My wife Eleanor and I became members when Paul Kirbas was Senior Pastor. Back then, we volunteered together during the church’s annual rummage sales. I have many memories of working side by side with her; it was a lot of work crowded into a small amount of time. This event took up just about every corner of the church’s interior space and portions of the grounds outside. Although the sales were profitable, it got to the point where they had to be discontinued because of the disruption caused in the daily functions of the church for most of a week.
A steering committee was established to explore the possibility of running a church thrift store in our community. Committee members were Martha Mugford, Paul Kirbas Sr. and his wife Caroline, and Eleanor and me. We soon discovered that an off-campus location, with all the costs associated with it, plus the use of volunteers and other unknowns, made this option non-feasible.
We went before Session with our recommendation to use the annex building, located at the southeast corner of our campus, to house our thrift store. With Interim Pastor Bob Smith’s endorsement, we received approval to proceed and First Thrift Shop opened in 2003 on the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday.
First Thrift has been opened now for over 15 years. It is a great success due to our patrons, church donors, dedicated volunteers and excellent managers. The revenue goes into the church’s general fund for our Lord’s use, but also thousands of items are donated monthly to those in need. God bless all of our shop volunteers and current Manager Jill House. And God bless our lay leadership and pastors for their foresight and support of this meaningful outreach.
by Richard (Dick) Knotts