- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PORT GIBSON, Miss. (AP) - One of Mississippi’s most famous church landmarks will be getting a new golden shine.

The “Hand Pointing to Heaven” atop the antebellum First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson was lowered to the ground Monday. It’s being shipped off to be coated with fresh gold leaf at what the church says is a cost of $38,000.

The hand, with its index finger pointing up, imitates a gesture by pioneering pastor Zebulon Butler. A wooden hand was replaced with a 200-pound (90-kilogram) metal hand in the early 1900s.

The 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) hand, atop a towering steeple, is a landmark for travelers passing through Port Gibson on U.S. 61.

The church, soliciting donations on its website, says it’s been 25 years since gold leaf was last reapplied.

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