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Staff Writer

   The red brick still rings with shouts of “Amen,” and after 145 years two or more still gather there each Sunday in the Lord’s name.
   Belle Flower Missionary Baptist Church played a central role in the civil rights movement, and it’s celebrating a milestone birthday this week.
   “Even when people leave Belle Flower, they carry a special place for it in their hearts. The church has character - historical character - and it carries through generations,” said the Rev. R.L. Jackson, senior pastor.
   Each week Jackson preaches to some 225 congregants on the corner of Hwy. 51 and W. Pearl St. They fan themselves with bulletins and shout “Yes, preacher!” as Jackson delivers the word.
   Nineteen resident pastors have graced the pulpit at Belle Flower, but perhaps none drew a larger crowd or elicited more “amens” than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who preached on Jan. 22, 1967, before the march on Grenada. Since then the church has been a hub for social justice and community awareness in the black community.
   “People still look to Belle Flower to be that voice for justice,” said Jackson. “They look to Belle Flower as the leader in the cause for what’s right.”
   Sister Gloria Jean Lott, 68, lived through the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement, when taking a stand had consequences.
For the full story, see the printed edition or the online edition of the GrenadaStar.

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Grenada, MS
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