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Quilt Ministry Covers Hurting People with Comfort and Prayer

 In All Church of God, Change the Story, CHOG, Southeast

By Julie Campbell

A church in southeastern Kentucky has given new meaning to the phrase “covering you in prayer.” Since 2007 the quilt ministry at Neon First Church of God, headed up by Sherry Haynes, has created over 1,200 quilts for people in need of comfort. But before the quilts are given to their new owners, the congregation prays over each one.

“When a quilt is completed, Sherry will place it at the front of the church,” said Mark Wagoner, who has pastored the church for thirty-four years. “And then I’ll announce in the service that people may come up and tie a knot on the quilt and pray over it.”

Quilting: an art and ministry at Neon First Church.

While the quilts are mainly given to cancer patients, Sherry said the ministry has expanded to include those with heart issues, mental health problems, grief, and more. “It has become a prayer-focused ministry for people in need,” said Pastor Mark.

The quilts have traveled to homes all over the United States, and now one quilt will have a new home in the country of Brazil with recently ordained missionaries Jonathan and Beth Todd. “Sherry came to me and asked to have a prayer quilt dedication at the ordination service,” explained Pastor Mark, adding that the church presented the Todd’s with quilt number 1,207 during the service in October.

But no matter where the quilts end up geographically, these “coverings of prayer” have made a big impact on both the people who make them and the people who receive them. “It’s almost indescribable how much this ministry has meant to our church and others,” said Pastor Mark.

Sherry keeps in touch with many of the recipients of the quilts and has developed deep friendships with several of them. “We’ve gotten so many people who have accepted the Lord because of this ministry,” said Sherry.

Billie June Richardson, a cancer survivor who received a quilt when she was ill.

In 2019, the 1,000th quilt was hung in the church’s new fellowship hall. “It reminds us of who we are as a church,” explained Pastor Mark.

In all, the quilt ministry has made 1,224 full-size quilts and 216 “prayer squares,” which are smaller 9-inch by 14-inch lap quilts. Each one is lovingly prayed over by the congregation at Neon First Church of God. The ministry shows what God can do with each person’s unique gifts and talents.

“God blessed Sherry and others with this ministry,” said Pastor Mark. “They found a place where they can use their gifts. It’s a blessing as a pastor to see people find their place of ministry.”

Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Christian Resources (formerly Warner Press) and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband, Russ, on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled white boxer.

Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) collage: Three generations preparing and praying over quilts (left); racetrack quilt given to a boy who was experiencing nightmares; after receiving the quilt, his nightmares ceased.

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