KEMPNER — The Kempner First United Methodist Church holds its annual fall bazaar every year to raise money to continue outreach ministries. But organizers say the bazaar is a ministry in itself.

The bazaar, held Saturday, was started back in the 1990s by Lillian Noguess, the pastor’s wife at the time.

Today, it not only raises more than $1,000, but it involves people in the community who never step into the sanctuary.

“People who don’t have a church or don’t go to our church will donate items. We come home and find stuff left on our porches with notes that say they are donating the items to our bazaar,” said Irene Webster, who serves on the bazaar’s planning committee. “We are blessed with a lot of people who have a whole lot of talent.”

Hand-made quilts, afghans, dolls, wreaths, crafts, wood projects and homemade baked goods lined the walls all the way around fellowship hall. Billy Piper’s homemade chili was a big draw as friends and neighbors stopped by asking if it was being served again this year.

More than 1,000 volunteer hours go into the event each year from making the quilts to setting up for the event, which takes two days.

Money from the chili lunch and baked goods sale will go to the young adult ministry, which was started in September. Money from the sale of bazaar items is earmarked for building maintenance.

Ann Mitchell of Kempner has helped with the event for more than 20 years.

“We enjoy doing it very much mainly because we get to visit with people. We’re a small church, but we get a lot done.”

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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