By Jill Waggoner
Photos By Hannah Vermilye
What began with the spark of an idea on a Sunday morning has become a two-day, full family event with an international impact.
Fairview Church hosted its fourth annual Fairview Missions Market, an artisan craft and food event, supporting local and international mission organizations & mission trips, as well as local businesses, Sept. 21 and 22 in Lebanon, Tenn.
This year’s Fairview Missions Market featured live music, food trucks and 50 vendor booths from local artists, craftsmen, and farmers selling handmade crafts, goods and locally grown produce. Despite a few rain showers over the weekend, the event welcomed almost 1,500 visitors and raised approximately $7,000.
Four years ago, a community group of Fairview Church that included Lacie Aldret of Carthage, Tenn., decided to host an artisan craft fair and use proceeds to fund mission endeavors.
“It was a way that we could spread the gospel, fund mission work, use the resources and talents we had to glorify God, and grow together as a group,” said Aldret, who now serves as the Fairview Missions Market director.
“Missions is at the heart of our church family,” said Brandt Waggoner, lead pastor of Fairview Church. “We want everything we do to be focused on sharing the Gospel here and around the world. The bonus to the Missions Market is that we get to do this while providing a platform for artists and local businesses to share their work.
“God is a God of creation and we want to celebrate the creativity of people in our community and know that our efforts can be used by God to spread the message of hope in Christ at the same time.”
Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward supporting Fairview Church’s missions teams who will serve in Central Asia and Central America. Previous events have support several ministries and mission trips to Guatemala and Israel.
The Missions Market required a great number of volunteers, led by Aldret, to pull off the event. A board of nine volunteers from Fairview led the endeavor and over fifty more individuals gave of their time for weeks and months to plan and execute the event.
“The people you saw volunteering are those who are going to serve people around the world, or who are working on behalf of a ministry,” Waggoner said.
“I love this team of volunteers,” said Aldret. “We’ve really developed a community among us, serving alongside each other. We could not
do this event without them.”
Some of this year’s vendors include Barbara’s Homemade Baskets, Empower Me, The Faith Store, Gnashgirl, Love & Laundry, LulaRoe, My Sister & I, Oh Crumbs Bakery, Psalmbird Coffee, Ralston Farm, Sunshine & Sweet Tea, Turtle Dove Pottery and many more.
In addition to the businesses, many local ministries set up a booth at the Missions Market to draw awareness to their services for the local community, such as the local BackPack ministry, Empower Me, and the Faith Store.
Aldret described how the volunteers at the Missions Marketplace special emphasis on serving the vendors, businesses, and craftsmen who partner with the event, as well as those who attend and shop.
“Once again, we received feedback from our vendors about the huge impact Fairview Church’s volunteers made on them,” Aldret said. “Our Fairview community seeks to care for and love on the vendors and customers in a way that leaves them looking forward to the next Fairview Missions Market, which has turned out to be one big mission trip in itself.”
Organizers are already making plans for next year’s Missions Market, which will take place Sept. 27 and 28, 2019.
They would like to provide more fun activities for families, extend the silent auction and increase indoor vendor space in 2019. If you are interested in supporting the missions trips through Fairview Church, Missions Market T-shirt’s are still available for purchase, and sponsors and donations are accepted all year long. More information is available at the Fairview Missions Market Facebook page or by calling 615-444-0111.