Gulfport Lounge Gets Makeover Into Youth Center

Gulfport's police chief says nothing good ever came out of Deuces Lounge, but now that's about to change. The city recently purchased the property on Old Pass Road. Chief Alan Weatherford says plans are to turn it into a youth center.

A year ago Rev. Felix Williams and his wife took a small amount of soil from outside the night club across the street from their church. Then they laid their burden at the altar.

"We went by and got pouches of dirt and put in on the altar knowing that God was going to close the night club," said Rev. Williams. "We knew that God was going to give this community back and it was going to come back to Him."

Police Chief Alan Weatherford remembers the layout of Deuces Lounge well. He says his officers have responded there too many times to count.

"It stood out like a sore thumb," he said. "We had problems here. We recovered several guns out of the establishment here and there's nothing positive that come out of this place."

The city of Gulfport is preparing to make that something positive happen here. Chief Weatherford is hoping grants will help make Gulfport's first police athletic league center a reality for the kids.

"So they can come in and they work with our police officers and our tutors after school programs and during the summer," said Chief Weatherford. "So there is an officer involved in their life. That's what we want to do. We want to make a difference."

Ward 1 council member Gary Hollimon said, "Sometimes it takes a little patience and just working with the proper people, the right source and the neighborhood when they voice their opinions and their concerns we can get it done together."

After a year of prayer and patience, Rev. Williams says he couldn't be happier to see faith move mountains and close a night club.

Rev. Felix Williams said, "Today is an answered prayer. Today is an answered prayer and we are happy."

Chief Alan Weatherford says he's not sure yet how much money it will take to get the new youth center open.