Natchez church deserves a round of applause; hope others follow their lead

Published 8:10 pm Saturday, October 27, 2018

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Natchez is helping to rid Vicksburg of an eyesore and create viable residential housing for our community.

The church recently purchased the South Street Apartment complex from Warren County Habitat for Humanity and, according to church deacon Aaron Patten, plans to rehabilitate the facility.

When the project is completed, Patten said, the complex will have 47 units ranging from two- to four-bedroom. Rents will be from the moderate range and up.

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Patten said the mission of the church is two-fold — saving part of the community, while also saving lives.

“We wanted to bring housing into the area, and then, too, we know part of the area is challenged, so that’s our mission; to get in and not only bring more housing, but to change the concept and the mindset of the people who are having challenges in their life. We are a ministry, number one, and housing number two.”

This isn’t a new venture for the Natchez church. Patten said the church built a new $3.5 million facility in 2002, constructed 30 apartment units next to the church site, and purchased 29 units in downtown Natchez called the Brumfield Apartment complex.

He said the church is also developing 34 acres of land for a 16-home gated subdivision, and renovating property in Newellton, Louisiana, for a 42-unit complex for homeless veterans.

“We are getting estimates for the work that needs to be done, and basically we’ll be doing a complete rehab of the whole complex,” Patten said of the South Street Apartment project.

Affordable housing is a big issue for Warren County and one economic development officials have targeted in the recent strategic plan, so it’s encouraging to see more housing the average person can afford will be available in Vicksburg.

We applaud New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Natchez, but also encourage local developers to follow their lead.