A beautiful backdrop of live oaks, barns and water features will greet the competitors of the First Baptist Church’s inaugural shooting clays tournament. The tournament is a ministry of the Ironmen of First Baptist Church and will be on Sept. 14 at Sunnyside Plantation in north Adams County. (Benn Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)
A beautiful backdrop of live oaks, barns and water features will greet the competitors of the First Baptist Church’s inaugural shooting clays tournament. The tournament is a ministry of the Ironmen of First Baptist Church and will be on Sept. 14 at Sunnyside Plantation in north Adams County. (Benn Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

First Baptist Church hosts clay-shooting tournament

Published 12:01am Sunday, September 8, 2013

There’s no better way to get men to bond than through golf. And in the South, adding guns to the mix makes it the perfect Saturday.

The Ironmen of First Baptist Church combined the two by hosting their first Inaugural Sporting Clays Tournament on Sept. 14., at the Sunnyside Plantation. The Ironmen is an organization at First Baptist that allows young men to be mentored in the direction of Christ through the guidance of the older and wiser men of the church.

What started out as a weekly get together for lunch and fellowship, turned into a bigger number of men than expected. The Ironmen put their large numbers to good use and started to participate in several mission projects in the community.

But now Ironmen members Leo Joseph, David New and Justin Adcock decided that more can be done in the community.

“The men decided we needed a major outreach, something to spread the word and find more mission projects in the community,” Joseph said. “This tournament is designed to do that. It’s a Christian fellowship, and it will raise money for local missions.”

The tournament will allow teams of four to compete to see who has the best shotgun skills in Natchez, and 27 teams have already signed up. Sign up will stay open the day of the event.

“There will be 12 different stations that imitate different hunting scenarios,” Joseph said. “Participants will drive from station to station (on golf carts) and keep score out of a total of 100 targets they hit.”

There will also be a flying archery range sponsored by Bowie’s Outfitters and a long bird station sponsored by Natchez Ford. Each station is sponsored by a local company like W.T. Drilling, Jordan Carriers, Wilcox Energy, Concordia Bank & Trust and several more.

David New volunteered his property at Sunnyside Plantation for the event.

Joseph said First Baptist Church is grateful for all of the support that has gone into the tournament.

“Carol Ann Riley helped us with our logo and our T-shirts,” Joseph said. “Big Momma’s Barbeque helped us with lunch for the event. They really came off the hip and donated to us and helped us out tremendously.”

There will be two separate flights for the event to evenly spread out the number of teams throughout the day. The first flight begins at 8:30 a.m. as sign up is at 8 a.m., and the second flight begins after lunch at 1:30 p.m. with sign up at 1 p.m.

Lunch is one of the most important events of the day as it will feature First Baptist Church’s Rev. Doug Broome.

“We’re going to have a fellowship and the Ironmen plus the participants will hang out and get to know each other then have a message,” Joseph said.

There will be a first and second place trophy and a top-shot award given for both morning and evening flights.

“The awards will be a wooden skeet with our logo carved in it,” Joseph said.

Sign up is $75 per participant and all levels of shotgun experience is encouraged to come join the festivities. For more questions about the Inaugural Sporting Clays Tournament, contact Leo Joseph at 01-493-4631.