Apple Harvest Festival – Mission Opportunity

Each Fall, hundreds of volunteers join together to bring the magical potion we call Burlington Apple Butter into being.  This has been happening for nearly 50 years.  The main ingredient in our apple butter is not apples as you may think, but people.  It takes many people to make this festival and apple butter making happen.

Burlington Apple Butter
Made with Love, Hope & Prayer

2022 is a new beginning. People have been asking for apple butter since we ran out of our 2019 supply!

All proceeds from the apple butter making are used to supplement the needs of the people served by Burlington United Methodist Family Services.  We usually raise several thousand dollars for the children and families. Our District is active in leadership and volunteering.

The pandemic of 2020 as well as the fire that destroyed the building on campus that was used to store many of our supplies and serve as our ‘home base’ kept us from making butter in 2020 and 2021.  In the meantime, many of our faithful daily volunteers have also died.



Volunteers Needed

Don’t worry, we can teach you any job


Sometimes people are afraid to volunteer because they do not know what to expect. Some think that they have nothing to contribute. Others are not able to do the ‘heavy lifting’ jobs.  Some even think that no one will talk to them, or that they can’t volunteer because they are not a United Methodist.

None of those things are true; there is a job for everyone and a place for everyone in the effort. There are sitting jobs, standing jobs, moving jobs, and quick practical jobs. We are doing Christ’s work together!

HOW:  Just Show Up! No Pre-Registration Necessary. 

We will teach you any job that you want to learn! We have long-time volunteers who supervise the entire process and can help lead you to the right job for you! You may do more than one job in a day! You may also find that you really like one part of the process and want to volunteer in that area.  We can use you for a whole day or as many hours as you are able or can spare over several days.  You may find that once you have volunteered, you want to come back and bring others.  We can offer community service time for students. We also have breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we are still working thanks to volunteers giving their time.  We follow safety and health guidelines and will suggest masks for workers in order to protect all the vulnerable around us.

To volunteer, come to the campus and follow the road until you see lots of activity, apples, and firewood!  There is a registration table near the door.

BUMFS Campus

We ask that volunteers sign-in at the registration table and you will be given a choice of job assignment and instructions on how to do that assignment.


 We begin apple butter making on September 22, 2022. The first two days are Clean Up & Campus prep for festival then we begin peeling and snitting.  No butter is cooked until Monday, September 26.  On those days we usually start by 9 am and work as long as we choose. We need as many peeled as possible for Monday’s butter. 


Each day, Monday, September 26 through Saturday, October 1, we begin with fire starters at 4:30 – 5 am.

There are many things that affect how long it takes to cook the apple butter.  Some days, the butter may come off the fire by 2 pm; other times, it may be as late as 7 pm.  That’s why our end times are not listed! We are done when the last apple butter is canned and everything is cleaned up ready to begin the next morning.  There are volunteers who are here that entire time and others who come for certain times of the day.  We accept your help whenever you can give it!

Volunteer Opportunities

FireKeepers – Help build fires and maintain fires during the day.  We try to begin as early as 4:30-5 am and fires are kept until last apple butter is cooked.  We especially need this help very early in the morning.
Stirrers  – Stir apple butter in copper kettles with wooden stirrer. Stirring happens from time first apples go into pots until the last pot comes off.  We especially need this help in the mornings before other volunteers begin to arrive.  This requires multiple people all day. We do not have any automatic stirring machines this year.
Apple Cleaners – The apples must be washed before placing in the kettles. This is an early morning job (4:30-5 am) and is done every day that kettles are cooked.
Jar Workers – Prep, Wash, move, shelve jars. Morning Jobs.

Peelers – We use a peeling machine and this requires several volunteers from early morning until canning begins.

Snitters – This is the job that most people are familiar with.  The apples are checked to make sure all the cores, bruises, excess peel are removed and quartered.  This requires use of a knife and sitting.  We provide sharp knives but you might want to bring a cushion to sit on and a dish pan to work with. Some like to bring their own apron, although we provide plastic aprons and gloves.

This is also the area where we need the most volunteers and people who are done other jobs usually help snit. This job is easy to do for a short period of time if you have limited amounts of time.

Carriers – The apples are carried in 5-gallon buckets from apple crates to peeling machine then to snitter area.  This job also includes removing scraps from snitter area in buckets. Carriers also help carry butter to canning area from kettles.

Canners – There are several steps to canning and at least 8 people are needed for each canning cycle and we usually run 2 canning cycles each day.  Jobs include feeder to feed jars, filler, cleaner, labeler, shelver. This is an afternoon to evening job.

