ETNA — Many local churches are coming together to put on the annual Lord’s Acre Festival Sept. 23 in Etna.
The event is one of the oldest in the county, beginning in 1949 by Rev. Albert Rider. The Lord’s Acre Festival went away in Whitley County in 1961, but was revived in 2015 by Pastor Jerry Burgduff, former pastor at Etna and West Point Trinity United Methodist churches.
The Lord’s Acre Festival began in 1922 in Bluffton, Ga., with Rev. Henry Melton asking each of the farmers in his congregation to set aside one acre of farmland, donating the proceeds of “the Lord’s acres” to the church.
Now, the festival has a more modern twist raising money for Boomerang Backpacks, a weekend meal program for students at Little Turtle and Northern Heights elementary schools — keeping the spirit of the festival.
Several local churches will convene at Etna United Methodist Church, 4255 W. County Road 750 North, including Big Lake Church of God, Etna UMC, Salem Community Church, Thorncreek Bethel Church of God, West Etna Community Church and West Point Trinity UMC.
The festival begins with a parade at 11 a.m., with line-up beginning at 10 a.m. Opening ceremonies are at 11:30 a.m. There will be a silent auction from 12:30-4:30 p.m., a live auction from 1-3 p.m. and live entertainment from 3-5 p.m.
Food will be available throughout the afternoon, including pulled pork, ham and beans with cornbread, chicken and noodles, elephant ears, chili, homemade ice cream and various desserts.
New this year are cookbooks with favorite recipes from the local churches, and include a handmade potholder with each purchase.
For questions regarding the festival, contact Steve Beck at 248-8020 or Pastor Lin Wilson, 241-4057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.