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Thousands turn out for barbecue

Volunteers served up more than 2,300 plates during Saturday’s community barbecue in Jemison.

Once the grills were fired up Friday afternoon, the barbecuing didn’t stop for 21 hours. But it took only an hour and a half for the food to disappear Saturday.

“We had to actually turn people away because we were out of food by 12:30,” coordinator Keith Mims said.

The event was sponsored by several area churches. Accompanying each plate was the Bible verse John 5:24, and members of the Gideons handed out Bibles to those in attendance.

Community outreach was the primary purpose of the barbecue.

“It wasn’t really about barbecue. I honestly believe people were blessed to see these nine churches coming together as one, and that the churches care and the doors of the churches are open,” Mims said.

More than 300 church members and volunteers enjoyed barbecue and fellowship Friday night. Among the participating churches were Pleasant Grove, Mars Hill, Holly Grove, St. James Highland, Jemison First Baptist, Pates Chapel, Oak Grove, Pleasant Hill, and Union Springs.

Mims said the response was so overwhelming that people from other churches have already volunteered to assist with the next barbecue, which could be held as soon as spring 2010.

He thanked the men and women who participated.

“I don’t think Chilton County has seen anything like that in a long time,” he said. “I think it’s because we need to come together as a community.”