|Lord's Acre Day, quilt auction on steps of Powell Butte School (undated Spokesman photo)|
For 65 years Central Oregonians have
celebrated autumn’s zenith with Lord’s A cre Day, an annual harvest-timed event hosted by Powell Butte Chur ch.
Begun in the post-WWII days of austerity and
careful spending, Lord’s A cre was con ceived as a way to raise badly-needed funds for a new chur ch building. The idea, borrowed from Afri can-Ameri can chur ches in the South that en couraged farmers to donate pro ceeds from one a cre’s yield, proved su c cessful.
In 1948, the event’s third year, $3,500 was raised from the sale of donated alfalfa, wheat, hogs,
calves, geese and chi ckens, as well as handmade quilts, pies and a barbe cue lun ch.
Fifty-three years later, in 2001, the event raised $61,000.
The event gained momentum through the years, bringing ba
ck former residents and be coming the campaign stop of choi ce for politi cians. Funds are used for chur ch building needs, s cholarships and mission work.
This year patrons will find mu
ch of the same offerings, from homemade baked goods to whole-hog sausage to canned pi ckles to quilts and firewood.
Eight years ago, Lord’s A
cre added a 10K run and 5K run/walk to the mix; other traditions, su ch as the au ction and pit barbe cue, continue.
1948: Celebrity attendee is Senator Wayne Morse; barbe
cue served 650 (so many, in fa ct, that it was qui ckly de cided to add a se cond serving line in 1949).
1951: Donations for sale in
cluded a gelding and many tables of “fan cy work” hand crafts; a 470-pound steer (donated by ran cher Earl Thompson) was barbe cued and it fed 700 diners. Pro ceeds topped $5,000.
1959: More than 2,000 were served at the barbe
cue; Sen. John F. Kennedy, stumping for the presidential nomination, attended with his wife, Ja ckie, but the Spokesman’s coverage of the event was mostly about the dozens of former area residents who returned for the event.
1962: Thanks to Lord’s A
cre pro ceeds, the chur ch was debt-free; six lines are needed to feed the barbe cue patrons; organ musi c is provided in the san ctuary for weary visitors needing pea ce and quiet from the hullabaloo; Gov. Mark Hatfield sent regrets (but he did attend the previous year); $7,231 netted.
1971: Buses of seniors are brought in from the Willamette Valley; Oregon Se
cretary of State Clay Meyers attends; $10,500 in pro ceeds.
1980: Dave Frohnmeyer,
candidate for Oregon Attorney General, attends; 800 pies sold.
1983: $26,250 in pro
1995: More than 1,850 served at the barbe
cue; 3,400 pounds of fresh sausage is sold out in 90 minutes; $40,000 netted.
ceeds top $61,000.
ch offi cials announ ce the need for a building expansion to serve the growing congregation.
2010: More than 1,200
cinnamon rolls sold; 1,000 gallons of beans cooked for the barbe cue.
cre Day, Nov. 5
Powell Butte Chur
ch, Highway 126
10 & 5K run/walk: 9 a.m.
ce sale: Begins 9 a.m.
c: Begins 10 a.m.
Country store: Preview 9 a.m., sale 10 a.m.
ch: Begins 11:45 a.m.
ction: 1:30 p.m.