Campus of former Wood Junior College is under new ownership

It's been nearly 140 years since two ministers started a seminary in the small Webster County community of Clarkson

MATHISTON, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s been nearly 140 years since two ministers started a seminary in the small Webster County community of Clarkson.

A few years later, the school was moved to Mathiston, where students could travel easily by train.

Most people remember it as Wood Junior College, a thriving school in the ’70s and ’80s.

The property has been for sale, but there’s a new owner and a new vision.

Columbus Pastor Tommy Gillon thought about buying it. He decided not to, but then he changed his mind.

“This was not an emotional buy for me at all because it didn’t mean a whole lot except it was a beautiful campus, but since I’ve been over here it’s one of the most peaceful places that I can come from Columbus,” said Gillon.

Gillon and his team started working on cleaning up the old school at the beginning of the year. They are making progress weekly.

“Blue Mountain University is interested in partnering with us and I personally want the education to go one, but I want a church plan I want to use this as biblecation some guys that can’t take off from their work and go to school or get seminary training I want this to be the place they can do that at night or whenever they can,” said Gillon.

Gillon said he wants to revamp some of the more modern places first since the school was last used in 2016.

“In 2013, I believe is correct when the tornado hit the Eupora area and Webster County their high school destroyed East Webster and they were looking for a place and someone purchased this campus and was doing nothing with it, the government came in and restored all but one of the buildings,” said Gillon.

There’s no timeline yet on when Gillon expects to wrap up cleaning and remodeling efforts on the campus but he knows in due time and with the help of the community.

“I’m trying to take it real slow because it’s a big campus with a lot of buildings and it’s expensive to do anything. I know I’m going to have some help from people that want to keep this alive and I’m grateful for that,” said Gillon.

Gillon said he plans to start off with the old Bennet Hall first and then expand to other parts of the campus.

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