The Echo Theater was built ca. 1910. At first glance you wonder what happened to this poor building that it is not being restored…then the rest of the story emerges.
In 1996, John Howard, a former Klan leader, opened the Redneck Shop. The shop was noted for carrying Klan and Confederate memorabilia. Howard ended up giving the deed of the building to fellow Klan leader Michael Burden.
Burden later became down on his luck and was helped by an African-American Pastor named David Kennedy of the New Beginnings Baptist Church. Burden joined Kennedy’s church and sold the building to Kennedy in 1997.
After a lawsuit, Kennedy was able to evict Howard from the store in 2006.