Disciples’ Shop closing after three decades of service

By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel

The Disciples’ Shop, a source of hope and help for more than 30 years, is closing its doors. All furniture, clothing, books, and miscellaneous items will be given away between the hours of 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Feb. 23, 24 and 25 at the shop.

Located in Fulton, the shop was once the Fulton elevator. In 1983 Charlotte Martin, then secretary of the Marengo United Methodist Church, had a vision of opening a “Thrift Shop” for the purpose of helping people obtain clothing or goods at a price they could afford.

Approving her vision was the Council of the United Methodist Ministries of Southern Morrow County, a group of six churches. Also approving it at that time were the UM Board of Global Ministries, the East Ohio Conference and the Mount Vernon District of the UMC. Other persons and organizations also came on board with the plan.

The old grain elevator in Fulton was rented in 1984 and in 1987, it was purchased. Martin served as the Disciple Shop director for over 20 years. Now deceased, she is credited for her hard work and dedication to the project which served hundreds of people on a daily basis.

Director for the past 20 years has been Karen Leavitt, who recently resigned the post. At one time, volunteers were donating between 500 and 600 hours a month to the shop. For tax purposes they were not allowed to charge but could request donations for clothing, furniture and sundry items. There was never any charge for food, Bibles or religious items. Free coffee was served to shoppers.

Howard Whiston, a member of the board of directors, said the closing “is a sad thing. For so many years it helped many people here in Morrow County,” further noting that it came into being because of the needs of those people.

They are being helped today through food pantries, church organizations and other entities throughout the county. The Disciple Shop served its purpose in a way that will not be forgotten.

The Shop is currently under the ownership and supervision of the Southern Morrow County Parish, a group of six churches.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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