For The Independent
Women of New Testament Freewill Baptist Church are helping purchase a new building one bowling pin at a time.
The church, which had been meeting in the Westmoreland Women’s Club, bought Ceredo Lanes Bowling Alley on B Street in September. The building burned two years ago and the church, which had many of its parties at the alley, liked it for a site.
“It’s a great location — it’s flat and it’s good for the elderly — and we heard the owner was thinking about selling it and the Lord put it on our minds,” said Vivian Fraley, whose house is the location where several church women, including pastor Eddie Hays’ wife, Gleema Hay, and June Stambaugh and Kim Cumm get together and make crafts to sell to help raise money to build their church.
Perhaps the most unusual craft is figures made of bowling pins recovered from the burnt-out bowling alley that will eventually be the church’s home.
When going through the building, members found soot-covered bowling pins. Angela Fraley suggested making use of the pins by making items for sale. They first made snowmen and snowwomen. Also early in the project, they made characters from “Wizard of Oz,” but the figures sold so quickly few get to see them.
“When you look at a pin, it just comes to you what to do with it,” Angela Fraley said as she painted a pin green with a cloud and thunderbolt, commemorating the old C-K High School. She said pins bearing school emblems are very popular; they have made pins for local high schools as well as University of Kentucky and Marshall University.
Pins also have been made into the form of gingerbread people, Santa and Mrs. Claus, coal miners, owls, Raggedy Ann and Andy and animals.
Vivian Fraley said because the pins are covered in soot, they bleach each one and cover it in two base coats before the creative process begins. To apply decorative paint it takes between 20 minutes and three hours, depending on the design. Some designs require a finishing coat, too.
The church recovered about 250 pins and already have painted most of them. Once painted, they go for $20 each of $30 for two.
Not everyone in the church is artsy or craftsy, Da-Wann Schrider of Huntington said as she painted a nativity scene on a pin, but everyone makes a contribution.
“Some people aren’t good painters but some of them have really good ideas,” she said. “Some of them find stuff and they bring it to us and say, ‘Is this something you can use?’”
In addition to bringing the church together for a fundraiser, painting the bowling pins has brought together some of the women who have done the painting.
“It’s been a blessing to sit here and work and eat and fellowship,” Schrider said.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.