatesec.com / 601-825-5442 / 601-398-7654 Louise Pipitone<br />

Rankin County Chamber Youth Leadership<br />

The Youth Leadership Program helps young leaders develop responsible<br />

community leadership roles and impact the future of Rankin County!<br />

The students will familiarize themselves with community opportunities,<br />

needs, problems and resources. They will have effective dialogue,<br />

establishing friendships among participants and community leaders.<br />

Students will learn advanced leadership and management skills such as:<br />

• Goal setting<br />

• Effective communication<br />

• Decision making<br />

• Team building<br />

• Motivation and organization<br />

• Work ethic development<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 101

Clubs<br />

Brandon Mayor’s Youth Council<br />

The City of Brandon Mayor’s Youth Council is a group of approximately<br />

40-50 students from area high schools, both public and private. Mayor’s<br />

Youth Council mission is to serve as role models in the community and<br />

among the youth of Brandon by serving as an example and by taking<br />

an active role in community sponsored activities and volunteer work.<br />

Members are required to earn service hours through sponsored events<br />

to raise funds for community projects that improve our city and unity all<br />

age groups in our community.<br />

Some events and projects they’ve worked on this year<br />

• Back 2 School Bash<br />

• Sports Evaluations for Parks & Rec<br />

• Brandon Memorial Cemetery Cleaning/Prepping for Wreaths<br />

• Dog Jam Night<br />

• Brandon First United Methodist Fall Festival<br />

• City of Brandon’s Fall Festival<br />

• Veterans Day Breakfast<br />

• Christmas Parade<br />

• Wreath Day Ceremony at Brandon Memorial Cemetery<br />

• Angel Tree Adoptions – 93 angels got adopted<br />

• MLK Day Parade<br />

• Toured the Mississippi State Capitol<br />

• Princess Ball<br />

• Krewe De Roux Parade & Gumbo Cook-off<br />

• Communities Working to Unite Youth’s Suicide Summit<br />

• Easter at the Ag. Museum<br />

• Brandon Jubilee Days 5K Trail Run/Walk<br />

• Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast<br />

102 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 103

Clubs<br />

Garden Club<br />

Brandon Garden Club, Inc. has been a driving force for<br />

beautification and historic preservation in Brandon for 70 years.<br />

On March 1, 2024, the club will hold its annual Tablescapes<br />

Luncheon Fundraiser at Brandon Municipal Complex. The<br />

Tablescapes Luncheon is the club’s only fundraising event,<br />

and it sells out quickly. Reserve your tickets now by emailing<br />

thebrandongardenclub@gmail.com or contacting any club<br />

member.<br />

The theme for the current year is “Growing Flowers and<br />

Friendships.” The club’s projects support the goals of our<br />

federated organizations: The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc.,<br />

Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc., and National Garden Clubs, Inc.<br />


Brandon Municipal Complex<br />

Providing year-round maintenance for plants in the atrium and<br />

main lobby; decorating the lobbies for Christmas; decorating<br />

for special City of Brandon events, including the Mayor’s<br />

Prayer Breakfast, Memorial Day Breakfast, Fall Festival, and<br />

Veterans Day Breakfast.<br />

Education<br />

Providing hands-on gardening at The Spot Downtown for<br />

Rankin County School District special education students;<br />

providing displays and programs at Brandon Public Library;<br />

funding scholarships at Hinds Community College and<br />

Mississippi State University.<br />

Cancer awareness<br />

Planting and maintaining the “Plant It Pink” flower bed in<br />

downtown Brandon.<br />

Commercial landscape awards<br />

Recognizing businesses with outstanding commercial<br />

landscaping.<br />

Old Brandon Cemetery and Brandon Memorial Gardens<br />

Planting memorial trees, placing memorial tree markers, and<br />

coordinating maintenance with the City of Brandon.<br />

Veterans<br />

Maintaining flower beds surrounding two Blue Star Memorial<br />

Markers donated by the club.<br />

Look for us on Facebook, visit www.thebrandongardenclub.com,<br />

or email us at thebrandongardenclub@gmail.com.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

104 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

4<br />

3<br />

5 6 7<br />

10<br />

FROGS<br />

Nature’s Barometer 8<br />

Display by Brandon Garden Club<br />

11<br />

Celebrating<br />

National Garden Week<br />

June 4-10<br />

National Pollinator Week<br />

June 11-17<br />

1 BGC received 13 top awards in 2023, including the Overall “Public Relations Award”<br />

from The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc. and First Place for “Publicity Press Book”<br />

from the six-state Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc. region.<br />

2 Annual Tablescapes Luncheon Fundraiser.<br />

3 Members provide landscaping and hands-on gardening for students in Rankin County<br />

School District’s ASPIRE program at The Spot Downtown.<br />

4 National Garden Clubs, Inc. awarded a Plant America grant to Brandon Garden Club<br />

to build a greenhouse at The Spot Downtown.<br />

5 Blue Star Memorial Marker flower bed at the Rankin County Justice Center was<br />

relandscaped in 2022. The club received a First Place Award from The Garden Clubs<br />

of Mississippi, Inc. for the project.<br />

6-7 Veterans Day Breakfast centerpieces created by members were repurposed into<br />

Bundles of Joy and delivered to assisted living facility residents.<br />

8 Commercial Landscape Award was given to the City of Brandon for maintenance of<br />

Old Brandon Cemetery.<br />

9 Members “Deck the Halls” at Brandon Municipal Complex each year for Christmas.<br />

10 Co-Chairmen for “Deck the Halls” are Shelby Harry and Delena Hamel.<br />

11 National Garden Week and National Pollinator Week are celebrated throughout June<br />

with a display and activities at Brandon Public Library.<br />

9<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 105

106 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 107

Schools<br />

Rouse Elementary<br />

Rouse Elementary School<br />

is home to kindergarten and<br />

1st graders in the Brandon<br />

Zone of the Rankin County<br />

School District.<br />

151 Boyce-Thompson Drive<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

rse.rcsd.ms<br />

601.825.5437<br />

108 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

Brandon High<br />

Brandon High School is a<br />

6A high school and is home<br />

to 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th<br />

graders in the Brandon Zone<br />

of the Rankin County School<br />

District.<br />

3090 Highway 18<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

bhs.rcsd.ms<br />

601.825.2261<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 109

Schools<br />

Brandon Middle<br />

Brandon Middle School is<br />

home to 6th, 7th, and 8th<br />

graders in the Brandon Zone<br />

of the Rankin County School<br />

District.<br />

408 South College Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

bms.rcsd.ms<br />

601.825.5998<br />

110 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

StoneBridge Elementary<br />

StoneBridge Elementary School<br />

is home to 2nd and 3rd graders<br />

in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin<br />

County School District.<br />

115 StoneBridge Boulevard<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

sbe.rcsd.ms<br />

601.824.3287<br />

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 111

Schools<br />

Brandon Elementary<br />

Brandon Elementary School<br />

is home to 4th and 5th graders<br />

in the Brandon Zone of the<br />

Rankin County School District.<br />

125 Overby Street<br />

Brandon, MS <strong>39042</strong><br />

bes.rcsd.ms<br />

601.825.4706<br />

112 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 113



Walk-Ins Welcome | No Referral Needed<br />

114 • Our Town <strong>39042</strong>

<strong>39042</strong> Our Town • 115





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