Home » City News » Jericho Week brings hope to Clarksdale Jericho Week brings hope to Clarksdale

Community leaders provided messages intending to bring hope, inspiration and unity the City of Clarksdale’s weeklong Jericho Walk from April 23 to 29.
Jericho Week was with faith-based leaders and citizens walking from one location to another each day. Most of the start and finish points for each walk were at churches. The Jericho Walks concluded with a prayer.
City Chaplain, the Rev. John Givins from Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, organized Jericho Week.
Mayor Chuck Espy spoke at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.
“Rev. Givins and I have a special connection that we talk very openly about things,” he said. “And I have that connection with very few ministers in this city. And I thank God for my friends because you can hear the loud minority of negative people. We, a majority, we don’t have to talk loud because God is ordering our steps.”
Espy told a story about his friend, Tiffany Hodges, who was part of his Second Chance Program.
Hodges, with the help of Espy and Family and Youth Opportunities Inc. Executive Director Amanda Dear-Jones, earned her commercial driver’s license to drive an 18-wheeler truck. The Second Chance Program provides people opportunities to turn their lives around.
“I thank God for Amanda because she led the way with that program,” Espy said.
When others doubted Hodges, Espy and members of his office encouraged her.
“I said, ‘Tiffany, your vision is not for everyone to see,’” Espy said.
“The only thing we asked her to do was, when you rolled back into Clarksdale, you come by city hall and you hit that horn as loud as you can. And guess what? She did just that.”
Months after celebrating Hodges’ success, she died.
Espy said he asked Jesus what He was doing and what to do.
“That was our best and she rose and she made it and then she died,” he said.
Then, Espy said he saw the impact Hodges had/
“The beautiful part about it is the testimony that everybody that walked up to the podium that day,” he said. “Everybody said that Tiffany touched and changed their life because they saw her rise to a new level.”
Espy said Hodges was an angel who taught him how to be a better man. He thanked God for the Jericho Walk because he has a tough job as mayor.
Espy also acknowledged the Clarksdale High School Class of 2023 that was present. He asked Superintendent Dr. Toya Matthews, whom he grew up with, to keep fighting for the children. He said Matthews was the best superintendent the city will ever have.
“Keep fighting for them,” Espy said.”I believe in you Dr. Matthews. I know the power of what we have done together.”
Committee chair for Jericho Week Freddie Davis spoke about unity and being one Clarksdale.
“Everything that I say I hope is part of a purpose for us to become one Clarksdale,” he said.
Davis said Jericho Week was a starting point for the community and referred to a sign he saw on Dennis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church at the beginning of the walk Saturday.
The sign read, “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.”
Davis reflected on Jericho Week.
“So we’ve been quoting all these scriptures this week,” he said. “We have to live it.”
Davis, who served in the military, said moved back to Clarksdale on faith.
“The military gave me these leadership skills,” he said. “They honed them. They developed them. Just some small things, we were supposed to follow instructions. We were supposed to walk and pray.”
At times, Davis said people were not praying during the walk.
“We have to get out of our comfort zone, help those people who are less fortunate, who are not in the clique,” he said.
Davis stressed the importance of working together to become one Clarksdale.
“That’s the whole purpose for me, to make sure my family is taken care of,” he said. “We need to look out for each other.”
Ward 3 Commissioner Willie Turner also spoke about unity.
“I welcome you after this meeting to continue to pray, to continue loving,” he said. “I welcome you to continue walking into unity. I welcome that. No one man can do it by himself, but it’s going to take Clarksdale working together.”