Thursday, March 6, 2014
A night of exotic foods, music and fun is in store at Sweetwater Baptist Church's Wild Game Dinner.
The supper is slated for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday. There will be a speaker and a musical guest, along with food and fellowship at the supper.
“This is our 8th annual event. Last year we had about 1,800 people and we're expecting more this year,” Brian Ayers, youth minister and wild game coordinator of Sweetwater Baptist Church, said. “Depending on the weather, we start feeding at 5 p.m. and the program starts at 6 p.m. This years speaker is Hank Hough, from Spring, Texas, and he's bringing his dog. He runs a place called Kingdom Dog Ministries, but he trains black Labs and teaches biblical principals using this black Lab. What this guy does with this dog is phenomenal. He doesn't do things like sit, roll over and play dead. He's going to put a cross somewhere in this building and he's going to bring his dog up on the stage and will direct the dog to the cross just by voice. One of the things that he does is he throws a toy down an aisle of the audience and has his dog sit on the stage. He gets the audience to call the dog to get the toy and the dog just sits there, looking up at Hank. Then, Hank tells the dog to go get it and he immediately goes to get it and brings it back. Hank says ‘You know why the dog didn't listen to you? It's the same reason you don't listen to God, you don't recognize his voice.' That left me hurting the first time I heard it.”
Along with Hough, there will be a musical guest and an animal expert at the supper.
“We'll have Kings Cause come and sing. They normally do pre-event type music and they'll sing three or four songs,” Ayers said. Dan the Animal Man will be in the gym with the children. He was with us last year and the kids loved him. He brought an alligator, an owl a porcupine, a lemur and some other animals.”
The supper is free and will feature more than $10,000 worth of prizes.
“We're giving away a golf cart as our grand prize and we're also giving away a gun, possibly a gun safe, Yeti Coolers have been really big, we're giving away duck prints in a package deal,” Ayers said. “We normally give away about $10,000 worth of prizes. We draw names for the prizes, and when you come in you register. We put the youth, men and women in separate pots. We'll give away anywhere from five to seven gifts to each group, then the grand prize.”
While the speaker, musical guest and animal expert will add flair to the supper, the main calling card will be the exotic foods. Ayers is expecting mostly deer meat this year.
“Deer is the big one, we've had a lot of people bring dishes of that,” he said. “We've had raccoon and alligator in the past. A lot of people have lost their freezers, because of the ice storm, so I'm not sure what people will have to bring. We've done catfish stew, flounder and other fish for people to eat. We hope to increase that part of the event.”
For Ayers, the Wild Game Dinner is an excellent outreach opportunity for the church and a chance to meet new people.
“My favorite part of this event is the speakers,” he said. “They relate hunting to the Bible, they do a good correlation there. I also like hanging out with people, I'm a people person, we have people from different churches in the area, people from other states like North Carolina and Tennessee and Florida. We've got people who drive a couple hundred miles to come to this event. My favorite part, thinking about it, is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior through an event like this. That's why we do this, not to have a big party, but to reach hunters and outdoor families. We enjoy that aspect of it.”
Sweetwater Baptist Church's Wild Game Supper will take place on Saturday at 5 p.m. The church is located at the corner of Sweetwater and Five Notch Roads.
For more information call the church office at 803-279-2821.
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for the North Augusta Star.