Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Money Road north of Greenwood needs a facelift, and Sylvester Hoover is asking the community to help restore the historic structure.
The church, recognized on the floor of Congress by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and the final resting place of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, is a wooden structure battered by the baking sun of Mississippi until the paint has blistered and peeled, allowing the wood to rot beneath it.
Hoover, owner of Hoover’s Grocery in Baptist Town and the Delta Blues Legend Tours, is a member of the church and already spent hours scraping and sanding, as well as replacing some of the wooden siding. With the idea that many hands make light work, he’s looking for some help starting this Thursday and Friday.
He also needs contributions toward paint and equipment for the job.
The church has services every third Sunday but attracts visitors from around the world to its graveyard on a nearly daily basis as blues travelers visit, often with guitars to play alongside Johnson’s grave, or with beer or whisky that is poured over the grave and the containers left as a tribute on the gravestone.
“I’m trying to make it serve all of Greenwood, both sides,” Hoover said. “It’s a church. The door’s always open.”
Anyone wishing to donate or volunteer may contact Hoover at 392-5370.