Landmark Church Moving Away From East Biloxi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Landmark Church Moving Away From East Biloxi

"When I first drove up, I was reduced to tears," said Ron Edmonston. "It brings back a lot of memories".

It was not the kind of emotion, Edmonston wanted to feel.

"It's humbling," he said.

Edmonston lives in Baton Rouge now. But this was his church when he lived on the coast back in the early 80s.

"This was what I remember of the church, a small red brick building," Edmonston said as he walked the grounds.

All that remains of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer are the steel beams. Even the bell-tower, which survived Hurricane Camille, toppled under Katrina's fury.

"Our daughter was actually christened in the bell tower," Edmonston said.

But the landmark that's been an icon in east Biloxi for more than 150-years will not return to the same site. The congregation has agreed to move away from the beachfront.

"It was a unanimous decision," said Father Harold Roberts.

He says that decision was based on several factors -- skyrocketing insurance costs, changes in population, and the fear of losing another church to a future storm.

"It's difficult to continue to let go of the things that we've known and cherished," said Father Roberts.

The parishioners had one condition though. They wanted to keep the property. They'll use the beams as an outdoor chapel and restore the Hurricane Camille Memorial.

"It should be open, sacred space," said Father Roberts. "It shouldn't be just condos and so forth. It shouldn't just be a place for rich people. It should be a place for all people."

"I remember, every Christmas we sold Christmas trees here," recalled Ron Edmonston.

Just like Edmonston, for anybody who worshiped here, there will always be memories, even if the church is gone.

Edmonston said, "It's sad, but I understand that's part of moving forward."

Father Roberts doesn't know yet when the new church will be built. A team will come in to help the congregation come up with a vision, before the building begins.

He says De Miller Hall will be restored, and used for offices and receptions. And the land where the rectory once stood could be leased for commercial development.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Saturday, July 21 2018 6:13 PM EDT2018-07-21 22:13:06 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 4:25 PM EDT2018-07-22 20:25:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>
  • Woman accused of sending meth in mail to Allred Unit

    Woman accused of sending meth in mail to Allred Unit

    Friday, July 20 2018 3:49 PM EDT2018-07-20 19:49:06 GMT
    Sara Russell is accused of sending meth in a card meant to be delivered to an inmate at the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Co. (Source: WCSO)Sara Russell is accused of sending meth in a card meant to be delivered to an inmate at the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Co. (Source: WCSO)
    Sara Russell is accused of sending meth in a card meant to be delivered to an inmate at the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Co. (Source: WCSO)Sara Russell is accused of sending meth in a card meant to be delivered to an inmate at the James V. Allred Unit in Wichita Co. (Source: WCSO)

    A woman from Katy, Texas has been booked into the Wichita Co. Jail and charged with Prohibited Substance and Item in Correctional Facility.  

    More >>

    A woman from Katy, Texas has been booked into the Wichita Co. Jail and charged with Prohibited Substance and Item in Correctional Facility.  

    More >>
  • Tornado touches down in east AL Saturday night

    Tornado touches down in east AL Saturday night

    Sunday, July 22 2018 3:48 PM EDT2018-07-22 19:48:42 GMT
    A tornado touched down Saturday night in central Lee County, on the southeast side of Opelika. (Source: WSFA 12 News)A tornado touched down Saturday night in central Lee County, on the southeast side of Opelika. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

    A tornado touched down Saturday night in central Lee County, on the southeast side of Opelika.

    More >>

    A tornado touched down Saturday night in central Lee County, on the southeast side of Opelika.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly