By Lacey Watt
McCORDSVILLE — McCordsville United Methodist Church kicked off its 71st annual Lord’s Acre Festival last Friday night with food, vendors, music and more carrying over through Saturday. Proceeds from the festival went toward a variety of church and parsonage needs.
Friday night’s events included the fish fry, vintage car show, Church Praise Band performing live, local vendors, and face paint and balloons for the kids.
Dennis Truex, who is on the board of trustees for the church, helped run the vintage car show and had his green Chevy pickup truck from the early 1950s displayed.
Truex has helped the festival since 2013 and said that some of the events that draw the crowd are the Touch a Truck and Silly Safari held on Saturday. And then, of course, there is the food.
For Truex, his favorite part about the festival is the camaraderie.
“I meet some people that sit in church that sit in the same place, so I don’t see them or barely see them… Next thing you know, you’re working with them, wrapping sandwiches (tomorrow),” Truex said.
Inside the tent, members of the church and volunteers prepared fish sandwiches with a number of sides and options, handing them off to hungry customers. As the tables filled up with people sitting down to eat dinner, one member was finishing up eating before heading to help work.
Jim Turney has been a member of the church for 60 years. He said that good friends of his and his wife told them about McCordsville United Methodist Church when they first moved to the town.
“They said we need to be in church so we’ve been in church ever since,” said Turney with a laugh.
Turney has volunteered at Lord’s Acre Festival almost every year for the last 60 years, and helps with whatever is needed. For 30 years, Turney was a lay leader, which is secondary to the minister, and also preached at the church for many years. Turney now sings in the choir during the first service on Sundays.
“I’m a people-oriented guy,” Turney said. “It’s my second home.”
Roxanna O’Bryant is a member of the church who also helped with the vintage car show and said that her family has been a part of the church for approximately 100 years, going back to her great-grandparents.
O’Bryant said her family’s participation in the festival goes back at least 30 years. Her parents would help when the church would have a parade, which included the use of their antique John Deer tractor.
The meaning behind Lord’s Acre is that when collecting harvest, farmers would collect and give an acre of what they grew to the church. Starting out, the church had many farmers, so an acre of harvest was given to the Lord.
O’Bryant’s parents currently own a farm, so they donate an acre worth of crop to the church. O’Braynt said that Sunday mornings, people will bring whatever their donations are to Lord’s Acre, representing the first fruit of whatever is made.
Outside of the festival, the church also hosts a food pantry 9-11 a.m. every Wednesday, and a community dinner and breakfast every month.
“It’s amazing how small this church is and yet how much community impact there is,” O’Bryant said. “It’s amazing the community outreach.”