Christmas Tour Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Ollie Mayhall BYW of the First Baptist Church of Magee is hosting a Christmas Tour Sunday, December 1, 2019 from 2-4 PM.  The Raynold and Tiffany Kinslow home, The Russell building including the offices and apartment of Debra and Jonathan Styron, and Hopewell Presbyterian Church are included on the tour.  Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from a member of the BYW, Magee Chamber office, Main Street Realty, the Russell Building, and at the door.

Wrapped in history and love, the Hopewell Presbyterian Church is featured on the Christmas Tour.

Founded in 1830, the small church was organized largely by a group of Scots immigrants.  The church was built of heart pine cut from virgin timber logged from south Mississippi forests.  It was sawed by an upright saw powered by a waterwheel and dressed, tongued and grooved by hand.  Slaves owned by Robert Magee and others were said to have helped in the construction, and Hopewell’s membership included some blacks.  To enable the blacks to worship but still maintain the racial separation required in the South in the 1850’s, slave balconies were built on each side of the space. (The History of Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1830-2009)

Holly Leonard of Holly’s Flower Shop and Boutique in Collins is decorating the church in memory of her grandmother Lucy Leonard.  Holly enjoys decorating with live greenery.  Each ribbon, flower, candle, and greenery are placed with love for a church and grandmother who had/has a profound effect on her life.

Light refreshments will be served.

A visit to Hopewell is a step back in time…when things were simpler and love seemed to be the most important facet in life.

The church is located at 1296 Mount Olive Road Mt Olive, MS 39119

The Russell Building, located at 111 Main Avenue North, was built in 2019 with the Russells moving in June 2019.  The downstairs office is 3,000 square feet and the two apartments located above the offices are 2,400 square feet.  The office area consists of six offices, conference room, full kitchens, lounge, and two bathrooms.

Skip and Tracy choose to build their building on Main Street as a means as to continue revitalizing Main Street and the downtown area.  The Russells are promoting downtown and their city with the addition of other Main Street buildings that have been restored.

Tracy loves Christmas and the opportunity to decorate their new lovely building.  “This is the first year we have been in the building for Christmas so I am taking advantage of spreading the Christmas cheer all over the building,” laughed Tracy.  She is decorating each office to fit the personality of their office.

Enjoying downtown living, Jonathan and Debra Styron live on the top floor of the Russell Building.  The 1300 square foot apartment houses a master suite complete with master bath.  The open concept of the living area allows ample room for a large den, kitchen, and utility room.  An additional bedroom and bath complete the space.

Magee has always been Jonathan’s home except for 8 years when Debra and Jonathan lived in Weathersby.  “There are 23 steps to get in the apartment,” laughed Debra…”but most anyone can handle them.  The steps are a great size and you don’t even know you are on a climb.”

Tickets are available at the door, Diane at Angela’s, BYW members, The Russell Building, and Main Street Reality.

The Styron’s favorite part of downtown living is the balcony space.  “We know everything happening in downtown Magee,” Debra explained.  “We eat out a lot at the Vault or pick up take out from area restaurants…I just don’t cook anymore.”  Who can blame them!!! With no children living at home and grands located in the Magee and Raymond area, Jonathan and Debra enjoy the “couple” life!

I asked Debra how they ever downsized from a big house to an apartment.  She explained that it wasn’t easy but is now so releasing!  “I can clean up in 15 minutes,” said Debra.

The colorful lights on the balcony indicate what fun spirits the Styrons are.  Their home is decorated beautifully for Christmas with special items taking top priority.

“We are looking forward to sharing downtown living with our friends on the tour!”


James Raylon Mathew, 51, of Magee, Mississippi, passed away Monday, February 17, 2020 at Magee... READ MORE