Chimes gift to Brundidge

Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brundidge has many great stories. Some of them may be true. Some may not be.

But, true or not, there’s a great story about the chimes that were installed at Salem Baptist Church many years ago.

Burson Whittington had built a home on Main Street that was, at that time, quite a magnificent place. When the church chimes were played for the first time, Florence Ray commented, “That must be the door bell at Burson Whittington’s house.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Those who remember Florence Ray can “almost hear her saying that,” said Nell McLendon, a member of Salem Baptist Church.

Those early chimes were just that – chimes much like those of the doorbells of the time.

Years later, McLendon heard chimes at a church in another town that actually played music. She mentioned the chimes to other church members and they thought it would be a wonderful idea to have chimes that played music at Salem.

Not only would the chimes be beautiful and meaningful to the Salem membership, they would also be a wonderful addition to the town.

The Lord works in wondrous ways and He found a way to make the chimes a reality for Salem Baptist Church and for the town of Brundidge, according to church members.

“When Judy Jackson Mobley heard about the project, she discussed it with the family,” McLendon said. “The family wanted to make the chimes a gift to the church in memory of Bill and Maureen Jackson.”

Bill and Maureen Jackson were the patriarch and matriarch of the family until their untimely deaths.

“It was a wonderful gift in memory of Bill and Maureen, who owned and operated Jackson’s Hardware for many years. They were greatly loved by the entire community,” McLendon said.

The chimes play three times a day, at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. They are also programmed to play for weddings and funerals when requested and for holidays and special events.

The chimes have been a wonderful addition to the church and to the city, said Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage.

“Salem Baptist Church has a long tradition of reminding the community of what is most important,” Ramage said. “I can remember back when Mr. Willie Leverette would ring the church bell at Salem to let everybody know it was time to go to Sunday School. The chimes continue to be reminders of the important things in life.”

Ramage said visitors to Brundidge find the chimes unique, but it’s the townspeople who really appreciate the chimes.

“The chimes have become a part of us,” Ramage said. “And, Salem has been willing to set the chimes for special occasions in town. They were set to play during the VFW’s recent Memorial Day service and they always play before the annual Brush Arbor Singing in October and before the Independence Day Parade. The Salem Baptist Church chimes are a gift to the community and one that we all enjoy and appreciate.”

Ramage said that every time he hears the chimes he thinks of Bill and Maureen Jackson.

“The music and the memories are a great thing to give back to the community,” he said.