Saluda Presbyterian Pumpkin Patch helps fund Guatemalan Mission

Published 1:09 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

If you’re out and about in Saluda and looking for a pumpkin for carving or piemaking, stop by Saluda Presbyterian Church on 54 Carolina St., and your purchase will also help a mission in Guatemala, the Iglesia El Buen Samaritana Mission. 


The Iglesia El Buen Samaritana Mission, whose name translates to the Church of the Good Samaritan, is aptly titled considering the samaritan-style charity shown by Saluda Presbyterian, led by pastor Lin Johnson. The money goes to help pay for children’s education, as free public elementary schooling is not provided in Guatemala. This is the first year the church has done the pumpkin patch, which was the idea of parishioners Tom and Jeannie Solomon, who have made several mission trips to the area. 

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Their calling card, “the little church with the big heart,” applies not just to the pumpkin patch but also to the numerous other efforts Saluda Presbyterian is making to help the town of Saluda. Pastor Johnson, who came to the church during the pandemic, clearly loves her 126-year-old church, her congregation, and the town of Saluda. 


“This all falls under the purpose part of our church and the goals of the Presbyterian Church of the USA, which is committed to faith through prayer, bible study, church attendance, and activities,” Pastor Johnson says.  “We work for justice and peace and to build an inclusive, caring congregation.” 


She added, “We want these children to be educated so they can have a better life and fight for justice because when you are educated, you can better speak out and speak for each other.”


Parishioner Jane Mann, an active volunteer in the community, added how supportive the town has been. “Saluda has a lot of retired people that have a lot of energy and are glad to lend a hand.” 


The Pumpkin Patch will run through the end of October. Pumpkins are $10; donations for the Iglesia El Bun Samartiana are also accepted.