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Church cooks up BBQ, bazaar, auction
Food, fellowship and fun
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Church volunteers take wood from the stockpile to fuel barbecue fires. - photo by Photo provided.
For 59 years, the Richmond Hill United Methodist Church (RHUMC) has held an annual barbeque to promote fellowship and raise funds for church programs.  

What began as a simple pig roast in the early 1950s has expanded over the years to become a celebrated community-wide event, featuring a silent auction, bazaar and live entertainment.

The 2010 event will take place this Saturday, November 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at RHUMC (9050 Ford Ave.). Attendees can expect the return of favorites like barbecued ham, Boston butts and ribs, as well as delicious homemade potato salad, cinnamon apples, and desserts. The church estimates that about 1,500 meals will be served over the course of the day.

Preparations for this year’s barbecue were well under way late last week.

On Thursday morning, members of the church’s youth group were hard at work mixing batches of the popular “secret recipe” barbecue sauce.

The whole scene was a Southern barbecue version of Santa’s workshop. Savory scents filled the air and the young volunteers were decorated with bright smiles and smudges. They managed to fill 636 quart jars, 26 gallon jugs, and 1,500 single-serve cups with the sauce – which will be both served with barbecue dinners and sold at the event – by day’s end.

Outside, a handful of volunteers stacked wood, checked grilling areas and helped with overall organization.

Tommy and Paula Wyatt, husband and wife co-chairs for the 2010 event, gave insight into the process of putting the annual Bar-B-Q together.

“This is a combined effort,” Paula explained. “It takes a lot of people to pull this off.”

Initial planning begins in September, when the event committee holds its first chair meetings and volunteers begin splitting wood for the barbecue pits.

During the four days of food preparation prior to the event, hundreds of volunteers cooking around the clock will turn out 400 hams, 300 Boston butts, and 200 racks of ribs.

And that’s not including the homemade potato salad and cinnamon apples, which volunteers will also hand-make in the coming days.

RHUMC and the organizers hope the Bar-B-Q will bring families and friends together.

“Fellowship is what it’s all about,” said Tommy. “We always talk about our secret recipes and secret ingredients, and I think the biggest secret ingredient that we have in all of it is the love we put into it.”

“We want it to be a time when families can come out and have a good time and just experience fellowship and good food … a time just to come and relax and have a beautiful Saturday,” added Paula.

For more information on the Bar-B-Q event, or to pre-order food and meals, visit
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