Herald/TJ MAXWELL - Robert Whitney, left, and Shelley Wells, right, work with other members of the First United Methodist Church to prepare fried apple pies Wednesday at the church in Killeen. Making the pies is an annual tradition at the church.

By Rose L. Thayer

Killeen Daily Herald

The nearly 40-year tradition of pie frying kicked off at the First United Methodist Church Wednesday as part of an annual fundraiser.

Volunteers filled the church's kitchen, making and rolling dough, adding filling and frying pies, as they will for the next three weeks, making between 3,000 and 4,000 pies. Money earned from the pies goes to support the church, the youth group and mission trips.

Although the volunteers are hard at work, they said the chance to fellowship with one another makes it worthwhile.

"We have three different services, so we have good fellowship because you see everybody that you wouldn't normally see," said Sandy Kearney, who heads up the pie-frying efforts.

She said she purchased 50 pounds of dried apples and 155 pounds of dried apricots to make the filling for the pies, using the same secret recipe the church has used from the very beginning.

Ellen Truesdale joined the team as a fryer in 2002, after retiring from teaching.

"I enjoy being able to volunteer for the church and raise money for the missions and local projects," she said. She even participated in 2006 while undergoing chemotherapy.

"We have fun," Truesdale said.

The fried pies will be for sale until the church's soup and sandwich fundraiser on Sept. 29 and 30. There also will be a country store and bake sale on those days. Pies are $1.75 for one or $20 for a dozen. To place an order, call Kearney at (254) 289-9363.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

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