Growth and restoration are both cherished in our little town and over the past decade we’ve seen so much of both. We feel so fortunate to be surrounded by folks that are willing to invest their lives here in Laurel, and we feel especially grateful that our community is gaining Richard and Nancy Jones.
Just a little over a year ago, Nancy visited Laurel with the intention of stopping just long enough to check out our shop and grab a souvenir or two, but she was quickly drawn in by Laurel’s charm. Nancy says,
“Last February, I drove through Laurel for the first time, on my way to Biloxi, and had planned on stopping just long enough to get a Home Town t-shirt. The girls at the Mercantile store were so sweet and delightful that I stayed almost an hour just chatting with them. They told me to visit the General Store on my way out of town. I was greeted so warmly by Gary and he begin to tell me how wonderful the people of Laurel- his kindness was overwhelming. He encouraged me to stay overnight so that I could enjoy the Chili Cook-off. Before I knew it, I had forgotten about Biloxi and was getting a room at the Hampton Inn. The next day, the first person I met at the cook-off was Big Wonderful Ben... he told me to buy a house, and my love affair with a Laurel began.”
Nancy and Richard both grew up in southern California where Richard has held a successful acting career for 25 years and Nancy left the corporate world to be home with their now 4 children, but what struck us most about this wonderful couple was their heart and passion for serving and restoring others.
In 2017, Nancy began building a ministry, Pearls of Gratitude. Their mission was to help provide healing and restoration to distressed communities.
“Our ministry, Pearls of Gratitude, is in initial stages, and will seek to serve distressed communities in various ways by revitalizing homes and the sanctity of home life, providing tutoring and after school activities, planting community gardens, and eventually own a ranch where kids can learn equine-enhanced skills/goal setting.”
Back in February of 2019, Nancy set out on a 12 day journey to visit different towns in Mississippi with the hope of finding that perfect town for their first home restoration and it became very apparent to her that Laurel made for that perfect place. It’s a truly incredible thing that they’re doing for our community- revitalizing homes and providing the opportunity for future homeownership in neighborhoods where that’s typically hard to achieve. We feel so fortunate that the Joneses have invested in our city- they're providing a type of restoration that is hard to replicate. Nancy shared,
“To me, restoration means returning something to its original, intended glory. Whether I’m restoring a home, or helping to instill a Christ-centered sense of identity in a hurting soul, my only fuel is the matchless love of Jesus which brings me joy!”
Last night, we had the pleasure of watching Ben, Erin and their entire crew restore the Jones house, but we feel certain the Joneses will offer many more years of restoration to our great little city.
In December of 2019, just a week before Christmas, a tornado ripped through the heart of our historic district, leaving many of our neighbors and friends without homes. Our community was left heartbroken as we assessed the devastation it left behind, but even though the tragedy our little town experienced, we were overwhelmed with joy seeing our community unite together to help bring back restoration.
Unfortunately, the Jones house was one of the many houses that was affected by the destruction left behind by the tornado, but the Home Town crew quickly jumped into action to help make it right. Nancy shared,
“I’m still so overwhelmed by how many people showed up to help save my house after the tornado. I’ll never forget it.”
The city of Laurel is filled with makers and doers that collectively help our community grow and thrive. We know it takes a village and we’ve realized even more over the past few months how fortunate we are to be surrounded by an incredible village of folks that are devoted to invest their lives here.
Richard and Nancy have certainly invested in this community and we are all so grateful that they did- we know that our hometown is a better place because of it!
Join us in welcoming the Jones family to the neighborhood and stay tuned for more on the Jones house later this season!
Shop the Jones Collection here.