Memories of church and food

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Writing about food and churches seemed an easy idea at the time. The interviews went well and everyone at the churches were easy to talk to. Then what took me so long to write the story?

The answer is a simple one: memories. As I sat on my couch Monday night surrounded by notes and recipes I soon found myself overwhelmed by memories of the little church I grew up in.

Although I didn’t begin attending Macedonia Baptist Church until I was in the seventh grade, it will always be my home church.

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A small Southern Baptist church on a dirt road in Simpson County is the place I remember when people ask me about my church. Nothing fancy, just plain wooden pews that always seemed so uncomfortable by noon and a preacher’s wife who sang like an angel.

We teenagers sat in the back left corner of the church and we tried not to talk or whisper. We knew if the preacher had to call you down for talking, it was certain to be the last anyone would see of you for awhile, after your parents got ahold of you.

My preacher whom we called Brother Mac, was big man. When I picture him at Macedonia, it is never behind the pulpit. He never stayed there. He walked back and forth and preached in a loud, commanding voice. Let’s just say that when we left church we knew that Hell was hot.

My little church was full of good people ? plain, ordinary people. They didn’t worry about what each other wore to Sunday service, they called on the sick during the week and they pulled together to help any member of the congregation at a moment’s notice.

The only time the ladies did get a little competitive was when we would have dinner on the grounds.

The services would end and we would race to the little bitty kitchen area and outside on the picnic tables.

There would wait the ladies of the church putting the last minute touches on their specialties. One was known for her chicken pie, another for her chicken and dumplings. And then of course there were always fried chicken, butter beans, fresh corn, biscuits and cornbread. And the list went on, never mind the tables that groaned under the weight of the desserts.

We teens would gather up to play basketball or softball or go wade in the creek until late in the afternoon.

Now my children eat Wednesday night dinner at our church. It is not quite the same but just as important. I have discovered you may grow up and you may move up, but good memories, like good food, stay with you forever.

Christina Hall is the lifestyle editor at The Democrat. She can be reached at 445-3549 or by e-mail at