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Local agents donate to Pickett Chapel

Xavier Smith • Updated Jan 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Several insurance agents took the company motto to heart Tuesday as they joined together to give to an ongoing historic preservation project. 

State Farm agents from Lebanon and Mt. Juliet banded together to give $2,500 to the Wilson County Black History Committee for the ongoing Pickett Chapel restoration project. 

State Farm agents included: Jeff Gannon, Clark Boyd, Kay Maynard and Wayne Lokey, of Lebanon, and Darian Horne, Corky Cross and Charlie Brooks, of Mt. Juliet. 

“Like a good neighbor is more than just a slogan and this is an example of the rubber meeting the road,” said Kipp Diggs, State Farm public affair specialist.

The $2,500 donation will go toward the ongoing restoration project of the oldest church building and oldest surviving red brick building in the county. Slaves and freed blacks who were skilled laborers built the church and congregated, in separate sections, with white members.

Wilson County and City of Lebanon leaders have discussed the renovation project and potential future of the building. 

The building lacks about $422,000 needed to complete the renovation project, which consists of about 56 remaining work items. Phillip Hodge, Wilson County Black History Committee member, said the group did not know about 25 of the items required to bring the building to code when the group presented to the Wilson County Budget Committee last year. 

“This could be a tourism destination for us,” Commissioner Sue Vanatta said during the same meeting.

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