Miss. folk artist 'Preacher' Dennis dies at 96

September 7, 2012 11:50:48 AM

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VICKSBURG -- The Rev. Herman "Preacher" Dennis, who turned a Mississippi Delta grocery store into a folk-art castle that became a roadside attraction, has died. He was 96. 

 

Jefferson Funeral Home in Vicksburg said he died Tuesday. The Vicksburg Post reports Dennis died at Covenant Health and Rehab.  

 

Margaret's Grocery started as a modest store off U.S. Highway 61. Margaret Rogers Dennis had owned it nearly 40 years when she married "Preacher" in 1984, and he said he'd build a monument to her and their faith in God. 

 

During the 1980s and '90s, the couple used concrete blocks, foam balls and other common items to turn the store into a castle. Hand-painted signs displayed phrases about the Bible. Though deteriorated, it was still standing this summer. 

 

Margaret died in 2009.