Liberty Hill honors sportsmen with food and games

For the past dozen years Liberty Hill Baptist Church has paid homage to Chilton County residents that enjoy being outdoors with its Sportsman Spectacular.

Over 300 people attended the 2018 version of the annual event on March 10, which has remained a free ticket for anyone wanting to take part over the years.

The event is headlined each year by its buffet supper that includes a variety of wild game meats to choose from, such as deer, duck, quail and squirrel.

Although the majority of the meat was caught around the area, certain exotic meats were shipped in from other places. Ostrich, elk and alligator were some of the more exotic meats that were offered.

Justin Nelson usually emcee’s the event, but he was invited as the guest speaker this year. He lives in Tuscaloosa, but the spectacular is always a homecoming for him, having grown up in Chilton County and seen the growth of the event over the years.

“It’s humbling to know that the people that watched you grow up trust you enough to want to hear what the Lord has to say through you,” Nelson said. “I’ve got to see the difference in lives that it [Sportsman Spectacular] has made over the years.”

According to Nelson, the event was born when a group of men from the church got together and expressed the idea to have a dinner and do some skeet shooting.

Over time the event has developed into an event for the entire community and not just Liberty Hill.

“While the event itself may not look drastically different year to year, the people that come through are different,” Nelson said. “It feels good to have those fresh faces.”

The whole family gets involved with an array of competitions for children prior to the supper.

Trophies were handed out for 10 categories that fit in with the sportsman theme, such as baseball throw, BB gun shoot, paintball, spear throw (accuracy and distance), blow guns, hatchet throw and archery.

From the food to the games, the sportsman spectacular has a unique feel and offers opportunities for new experiences.

“Your mommas don’t let you throw hatchets in the backyard,” Nelson said. It’s a supervised setup and things that they don’t get to do on an everyday basis.”

According to Liberty Hill pastor Kent Dodson, there is not a better way to connect people with God than through nature.

“We have a lot of people and sponsors in our community that have donated the items for us to be able to cook,” Dodson said. “We try to do several events throughout the year, but this is by far our largest.”

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