FOREST LAKE, Pa.—Members of Forest Lake Baptist Church have mothballed their traditional Sunday School picnic, replacing it with a new event: “Drive your tractor to church Sunday.”
After the congregation prepared for two months, the church was assaulted by a slow-moving army of 35 farm tractors. In addition, a few wannabes showed up on riding lawn mowers, followed by kids pedaling various tractor toys. Church members made sure everyone was welcome, even the guy driving a golf cart.
Pastor Ken Young knew his audience—he used PowerPoint slides of tractors in various states of repair to illustrate his message, “This Old Tractor.” Showing how a 1932 Farmall F30 was returned to former glory from a state of near disintegration, Ken said, “God specializes in restoration. He might use some sandpaper and a big ole hammer to do it. But the end result is, there is hope.”
After the church service, everyone was invited to attend a cookout and tractor parade on the nearby ball field. Organizers held several contests, including pie baking, tractor driving, and Best Tractor categories. For “Guess the Tractor Parts,” organizers promoted a spirit of fairness by classifying contestants as either Tractor Folk or City Folk (the ones wearing white tennis shoes). Most who took the quiz got six or seven correct answers out of 14.
Pastor Ken Young reported hearing one youngster say, “This is great! We should make this a national holiday!”
No promises there, but it looks like the event will return next year, Pastor Young says.
Game and contest winners
Tractor parts: Tractor Folks – Glen Mead and Mark Mead, who tied for first place, with all 14 parts guessed correctly; City Folk: Bill Nash, who correctly guessed 12 of 14 parts correctly
Tractor games: Back up a two axle wagon – Justin Smith – 1.03 minutes; How well can you drive a tractor “blindfolded” – Josh Lodge/Clayton Morrow – 48.89 seconds; Yes I can back up a tractor on a dot: Lawn Mower – Ed Lucas – Bull’s-eye 75 – center; Tractor – Clayton Morrow – Bull’s-eye 75; Belt driven between two tractors – Four men tied – Mark Mead, Glen Mead, Leonard Everitt, and Tod Everitt
Best Tractors: Shiniest Tractor – 1456 International – Reuben Everitt; Most Unique Tractor – Farmall 200 – Everitt Lowry; Oldest Tractor – 1936 John Deere Unstyled A – Bower Aukema; Traveled the farthest with a lawn mower – 1972 Club Cadet – Bill Nash, 6.3 miles; Traveled the farthest with a tractor – 2010 Kubota – Justin Smith, 38 miles; Ugliest tractor – Ford – Steve Hinds
Pie Contest: Matt Fearnley – Peanut butter pie; Sandy Griffis – Pumpkin cheesecake pie; Bonnie Lowry – cherry cheesecake pie. 15 pies were in the contest.
- Read more about the event in the Susquehanna County Independent.