Sumter Baptist Temple gives thanks for wild game, nature

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 3/1/19

A couple hundred people gathered to break bread and appreciate the world around them at Sumter Baptist Temple's annual Wild Game Supper on Saturday.

"It's just an opportunity to appreciate what God has given us," Pastor Mike Westmoreland said, …

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Sumter Baptist Temple gives thanks for wild game, nature

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A couple hundred people gathered to break bread and appreciate the world around them at Sumter Baptist Temple's annual Wild Game Supper on Saturday.

"It's just an opportunity to appreciate what God has given us," Pastor Mike Westmoreland said, "and the natural resources, wildlife and all, that we enjoy as hunters and fishermen."

A lot of the food comes from the folks at the church, he said, and some food was provided by people outside the congregation.

"We have a lot of folks that hunt and fish here at that church," he said. "Our church family really pitches in together."

The ladies of the church just go out of their way to make the side items and desserts, he said. There were about three tables of desserts available Saturday night.

Westmoreland said the food included fish from the Florida Everglades, local fish, deer, squirrel, wild hogs and other meats prepared in multiple ways.

Along with enjoying the bounties of nature, the congregation and guests also heard a sermon from T.L. Jones, an avid hunter and pastor from Greeneville, Tennessee.

"We believe that's the reason he created it and provided it for us," Westmoreland said "The book of Genesis tells us that. We're thankful to be able to give him glory and rejoice in that with our community."

The Lord has blessed the church so far, he said, that the event can be held without charging anyone.

"We've been doing this for several years now, and it's an opportunity to reach out into our community to folks that have a shared interest in hunting, fishing, the outdoors and invite them to come in," he said.

Since it started a few years ago, Westmoreland said the church gym has been packed with about 200 people each year on the last Saturday of February when the event is held.

Guests also entered raffles to win outdoors products and children practiced archery with S.C. Department of Natural Resources and checked their aim with BB rifles.

The supper is held the same Saturday every year, Westmoreland said, and everyone in the community is invited to attend to try something new, what God created and to have fellowship.

"At the end of the day," he said, "we just want to thank the Lord and glorify him for the great gifts he has given us in nature and the opportunity to enjoy it."