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Sixty-six years of continuity, community in Powell Butte
The annual Lord’s Acre Sale is one of Powell Butte’s most cherished traditions
The food served at the Lord’s Acre Sale is one of the primary attractions.
October 29, 2012
Very few traditions withstand the test of time in a community — especially those that go back 66 years.
The annual Lord’s Acre Sale began in 1946, and Clyde Penhollow has been involved in the Lord’s Acre Sale since he was 11 years old.
“I’m 77, and it started 66 years ago, so I guess I have been there as long as it has,” commented Penhollow.
He noted that his father was the originator of the event, as he was the pastor of the Powell Butte Church when the first sale began.
“It grew from then, to where my extended family presents the meal,” said Penhollow.
He has another brother who oversees the barbecue, and Clyde’s family helps feed 1,500 people in an hour. He emphasized that there are a lot of volunteers who help with the meal as well, and veterans of the event who preside over the crafts and auction. Tom Alexander is the general chairman for the Lord’s Acre Sale, and he has also been involved with the event since 1962. Sue Dunn is the chairperson for the crafts portion of the sale, and Scott Johnson has taken pictures for the event as long as he can remember, which amounts to more than 40 years.
Although many things about the Lord’s Acre Sale have remained constant, some things have also changed over the years. Penhollow recollected that in the earlier years, they would sell canned goods, such as sauerkraut. He pointed out that the kinds of items sold at the auction have also changed.
“We had to adapt over the years,” Penhollow added.
He believes that part of the continuity of the event can be attributed to the fact that there is another generation coming on that have the pride of doing what their folks did in getting the event ready. He added that they also have a lot of community members who are not church members who have always been involved in the Lord’s Acre Sale.
“We, as church members feel that is a tremendous outreach for our church. We still touch people who want to be involved, and that is kind of our key.”
Penhollow reflected that his father was a preacher in Sisters when World War II broke out. They took over the duties of an 80-acre farm near Redmond his uncle had when he joined the service. Powell Butte didn’t have a minister, so Penhollow’s father began preaching there, as well as serving part-time in Culver and Madras. When his uncle was killed in the war, they bought the ranch near Redmond, and continued commuting to Powell Butte.
When the community wanted to build a new church, they canvased the Powell Butte area, going to each landowner to see if they would donate one acre of produce of their land to the church.
“That’s how the Lord’s Acre plan got started. It was a tremendous reception in the Powell Butte community,” explained Penhollow. “Everyone got involved.”
He said that they began holding it the first of November, because they wouldn’t have their potatoes harvested until Nov. 1. Various community members would donate sheep, heifer calves, a steer for the barbecue, 40 sacks of potatoes, or a ton of hay.
“It all started that way. Then the women wanted to be involved, so they so they started the needlework and the quilts and those kinds of things.”
He noted that they still rely heavily on donations and volunteers. They make hundreds of pies and baked goods.
“It takes all year to do it. It’s just ongoing, and they almost start working on it the week after Lord’s Acre.”
Scott Johnson has attended the Lord’s Acre Sale since the early 1950s, and has only missed five or six of the yearly events since then.
“It has pretty much stayed the same from what I can see,” said Johnson. “What really impresses me are the gals that work, like Sue Dunn on the crafts —they will work all year long.”
He added that as many as 300-400 volunteers help in some way to put it on.
“It just shows you how tight the church and the community are,” said Johnson.”
The proceeds from the Lord’s Acre Sale go to mission work of the Powell Butte Christian Church, Bible college scholarships and improvements to the church facilities.
Lord’s Acre Day Sale Schedule, Nov. 3
Ninth Annual Lord’s Acre 10K run/5K walk: Registration and packet pickup begins at 7:30 a.m., Race begins at 9 a.m.
Coffee: 7 a.m.
Pie Slice Sale: Begins at 9 a.m. ($2)
Country Store: Preview at 9 a.m., Sale begins at 10 a.m. in the school gym
Pit Barbecue Dinner: Beginning at 11:45 a.m.: $10 – Roast beef, ham, and lamb, baked beans, baked potatoes, bread, onions and pickles.
Music: Concert begins in the Worship Center at 10:30 a.m.
Country Auction: Begins at 1:30 p.m. in the school gym- includes quilts, afghans, comforters, and other donated items.