This committee comes from the rich heritage of our denomination and the days when most people earned their living through agriculture. Once a year a special offering was brought which was the result of an acre set aside for God. Gifts included livestock, bales of cotton and hay, handmade articles and baked goods which were donated and then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Each year, this committee plans a number of 'fun'- and 'fund'-raising activities to benefit the building fund. The main event is Lord's Acre Day which is held every year on the last Saturday in September.
A Little Lord's Acre History
Lord's Acre began at this church in 1957 with some dedicated church members. Donations came from members of the congregation as they do now.
Donations have come in many different forms over the years. When the church was at the old location, livestock was a part of the auction. A pen would be set up on the parking lot. I've been told of the calf that George Ogelsby donated that had to be rounded up in the mud. Mr. Ogelsby also erected a sign that said "Lord's Acre" in one of his fields, and donated the proceeds from the crop in that parcel to the Lord's Acre event. Hazel Cockerham's late husband donated bales of cotton. He would bring samples of the bales to the church to be bid on. Beautiful hand made furniture has been on the auction block, as well as many pieces of needlework. Even some really heated bidding has occurred for a special cake.
I have heard more than one person refer to the late James Scott as "Mr. Lord's Acre". Our church was very important to him, and he worked hundreds of hours for Lord's Acre. Some of our congregation will tell you that when they saw him coming up to their homes, they knew to get their wallets out because they were about to make a donation. When he passed away, a Lord's Acre quilt was displayed at his funeral. Following his death, the next Lord's Acre quilt was sewn in his memory. Though his wife, Helen, did her best to purchase the quilt at auction, some members of the congregation had decided ahead of time to make sure they had the winning bid so they could give the quilt to her.
We now have a Bake Shop with goods furnished by United Methodist Women, and a silent auction, as well as a barbecue dinner and a live auction. And, of course, the quilt remains a very important part.
Though the Lord's Acre committee has 9 spots, there are quite a few dedicated people who are not committee members. For many years, they have done countless hours of cutting, lettering, sewing, embroidering and quilting. Beth Britton and Helen Scott laid out the names for the entire quilt. Beth sewed each of those little red and white blocks into larger squares. Helen hand lettered every name on the quilt. Hazel Cockerham stitched the center block, as well as many name blocks. Many others stitched each of the names. It was all eventually returned to Beth, and she then put the entire top together. It's an amazing piece of work, and an amazing piece of our history. There is no way to tell each of the people who worked on this quilt how much we appreciate their contribution.