NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – Yorktown United Methodist Church has made a $25,000 gift to the “Granny June Kitchen” for the third new lodge at Epworth Forest Conference Center in memory of June Margaret Fuller (June 2, 1929-July 16, 2012). This is the first major gift received toward the third new lodge at Epworth Forest and memorializes three generations of family ministry on the holy grounds, beginning with her daughter, Gayle Gernand.
The legacy of June Fuller (Granny June) starts by taking her daughter, Gayle Gernand, to Camp Adventure back in 1965. Both Gayle and John professed faith in Christ at Camp Adventure and continued on in high school to attend Institute at Epworth Forest. June attended Epworth Forest with her kids as a volunteer cook in the kitchen. Yorktown UMC always stayed in Strawbridge Lodge, and June quickly became famous among the youth for her chicken and noodles.
June’s passion was for students to know that she loved them and God loved them. She was often found attending evening prayer with the students or singing “Pharaoh Pharaoh!” alongside them in worship. June continued to volunteer as a cook for students from Yorktown UMC through 1995, including while her three grandchildren attended Institute. One of her grandchildren, Ryan Gernand, moved on to become a leader at Epworth Forest as the Program Manager.
He said, “I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if it weren’t for Granny June. Her faith in Christ was the foundation of our family, and it all leads back to Epworth.”
Ryan Gernand and his wife plan to send their two children to camp in the next several years, continuing the third generation of ministry for the Fuller family.
When asked why their family and Yorktown UMC decided to memorialize Granny June at Epworth Forest, daughter Gayle Gernand explained, “What makes Epworth Forest so different is that it can potentially effect eternity. It has so much more potential for life-changing return than any other kind of camp could ever give. It will provide foundational skills for faith, and then that’s where the local church will come in to nurture that faith in Christ and help it grow.”
Granny June often stated, “It’s important to love.”
Her remarkable legacy will be remembered for generations to come at Epworth Forest, as Yorktown UMC, her family, and hundreds of others join together to do everything it takes to reach the future generations for Jesus Christ. Thank you.
To learn more about the Waterfront Lodge Project at Epworth Forest Conference Center, please visit www.impact2818.com or call 317-564-2587.
Alexis Kuhne serves as the Development Manager for Impact 2818.
“I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if it weren’t for Granny June.”
– Ryan Gernand
Granny June Fuller with grandchildren Erik Gernand, Ryan Gernand and Tracey Gernand at a family gathering in October 2010.