Clean up – Each stage of the operation requires clean up.


This is a basic explanation of some of the jobs that we need many people to complete.  The more people we have, the more apple butter that we can make.

Many have found that apple butter making becomes a social event where you leave with friends even if you knew no one when you started.  You can also bring a group of friends.  It takes lots of love, hope, and prayer to make our butter.


If you are unable to volunteer yet would like to help, please Donate directly to  Choose Apple Harvest Festival  in the designation drop-down menu.

Our District encourages DISTRICT churches

to volunteer – This is a TENTATIVE volunteer schedule.

Anyone Can Come at Any time to Do Anything!

Your Participation is Greatly Appreciated!


09/22/22Thursday9 AMAll District Churches [Clean-up Crews Needed]
09/23/22Friday9 AMAll District Churches [Clean-up Crews Needed]
09/24/22Saturday9 AMAll District Churches [Peeling Begins]
09/26/22Monday5 AM – 12 Noon  Augusta, Baker, Bethel Hill; Cacapon, Capon Bridge, Duffey Memorial-Bass, Ebenezer-Springfield, First (Romney), Hampshire, Mathias, Mill Creek Valley, Open Door Ministries, Wardensville
09/26/22Monday12 Noon – 6 PMAurora, Blackwater, Bruceton Mill Circuit, Evansville, Faith (Cranesville), First (Parsons), Hamrick, Howesville I, Howesville II, Kane’s Creek-Mt. Vernon, Masontown-Bethlehem, St. George, St. John’s (Parsons),                          St. Paul’s (Parsons), Trinity (Terra Alta)
09/27/22Tuesday5 AM – 12 Noon  Allegheny, Grove Street (Petersburg), Main Street-St. Paul, Mountaintop Ministries, North Branch, Pendleton-Grant, Riverton, South Branch, South Fork
09/27/22Tuesday12 Noon – 6 PMBayard-Mt. Storm, Bethel-Mt. Lake Park, Bloomington, Elk Garden, Friendsville, Garrett Highlands, Grantsville, Hoyes-McHenry, Newburg, North Preston, Northeast Garrett, Paradise, Reedsville, St. Paul’s (Oakland), Sturgiss-Mt. Zion, Swanton-Kitzmiller, Tunnelton
09/28/22Wednesday5 AM – 12 Noon    Antioch, Burlington, Forest Glen-St. Paul’s, Fort Ashby, Grace (Keyser), Keyser-Faith, Rees Chapel, Trinity (Keyser), Trinity-Waldon (Piedmont), Wesley Chapel (Short Gap)
09/28/22Wednesday12 Noon – 6 PMAlbright, Baker, Cacapon, Duffey Memorial-Bass, Mathias,                             Open Door Ministries, First-Otterbein (Preston), Rowlesburg, South Preston, Wardensville, Wesley (Kingwood)
09/29/22Thursday5 AM – 12 NoonGrove Street (Petersburg), Main Street-St. Paul, North Branch, Pendleton-Grant, South Branch
09/29/22Thursday12 Noon – 6 PMBayard-Mt. Storm, Bethel-Mt. Lake Park, Bloomington, Elk Garden, Friendsville, Garrett Highlands, Grantsville, Hoyes-McHenry, Northeast Garrett, Paradise, St. Paul’s (Oakland), Swanton-Kitzmiller
09/30/22Friday5 AM – 12 NoonAntioch, Augusta, Bethel Hill; Burlington, Capon Bridge, Ebenezer-Springfield, First (Romney), Forest Glen-St. Paul’s, Fort Ashby, Grace (Keyser), Hampshire, Keyser-Faith, Mill Creek Valley, Rees Chapel, Trinity (Keyser), Trinity-Waldon (Piedmont), Wesley Chapel (Short Gap)                   
09/30/22Friday12 Noon – 6 PM  Allegheny, Blackwater, First (Parsons), Hamrick,               Mountaintop Ministries, Riverton, South Fork, St. George,                         St. John’s (Parsons), St. Paul’s (Parsons)
10/01/22Saturday5 AM – 6 PM        No peeling – apple butter making & canning only

      Anyone Can Come at any time to Do Anything! Your Participation is Greatly Appreciated!        

Would you like to become a member of the auxiliary?

Contact Pastor Cheryl George (Membership Secretary) at 304.851.7672 or Cindi Clark (Auxiliary President) at 304.289.3811