By Jill Waggoner
What began with the spark of an idea to reach Wilson County on a Sunday morning has become a two-day, full family event with an international impact.
Fairview Church will host its fourth annual Fairview Missions Market, an artisan craft and food event, to support local and international mission organizations & mission trips, as well as local businesses, Sept. 21 and 22 in Lebanon, Tenn.
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.
This year’s Fairview Missions Market will feature live music, food trucks and 50 vendor booths from local artists, craftsmen and farmers selling handmade crafts, goods and locally grown produce. This community-wide event will take place Sept. 21 from 2 – 8 p.m. and Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1660 Leeville Pike in Lebanon, Tenn. Admission is free.
Having doubled in size since the first Missions Market, the event continues to grow in strategic ways to serve the community, especially families. This year’s event will include free hayrides, face painting, and a kid’s corner with crafts, balloon animals and more.
“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.”
Last year’s Missions Market drew more than 1,000 attendees and raised over $6,000 for missions. Those funds were used to support several ministries, a medical mission trip to Guatemala, and a mission trip to Israel. This year, the Missions Market hopes to exceed those funds to benefit Fairview Church’s missions teams who will serve in Central Asia and Central America.
The Missions Market requires a great number of volunteers, led by Aldret, to pull of the event. A board of nine volunteers from Fairview lead the endeavor and over fifty more individuals will give of their time to execute the event.
“The people you will see 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 will also be onsite, such as the local BackPack ministry, Empower Me, and the Faith Store, to draw awareness to their services for the local community.
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.
“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.”
More information is available at the Fairview Missions Market Facebook page or by calling 615-444-0111.