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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Lord's Acre Plan

by Marc Sanders, 2006

The Lord's Acre Plan, calling for farmers to devote some portion of their crops or livestock to God, was set forth by the Religious Affairs Division of the Farmer's Federation in 1930. James McClure, who headed the Farmer's Federation, developed the plan for the federation, which was based in the mountain counties of North Carolina. The Lord's Acre Plan had a twofold purpose. First, profits of these crops were to be given to the church, either in place of or as a supplement to a personal tithe. This plan aided farmers by allowing them to pay their tithe during the Great Depression, a time when currency was scarce, and provided struggling churches with the necessary funds to meet their budgets and stay in operation in addition to making improvements to church structures. The Farmer's Federation also saw this as an opportunity for farmers to put to better use the new farming techniques that had been provided by the federation.

The Lord's Acre Plan proved to be a great success, quickly spreading across North Carolina and throughout the United States. Countries all over the world had adopted the Lord's Acre Plan by 1950, and its use continued for several years thereafter, until economic conditions made it obsolete.


John Curtis Ager, We Plow God's Fields: The Life of James G. K. McClure (1991).