Ruben Chapel CME Church and Prentiss County settled their year-long dispute last year over church property. The County took action arguing ’eminent domain’ – they needed the property for the public good (who is the public is my question). The Black church was in the path of a runway extension for the Booneville-Baldwyn Airport.
The County sought to purchase the property, destroy the Black church building and dig up eight graves from the Black church property. You read it correctly.
Church officials, led by Pastor Rev. Henry Damons Sr., prepared to move their Black church services to a rental location and placed church furnishings in storage. However, in late January (2007)- – – ta duh ta duh… in rides Booneville, Mississippi jet air plane attorney Joey Langston, who broke the stalemate over how much the church should be paid for its property.
Langston said the Langston Foundation would make up the difference between the $160,000 the county offered (to pay the Black church) and the $355,000 the Black church needed to build a new church (somewhere other than in the way of the fast jet airplane).
Langston, attorney for Prentiss County (did you catch that), recused his firm from representing the county during the fight.
Once the church accepted Langston’s ‘generous’ offer and they all reached a deal, Langston issued a statement. Of course.
Time With Shelby