By: Melvin Brown
The Economic Development Association (EDA) of Friars Point, Mississippi, under the direction of MBJ Enterprises, invites you to help us resurrect our city into the infamous “Mississippi River City” of American history. Friars Point has many unoccupied, severely damaged historical buildings that are in need of extensive repair. It is the mission of the Economic Development Association to restore Friars Point into the city that Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner wrote about. It is the goal of the EDA to create an infrastructure that will encourage and attract national business chains to take notice and take advantage of the resources that Friars Point has to offer. Our historic port town remains the only place in Coahoma County with public access to the banks of the Mississippi River. Friars Point is ready to reclaim its rightful place in history.
The EDA has completed the upgrade to the historic Minnie Ball House, which was built in 1850 and is on the Mississippi Historical Registry. The Minnie Ball House briefly served as headquarters for Union General Napoleon Bonaparte Buford. It is the oldest structure in Friars Point. The EDA led the charge in clearing properties damaged by the ice storm that battered Friars Point the week of February 14, 2023. We are proud to be citizens of Friars Point.
The objective of the Economic Development Association is to revitalize Friars Point into the music venue that is home to rockabilly and country music star Lloyd Jenkins, better known by his stage name Conway Twitty, from the 1950s through the late 1970s. The EDA endeavors to return Friars Point into the gateway that led blues singer Robert Lee McCollum, better known as Robert Nighthawk, from the plantation in Friars Point into the Blues Hall of Fame. Nighthawk sang about Friars Point throughout his career, which extended from the late 1930s into the early 1960s. Blues legend Robert Johnson played in front of a Friars Point drugstore and made reference to Friars Point in the song “Traveling Riverside Blues.” The EDA will continue its efforts to restore Friars Point so that our current favorite sons will be honored to showcase their hometown. Jaye Hammer is the performing name of Jeremy George, who currently sings the blues about “I Ain’t Leaving Mississippi” and mentions Friars Point. Blues singer Christine “Kingfish” Ingram passed through Friars Point in his formative years and now calls Clarksdale home. These artists have made Friars Point famous through their talents. The citizens of Friars Point want to restore Friars Point into the hometown that these artists are so proud to tell the world about.
The EDA is soliciting financial assistance from our friends, neighbors, organizations, foundations, and sister cities across this great United States to help us reach our goal of making Friars Point “The Mississippi River City” it once was. We must recognize Omicron Pi Foundation for being the “pacesetter” financially and professionally in helping our project develop.
Donations may be made to Omicron Pi Foundation at this Paypal link. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions to help improve our efforts, please call Melvin Brown at 254-285-1908. Or, you may mail pledges or write to us at P.O. Box 473, Friars Point, Mississippi 38631.
Friars Point Economic Development – MBJ Enterprises – Omicron Pi Foundation.