(By Brandon O’Connor, The Vicksburg Post). The Hand Pointing to Heaven is once again in its rightful place atop the steeple of First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson, Miss.
The 10-feet 4-inch, 250 pound golden fist with its index finger pointing skyward was returned to the top of the steeple at First Presbyterian Wednesday morning following a two-month restoration process.
The golden hand was taken down from the steeple on June 26 and sent to Virginia where it was restored and then recovered in gold plate.
“We sent it to American Stripping Company in Manassas Park, Virginia.” Rev. Michael Herrin said. “They stripped off the previous coatings, repaired the metal, it had rust mainly on the cuff around the bottom. They then prepared the surface for gilding. The gilder’s studio from Maryland put the gold plate on it. It is real gold plate, just real thin.”
The hand was then shipped back to Port Gibson where it was originally scheduled to be reinstalled Aug. 9. Inclement weather caused a slight delay in the process, but Wednesday it was raised back to the top of the steeple where it sits 147 feet above the ground.
“It is a symbol of Port Gibson,” Herrin said. “It is a symbol of what we are all supposed to be about. It reminds us that this life isn’t about us. It is about God. It does what steeples are supposed to do. They are supposed to point us to God.”