For organizer Shannon Sutphin, Saturday’s community Thanksgiving dinner at Flat Rock Baptist Church was less about turkey and dressing and more about serving the community.
Sutphin was joined by dozens of volunteers in preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal that he hoped would be enjoyed by the community.
He said that while Saturday’s dinner was the first Thanksgiving meal prepared by the church, the concepts of feeding the hungry and reaching out to the community are nothing new.
“This is really a church outreach project,” he said as he looked over table after table of people enjoying the fruits of his labor. “We’ve been having outreach meals for as long as I can remember, but this is the first time we’ve tried a Thanksgiving dinner.”
The seeds of Saturday’s event were planted months ago, Sutphin said.
“We started talking about it a few months back after we thought about a group here at the church that got together and went out into the community helping people,” he said. “This is something we decided to do both for Thanksgiving and the community.”
Sutphin cooked eight 20- to 23-pound birds, but decided to offer a little variety.
“They’re fixed about four different ways,” he said. “We’ve smoked some, fried some and cooked some in the oven in the traditional way. It’s kind of a mixture.”
And volunteers at the church carried more than three dozen meals to Twelve Oaks Nursing Home and to shut-in members of the church.
Saturday’s dinner was open to anyone who wanted to attend, and the meal was offered free of charge.
“We advertised it in both the media and on our sign out front,” Sutphin said. “And thankfully people are starting to get used to seeing the meals we try to do every month or so.”
And more is to come, he added.
“People can just keep watching our sign,” he said. “We’re already talking about doing a breakfast after the first of the year.
“We’re here to try to help feed people while spreading the Word at the same time.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.