There's nothing like 3,000 pumpkins to get your church noticed.
Saint Mark UMC in Birmingham received the huge shipment for their annual fundraiser, the Pumpkin Patch, earlier this month. Proceeds benefit the church's Mexico Mission Team, which travels each year to build two or three houses and teach Bible study to the children of Rio Bravo.
According to Saint Mark member John Gaston, who has been leading the trip for 12 years, the money raised will be used for supplies and travel expenses. Saint Mark UMC has been sending teams to Mexico for 20 years.
Pastor Steve West is very proud of the missions efforts of Saint Marks, where he was appointed in June of 2011. "The annual Rio Bravo trip is part of the very fiber of Saint Mark," said Rev. West. "Along with our Russian orphanage, Respite Care for families of children with handicapping conditions, Good Neighbor Fellowship for mentally challenged adults, and feeding the hungry several times a week at both Highlands and Reconciler, the Mexico mission is a signature project of this wonderful church."
Passersby began shopping before the Pumpkin Patch was officially open, said West. The church is located on an busy thoroughfare in the Vestavia Hills community, and 3,000 pumkins only increase the visibility. "This is also one way we can be vibrant and present in the community during the Fall," noted Rev. West. " I've met people across the city who know us as the Pumpkin Patch Church."
The pumpkins are priced from $1.50 to $14, depending on size. Saint Mark UMC is located at 2901 Columbiana Road. The Pumpkin Patch is open on Sunday-Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.