George & Pink’s Homecoming Celebration and House Blessing

George and Pink’s Vegetable Market is an icon on Edisto. Established in 1972 by Rosa “Pink” Brown and her stepfather, George, the market has provided fresh vegetables to Edisto residents and vacationers seven days a week, year-in, year-out for 50 years. George moved from Bennett’s Point to Edisto in the 1950’s and over the ensuing decades helped many young people with jobs and was a leader in his church and community.

George and Pink’s 100-year-old family home was destroyed by fire on August 21, 2019, and for the last three years, they have been living with other members of their family. At 93, George Days missed his chickens on the farm and sitting on the porch watching the activity at the market next door.

With the desire to help this deserving family who has helped many people on Edisto, the Rev. Michael Lumpkin spearheaded the “Fund-Raisin’ for a House-Raisin’” project to build George and Pink a new home. Rev. Lumpkin assembled the George and Pink House Construction Team, composed of seven island residents. The team’s story is filled with many blessings from the Lord, including the Biblically important number “seven.” The seven-member team launched its fund-raising effort on January 27, 2021, with significant prayers, via GoFundMe p lu s p e r s on a l appeals to members of the Edisto community, vacationers and the Edisto churches. In seven short weeks, they raised the targeted goal of $190,000. House plans were drawn, permits obtained, and on August 27, 2021, the team held a groundbreaking ceremony, attended by about 50 people, including Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, whose family has a long connection with George and his now deceased wife Evalina, Pink’s mother.

The blessings flowed in, but also the challenges. After breaking ground, the team experienced a several-month delay while seeking a zoning variance with Charleston County to reduce the required 50- foot setback from the road, so the house could be situated closer to the location of the original family home. The zoning variance approval was granted November 1, 2021, and construction began soon after.

There truly could not have been a more challenging environment in which to build a home. Despite construction prices that have remained high and supply chain issues that delayed deliveries, the project kept steadily moving forward, thanks to the vision and leadership of the Team, all of whom are members or friends of Trinity Church, Edisto. Mike Lumpkin, Fisher Walter (the project’s General Contractor), Van Leer Rowe, Kay Henry, Jerrel Jernigan, and Jim and Beth Berry comprise the team. The generosity of the 590 people, Edisto residents, vacationers and friends helped the team raise $214,885 ($213,632 net of GoFundMe fees) for the project. The amount raised is well over the original goal of $190,000, but every dollar has been necessary in today’s high-priced construction market. Current estimates for the cost of the home at completion are close to $214,000. If it is determined there are any remaining funds, they will be given to the Edisto Island Home Mission Team, a Christian ministry of home repairing for Edisto residents in need.

“We would especially like to recognize businesses and individuals who have donated supplies, services and labor to this community effort,” said Lumpkin. “Builder’s First Source provided employee pricing on the lumber package; Clay Branham provided roofing installation; Rob Zapata’s Electric, Inc. provided all electrical materials; Rick’s Lighting donated light fixtures and fans; Noni Langford donated the house plan development; Frank Langford provided engineering plans; Lee Frank donated surveying and elevation certificate; Beers Millwork supplied door hardware; Mayor John Tecklenburg and his son John Henry of JH Landscaping, designed and installed landscaping. Thanks also go to Knight’s Septic, Apex Exterminating, CT Lowndes, Ellie’s Attic, Island Pressure Washing, and many others, especially Fisher Walter, who has served as General Contractor on a pro bono basis and Trinity Church on Edisto for serving as our 501c3 sponsor. In all, we received around $60,000 of in-kind services that were donated.”

Additionally, many people donated furnishings for the home: four bedrooms furnished with beds, mattresses, linens and pillows; a dining room table and chairs; living room furniture; TVs, pots and pans, cleaning supplies, spices and condiments. The generosity and abundance truly helped make the house a home for Pink and the family when they moved in. The Homecoming Celebration and House Blessing was a true celebration of what the Lord can do through his people.

The “Fund-Raisin’ for a House-Raisin’” project to build George and Pink a new home came to a joyous completion on September 9, with a Homecoming Celebration and House Blessing for the new home attended by many members of the Edisto community. Very sadly, one week before their scheduled move-in on September 2, George moved to his ETERNAL home quietly and peacefully – fully aware of the new home being complete. In fact, he sat on the porch in a porch rocker for about an hour two days before his death.

“We want to express our gratitude to all those who have had a hand in making this dream a reality for George, Pink, Celestine, Bobby and their entire family. The G&P House Construction Team and the Brown/Days family have been overwhelmed by the many and significant acts of generosity shown toward them. It has been a response of gladness and thanksgiving for all that George, Pink and their family have meant to the Edisto Island community for generations,” said Lumpkin.

Pink’s brother Bobby summed up the family’s feelings. “We are so grateful for the community. To God goes the glory. We are filled with emotion and thanksgiving because out of tragedy we have traveled into triumph! This is what God has done for us,” he concluded.

By Beth Berry, Trinity Church, Edisto