Though there may not have been gold coins in the copper box time capsule recently unearthed from beneath the cornerstone of J.J. White Memorial Presbyterian Church, members and guests were awestruck by the treasures left behind a hundred years ago.
Members of the church in downtown McComb gathered Wednesday for dinner and the opening of a 100-year-old time capsule buried in the church’s cornerstone upon its construction.
“A fitting memorial of him and his name it is given. A fitting house for the worship of Him,” Rawlings read from a letter from the F.Z. Brown, pastor at the time, from a Presbyterian journal, praising White and God.
None of the attendees were alive when the church was erected with exception of one chruch member of the church, Eileen Cato, who turned 102 this year. She was applauded upon entrance and said she was excited to see the occasion.
The church was built in 1921. It was rebuilt with the help of the White family, Rawlings said. The old church was rolled up Delaware Avenue on logs pulled by oxen and is now the nearby First Christian Church.
Among the items inside the time capsule were newspapers from both The McComb City Enterprise and the McComb City Journal, the city’s two newspapers before they merged into the Enterprise-Journal. The article both papers focused on the church’s construction and extended an invitation to see the capsule buried.
Multiple Presbyterian papers dated between 1920 and 1921 report the church’s construction, and there were also minutes from Mississippi Synod and the book of disciplines for the denomination.
The capsule’s biggest pulls were an old membership directory and a Bible, both with noticeable marks of age.
Rawlings, cradling the Bible, repeatedly spoke of the preservation of the items.
“This is a teacher’s Bible and its got a lot of notes. It is the final thing they left us,” he said. “We are just pleased with what we have. The condition is just amazing.”
Rawlings said the church planned to meet in April to place another time capsule in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the church’s first service.