Members of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church serve up lots more than barbecue, camp stew, and all the fixings during their annual community-wide fundraiser. They also provide hope, healing and love to children in need.
Proceeds from the annual Fall BBQ, which the church in Enterprise, Alabama has hosted since 1947, have benefited the United Methodist Children’s Home for 71 of the past 72 years. “The first time they had it, the money went toward their education building,” said Dan Baughman, pastor of the church, which averages about 75 members each week. “Every year since, it’s gone to the Children’s Home.”
The BBQ, which raises about $10,000 a year for the ministry, is a wonderful way for the church members to work together for the common goal of sharing God’s love with the children and youth in UMCH’s care. “This church has a real heart for children, especially children in distressing situations,” Baughman said. “It’s part of our DNA, and this is one more way we can make a difference.”
Church members start preparing on Friday afternoon before the Saturday event, and the youth group has a lock-in that night so they can lend a hand. The children help decorate bags and about 45-50 adults help with cooking and serving. That’s a pretty tall order, considering they sell about 1,000 plates piled high with barbecue, hash, camp stew, rice, coleslaw and white bread.
Dr. Blake Horne, President and CEO of UMCH, has attended the event for the past several years to share about the Children’s Home and its important work.
“Everyone knows why we are doing this, and I think that’s what has helped this take such seed in this community,” Baughman said. “It’s really everybody working together, and it looks like
a picture of the kingdom of God. It’s all ages, all walks of life working together for this one thing. It’s awesome.”