• ThumbnailBy Bill Sorrell Special to The Commercial Appeal Click here for more information about Judgement Houses in West Tennessee JACKSON, Tenn. — Lee Mayhall was 7 when he went with his parents to “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” — a staged, 10-scene dramatic presentation that depicted the consequences of the decision to accept or reject Christ. “If…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailBy Bill Sorrell While it is not in the script, it is part of the storyline. Since Jill Neiss began directing Judgement House at Warren Community Church six years ago, there have been “incredible adversities” every year. “We totally understand and have faith that Satan doesn’t want it to happen,” she said. From cars catching on [...]

  • ThumbnailBy Bill Sorrell Special to The Commercial Appeal Moments before Chris Beaty was to take the stage for his first bodybuilding show, his posing trunks tore in half. The only replacements he could find were red crushed velvet. Beaty went on to win first place in the overall novice category at the Battle of the Bluff in [...]

  • ThumbnailCarter Smith rarely asks for a helping hand, although he makes an occasional request for assistance in putting on a necklace or opening a bottle of Gatorade. Smith, a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Tennessee at Martin, is determined to make life as normal as possible, even though he was born without a right hand. [...]

  • Quincy Pondexter didn’t always mind his P’s and Q’s while growing up in California under the watchful eyes of his grandparents, both of whom were ordained ministers. “I remember being that kid in the pews at church clowning around,” said Pondexter, a guard and forward for the Memphis Grizzlies. “My family really instilled in my [...]

  • ThumbnailAlong with the keys, Steve Legens handed over some fatherly advice when he gave his son, Buddy, a restored 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback: “Don’t drive too fast.” Buddy Legens, now a football player at Rhodes College, may not have the team’s fastest motor. But his quickness, body control and improved passing routes have turned him into [...]

  • Throwing a javelin can be dangerous, so an official escorted decathlete Sam Tabor to his warm-up spot and told him to aim at a cone 30 yards away. “So I throw it, stick it in the cone and put a hole through it, and he yelled at me for it,” said Tabor. “I couldn’t stop [...]

  • ThumbnailAs the rehabilitation of his injured right knee continues, Grizzlies rookie guard Xavier Henry is learning to play something besides professional basketball. “I got ‘Piano for Dummies,’” said Henry, Memphis’ first-round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. “I’m not great, but I’m getting there.”   Getting through his first NBA season has been difficult.…[Read more]