Braving the elements for BBQ

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Monday night while most people were hiding from the rainy weather, members of the Eastern Star Baptist Church were having a barbecue.

But, it wasn’t the kind of barbecue with music and games; they were braving the thunder and lightning for a good cause – the church choir.

“We do this once a year and we’ve been doing it for the past five years,” church member and event cook Major Walker said. “Last year the money went to the youth choir and this year it will benefit the gospel choir. They will probably use it to buy new robes.”

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For Walker, Louise Wilson, Sandy Wilson, Bobby Wilson, Beatrice McGhee, Betty Evans, Sandy Evans and Jesse and Thelma Ware, the day began at 5 a.m.

“We were cooking for about 20 hours,” Walker said, “We had 12 cases of ribs, eight cases of Boston Butts, two cases of chicken-”

“Did you say fried fish?” Thelma asked.

“Oh and we fried fish too,” Walked added.

And even after preparing such a large amount of food, the members were forced to buy more meat as more customers showed up.

“We sold tickets this year so we could have an estimate of how much to get,” Walker said, “but there were so many people walking up to buy some that we ended up having to get extra.”

And even though, Walker said it would be nice to have the sale more than once a year because so many people look forward to it, one 20-hour barbecue a year is enough for the crew.

“It’s just so much work,” he sighed.

But the labor was well worth it because this year’s sale raised more than $3,000 to benefit the local church.

When asked why they didn’t wait until the storm was over to begin cooking, the group said they committed to do things the way they originally intended.

“It was pre-planned to cook everything yesterday,” Jesse Ware said, “and we had to stick with the program.”

“We just kept moving,” Thelma added, “And the Lord was on our side as always.”