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Don't forget to thank refreshment committee
In the pulpit
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Audrey Ridner serves as the Trinity Baptist Church's food coordinator. - photo by Photo by Edith Anderson
By Edith Anderson
Special to the Courier

Church members love to fellowship, especially when it comes to sharing a delicious meal. God has placed special members in churches to prepare and ensure church dinners are just as appetizing and palatable as the spiritual food members received from the ministers.
Often before blessing the food, you will hear the minister say, “chickens have died so that we might enjoy a good meal.” The cooks who have labored in the kitchen — often missing the service — take pleasure in hearing the comments about the food they have so lovingly prepared.
Liberty County is noted for having some of the best cooks. They serve on church refreshment committees, and look forward to preparing the meals as much as members and visitors look forward to eating.
Anniversaries, homecomings, camp meetings, pastor appreciations, prayer breakfasts and conferences are just a few of the occasions that call for a dinner.
Some of these meals are eaten in the fellowship/social halls and some are enjoyed outside under tents on the grounds. The outside meals bring back memories of days gone by when people would spend the day at church.
Pearl Jiggets and her sister, Mary Anderson, head the refreshment committee at Zion Temple Holiness Church in Midway. They take pride in laying out a spread for any occasion, as small as a quick dinner after morning services or as large as a dinner for the women’s conference with guests from Florida and all over Georgia. No matter what the occasion, they are prepared.
Audrey Ridner of Trinity Baptist Church in Hinesville serves as the church’s food coordinator and has worked on the committee for six years.
“She is a wonderful, sweet lady,” Pastor Tim Parrish said.
Others on Ridner’s committee are Fran Smith, Mary Brantley and Sarah Futch.
“I enjoy working on the food committee,” Ridner said. “People who serve on the refreshment committee have a love for serving and seeing things done that please the eye. A person has to love working around food. It is a gift from the Lord and I am happy to be of help. Cathy Parrish, the pastor’s wife, loves to bring covered dishes, and Mary Brantley loves to fix turkey and dumplings.”
Other notable cooks around the community include Laucenia Frasier of Beach Hill Baptist Church in Midway; and Catherine Watson, Lillian Moore, and Peggie Van Horne of St. Luke Baptist Church in Hinesville. The St. Luke committee is are noted for fried chicken, potato salad, butter beans and okra, desserts and collard greens.
“On Mother’s Day, the men and children prepare the meal for the ladies. On Father’s Day, the ladies prepare the meal for the men,” longtime St. Luke member Francine Bymon said.
Gloria Robinson, Karen Jamison and Hazel Bacon are in charge of refreshments at St. James AME in Freedman Grove. Their specialties are Southern red rice, potato salad and greens. They are already looking forward to the church’s anniversary in September when many of the old members return home to enjoy anniversary and the favorite dishes the ladies prepare.
Louise Kelly and Walter Taylor are the experts at First Calvary Missionary Baptist. They are renown for laying out a spread. Betty Pray and Catherine Bacon of St. Thomas AME in Walthourville, and Laura Bell Bacon and Almetia Sanders of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Walthourville love to cook.
Bacon has been preparing dinners at church for more than 40 years.
“I enjoy cooking and serving. We also do catering for other churches,” she said.
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