Big or small, pumpkins — carved or not — are a staple of any Halloween celebration.


Good Faith Carr United Methodist Church is selling pumpkins for the eighth consecutive year to benefit many social service organizations and to serve Pine Bluff. The church bought about 1,300 pumpkins from a Native American tribe who live on a reservation near the Four Corners of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The pumpkins arrive by truck.


The pumpkins transform the 3703 Ryburn Road church property in advance of Halloween, and church members volunteer their time to sell them. Church members are also welcoming children on hayrides and mazes.


Besides the pumpkins, the church members are also selling crafts to benefit Neighbor to Neighbor, the Salvation Army, CASA women’s shelter, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their church’s ministry. They will donate leftover pumpkins to the Pine Bluff Police Department.


Jeannette Cockrell volunteered along with John Browning and Joy Cross and many other church members. They are also selling snacks, mango punch and other treats.


“There are so many needy children who we need to help,” Cockrell said. “We stay and smile for as long as they are here. We don’t rush them. I think everyone from our church has enjoyed it. This has really been a good year.”


They have enjoyed seeing children smile when they find their desired pumpkin. The church members look forward to children and senior citizens visiting the pumpkin patch. They will keep the pumpkin patch open on Tuesday and then close it for the season. Cockrell enjoys visiting with senior citizens who enjoy meeting new people and being in the sunshine.


David Robertson picked pumpkins Monday for his 2-year-old daughter Ashlynn. He looked forward to her reaction to receiving her pumpkin. The Rev. Robert Lyons is pastor of Good Faith Carr United Methodist Church.