Life Connection Church (LCC) and Severna Park Baptist Church (SPBC), with the support of Community Bible Church (CBC) in Manassas, Virginia, are partnering to sell pumpkins to raise funds for missions. Over 7000 pounds of pumpkins are scattered across the field at SPBC’s lawn. In addition to raising funds, the project gives churches a chance to reach out to their community and meet their neighbors.
LCC Pastor Martin Bennett shared that the pumpkin outreach began with John Clark, a dear friend, and brother in Christ. Bennett, along with his wife, Demetra, used to serve with Clark at CBC. Martin was the youth minister. The men kept in touch through the years but Martin was quite surprised when Clark called offering literally tons of pumpkins.
Clark and his wife, Luci, were inspired by the story of NFL defensive lineman Jason Brown, who, after signing a $37.5 million contract, ended his football career early in obedience to God’s leading. In an ABC interview, Brown said he asked Jesus what he could do with the blessings he had been given. “The answer he heard: ‘I want you to feed My people.’” Brown purchased a farm in North Carolina and gives the food away to people in need.
The Clarks prayerfully decided to follow Brown’s example. In addition to John’s job as CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they purchased and run a 160-acre farm which they call Harvest of Hope. The Clarks now use their farm to support local food banks and help those in need and support missions, ministries, and churches. Several months ago, John called Marty to offer the pumpkins, and Marty contacted Pastor Dave Brown, his close friend at SPBC, to discuss partnering.
LCC and SPBC have partnered for missions for several years, including the Messiah Project in Nicaragua, trips to the Dominican Republic, and missions collaboration in the Caribbean. A joint pumpkin sale was a natural extension and will provide funding for future mission trips.
Friends and church members helped to move the pumpkins from Virginia to Severna Park and prepare them for sale. Bob Jurick donated his truck and his pop-up trailer and helped to set up the pumpkin-selling station. Edward Overton, John Kinsey, and Meric Bennett drove to Virginia, loaded and unloaded the pumpkins, and Kenya Christian also helped with unloading. John Clark helped with transporting and unloading the pumpkins. “He loves seeing the pumpkins from seed to selling,” Martin said.
Volunteers from LCC and SPBC are working on a rotational schedule to greet their neighbors and sell the pumpkins.
Pumpkins are available on Fridays from 2-6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. The sale will continue until the pumpkins are all claimed. The cost ranges from $3-9.
Sharon Mager is a Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware communications specialist and BaptistLIFE church correspondent.
Cover photo: Pastor Martin Bennett and Pastor Dave Brown prepare for pumpkin sales (Facebook photo used with permission).