Church pancake day celebrates 57th anniversary

Feb 25, 2014
Linwood McElroy, Hardy TIppett and Dan Rankin cook pancakes.

The 57th Annual Pancake Day at First United Methodist church in Waynesville is set for Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Hot pancakes — buttermilk and buckwheat — bacon, sausage and freshly brewed coffee will be served from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Christian Growth Center.  Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

When the educational wing of the church was planned in 1955-56, a pledge campaign was launched in order to raise funds to pay for its construction.  During this pledge campaign the Woman’s Society of First Methodist wanted to do their part.  A pledge to help pay for the new building was made.

Mrs. Rufus Siler, affectionately called Miss Anna, by all who knew her, had visited her daughter in Texas in 1956.  During her visit, a new shopping center opened in the city and as part of promoting the new center pancakes were being served all day, sponsored by “Aunt Jemima.”

Miss Anna was intrigued by the idea and began asking questions.  When she returned home and presented the concept to the Woman’s Society, they embraced the idea and the first annual Pancake Day was held in the spring of 1957, with Mrs. Anna Siler as general chairman and chief organizer.

From the beginning it was decided that the women would involve some men of the church by having them cook and serve the pancakes, while the women mixed the batter, cooked bacon and sausage, made coffee and other kitchen tasks.  This tradition continues today.

Along with Anna Siler as general chairman, her sister, Harriett Massie (Mrs. Hugh) was given the responsibility of recruiting ladies to work and assigning them to specific tasks.

In the early ‘60’s Mary Ann Way, Harriet’s daughter and her husband Charlie Way took over the responsibilities for this annual event.  They continued as general chairpersons until 2002 when the responsibilities were given to a committee who still coordinates this event.

After Mary Ann and Charlie “passed the reigns” to the new committee a scholarship fund was established to honor their hard work, dedication and “being the hands and feet of Christ.”

Part of the proceeds from Pancake Day has been given to endow a permanent scholarship for students in our church who need financial help to attend a community college or University.  Unfortunately, last fall Charlie past away after a period of declining health.  This year we are paying tribute to Charlie and contributing part of the proceeds to permanently endow this scholarship.  In May, Mary Ann and her children will award this scholarship to a deserving student who embodies the characteristics they both exemplify.

For more information contact First United Methodist Church at 456-9475 or contact Steve or Debbie Brown at 452-2628.

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