Wesley Chapel UMC celebrates 64 years of tasty food, community with annual BBQ fundraiser

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church invites you to enjoy a truly unique BBQ meal, steeped in tradition and wood smoke, so mark your calendars for November 15 and be sure to bring a hearty appetite.

“We still cook our meat on wood and have for 64 years,” says Jerry Lane, president of Wesley Chapel UMC Men’s Club. “Everything on the plate comes from something home-made by someone with the church. We make the slaw, the desserts, we make everything.”

For 64 years, Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church has held a BBQ fundraiser to support local charities and community service organizations. Photo Contributed.

Preparation for the BBQ starts early, with church members gathering ingredients for their specialty dishes and the cook team’s pitmaster Hoyt Campbell firing up the wood coals for the long, slow process of perfecting the pork used in their BBQ.
“He keeps a close watch on the meat and kind of blesses it, or says ‘I don’t think it’s quite ready yet!’ or that kind of thing,” Lane says.

To complement the BBQ, the Wesley Chapel Ladies’ Club organizes a fun shopping bazaar with many original arts and crafts available for purchase. The bazaar also features many home-made cookies, cakes, pies, and frozen casseroles so you can take something sweet or savory home for the family to enjoy later.

Lane says the Men’s and Ladies’ Clubs distribute proceeds from this annual fundraising event to benefit many charities throughout the community, including interfaith ministries and public service organizations.

“The money always goes to help really good causes, and the whole event is done by volunteers with the church, so it makes it a really special time for all of us. We even get together to cut the trees down, or catch a tree that has fallen in somebody’s yard, that we use to cook the meat over, so it’s a great way of drawing people together,” says Lane. “For something to last 64 years, it’s a really special thing and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church is the oldest Methodist church in Darlington County and one of the oldest in the state of South Carolina. Founded in 1789, the church was originally located 1.5 miles north of their present spot, and was famed as a bustling camp meeting site. In its early days, the Methodist Church spread through the rural communities of America through these outdoor meetings where traveling preachers would visit and hold worship services.

Wesley Chapel was known as “Gully Church” when members constructed their first physical home in 1802, and became Wesley Chapel UMC in 1834 when the church bought the land where it is currently homed. Their present building was constructed in 1908 and is widely known as one of the oldest and most historic churches in the Pee Dee.

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church is located at 3061 Wesley Chapel Road. Their BBQ Fundraiser will take place November 15 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Plates are $8 each and advance tickets are available. Contact Jerry Lane for more information at 843-858-8831.

Author: Duane Childers

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