The feast is an annual tradition started by Bishop Nealon Guthrie, but to those who volunteer and attend, it’s more than a meal.
“It’s not just a dinner,” said Benjamin Guthrie. “It’s a celebration.”
And the who people gathered celebrated. There were songs by Guthrie and others, including Geneva Collins, who came from Atlanta, and Jordan Denton, who also sang last year. Guthrie’s wife, Mary, accompanied the singers on the piano.
While the music played the diners cleaned their plates and many took home food for later.
Ike Holder was one of the 100 or so partaking of the food provided and proudly showed his clean plate.
He read about the dinner in the paper and “I know a lot of people he knows,” he said, referring to Guthrie.
Chrissy Warren’s father, the Rev. Billy Wilson, pastored a church near Guthrie’s many years ago. She sang “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” with Bishop Guthrie.
“He’s like a second father to me,” she said.
Those who attended were not only fed but they also were able to take home some free clothes and shoes, donated by the Shoe Barn.
Sponsors helped the church put on the feast, including Kroger and Chick-fil-A. Once again, Margie Abbott was able to supply a good portion of the meal, Benjamin Guthrie said.
Fueled by the good will and spirit of the day, Bishop Guthrie offered encouraging words to those attending.
“Sometimes God allows a negative situation to bring you to a higher elevation,” he said.
But he reminded the crowd, just before singing, that “Everything’s Gonna Be Aright.”