Prayer garden coming together

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Will & Baumer's candle factory is on schedule and the company thinks it will begin installing its equipment next month.

A unique project is taking shape in a field beside one of Marshall County's rural churches.

The Prayer Garden at Farmington United Methodist Church - also known as "The Little Church at the Crossroads" - started just over a year ago with two maple trees planted to honor veterans. Next came a bench dedicated to the memory of Brenda Scott.

"I love flowers and I wanted to do something," said church member Edith Watkins. Her husband, Mike, weed eats and trims the garden.

"It's a wonderful project," enthuses the church's pastor, Rev. Leland Carden. "It's a spiritual oasis that people can visit to rest, meditate and pray. It's unique for this area."

"We used to leave the church unlocked," Watkins said. "Nowadays you can't do that." The garden, in the field between the church and Shelbyville Highway, provides a place for people to find peace at any time during their busy day.

It has been created entirely from donations, and centers on a birdbath, with stepping-stones in the shape of a cross leading up to it. There are numerous statues, shrubs, and trees, and several benches. Every item in the garden is labeled with the name of the person it memorializes or honors. In spring and summer there are colorful flowers. The garden's location in the middle of a field means that there is plenty of room to expand.

Watkins thanks Amy Potts from the Lewisburg Garden Center and Landscaping on 5th Avenue for guiding them as to what plants would do well in the open field.

A project for next spring is a gazebo, say Watkins and Carden.

Carden compliments the Farmington UMC, where he recently became pastor after retiring from the First United Methodist Church in Lewisburg.

"For a small congregation, they're very active; there's a lot of ministry being carried out here," Carden said.

The church runs the Robert Mason Center on Holly Grove Road, where people in need can get clothes and household items. The Department of Human Services and the Red Cross refer people there, and so far over 900 people have been helped.

Names on the plaques in the prayer garden include Vanessa Gold Rush, Martha Brown, Brenda Scott, Clayton Russell, Mary V. Watkins, Sadie Tillman, Andrew and Frances Williams, Bro. Larry and Miss Sue Pedigo, Mrs. Robert Mason, Dale Friedrichs, Bill Gold, Kim Brugmann, Dorothy Thomas (three benches - one from each of her daughters), Kayla Mathis, Josh Hoppus, Bill Lowe, Maude Mette, Avery Badgett, Wade Jett, and Clyde and Elizabeth Whaley.