Laymen’s ministry gives to others by preparing barbecue meal for The Stewpot

Published 2:53 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

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NATCHEZ — The smoke was rolling at The Stewpot Wednesday morning, as about 30 members of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Ministerial Association’s Laymen’s Ministry volunteered to prepare a meal of barbecued chicken to serve to Stewpot meal recipients.

“We do this every year,” said Leroy White, who is the associate pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church and vice moderator of the Antioch Association.

“As men, we are supposed to go out and do community project. If we are able to assist in the community, we will. Most of us are retired and we go out and find project and pick an agency to help. We have helped the Salvation Army in the past, collected milk and distributed food. The Stewpot is a great agency to help. People need this food,” White said.

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Help, they did, said Marcus Archer, who is the director of The Stewpot. The volunteers’ work meant not only a delicious barbecue meal for members of the community, but also a lighter workload for those who toil every day to prepare 250 to 270 meals.

“It was not a day off entirely because we still served our plates and to-go plates like every day. But the help is always nice and welcome when there is an opportunity for a little bit easier day,” Archer said. He is also pastor at Crosspoint Church in Natchez.

“Our people are here six days a week. We have volunteers who prepare and serve the meal on Sundays. We serve meals 365 days a year, including holidays — especially holidays,” he said.

Archer said it takes special skills to prepare a meals for 250 to 270 and have it done by 10:30 a.m.

“Not many people have that kind of thing in their arsenal. These people help a lot of different groups. They have done a lot of community service. And it’s really good chicken!”