Gold hand on the steeple.

Gold Finger Points To Heaven

Field review by the editors.

Port Gibson, Mississippi

The first full-time pastor of Port Gibson's First Presbyterian Church was Zebulun Butler, who'd stab the sky with his finger to punctuate his sermons. This was in 1860, and his congregation liked the gesture so much that instead of a cross atop its very high church steeple, it placed a big, gold-painted wooden finger.

The idea, they said, was that good Christians should always keep their eyes on God.

One could also come away with the less reverent message, "Jesus went thataway!"

Woodpeckers eventually took their toll, and the wooden hand was replaced with one made of sheet iron, ten feet high, in 1903. That hand is still there today. It was given a fresh coat of gold in 1989, and again in 2017, at a cost of nearly $40,000.

Barely visible wires circle the knuckles and finger to discourage birds from defacing the heavenly digit.

Gold Finger Points To Heaven

First Presbyterian Church

Address:
605 Church St., Port Gibson, MS
Directions:
First Presbyterian Church. On the east side of US Hwy 61/Church St. (the street is lined with churches), just north of Walnut St.
Phone:
601-437-5428
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Moonshine SubmarineMoonshine Submarine, Port Gibson, MS - 6 mi.
The Windsor RuinsThe Windsor Ruins, Port Gibson, MS - 9 mi.
Folk Art Frog FarmFolk Art Frog Farm, Fayette, MS - 16 mi.
In the region:
Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS - 28 mi.

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April 20, 2018

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