FBC Vandalia hosts Sportsmen’s Banquet
VANDALIA—Like most churches, the First Baptist Church in Vandalia is always looking for ways to bring people together to hear the Gospel.
So when their pastor, Derek Grigg, met reknown outdoorsmen Morris Anderson at the Southern Baptist Convention in June, it was inevitable that his church would hold an event to reach an audience of hunters in the community.
Grigg, who also hunts, and his church hosted its first Sportsman¹s Banquet Dec. 1. More than 200 attended the event and they brought more than 50 of their own mounts to display on the walls of the church building located next to the railroad tracks. The displays included deer, bear, ducks, a rattlesnake and a variety of other animals.
“We had a lot of folks here that are not from any church at all. It was real exciting since our association did (a banquet the night before) and we had just four mounts. I brought three of them.”
The event began with hunters and fishermen given the opportunity to look at the displayed mounts and booths set up on three sides of the building. The event was sponsored by Eric Moran’s taxidermy, Green Supply, ALCO, Midway USA and Anderson’s MANNA Ministries.
After supper was provided, Anderson showed a DVD of his journeys and followed it with an introduction of himself and his ministry.
Anderson’s biography includes hunting big game on three continents, fishing in several bodies of water, and an appearance on a television program with fishing guide Sonny Lee.
Anderson said while he enjoyed hunting kangaroo in Australia, gimshook in Africa and caribou in Canada, his favorite hunts came as a boy with his father.
He said he learned his most important lessons in life from his dad which include loving his country, loving his family and the importance of giving his life to Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and savior.
During his presentation, Anderson shared several hunting stories and gave an invitation for those in attendance to get saved and born again. Anderson is an evangelist for MANNA Ministries, based in Maryville, Tenn.
After his presentation, a raffle was held and 30 prizes were awarded. The big winners were Brooke Kurth, who won a $100 Eric Moran Taxidermy gift certificate, Jessica Hurd, who won a Knight Muzzleloader, and Pete Oberhaus, who won the grand prize hunt for two people at Pheasant City Lodge, Wessington, S.D., worth $2,500.
Anderson said he enjoyed the time he spent in Vandalia.
“The Vandalia community welcomed us with open arms,” he said. “We’ve been impressed with how much of a joy it was and we’re so thankful for the southern hospitality in the great state of Missouri.”
Department of Conservation agent for Audrain County, Jerid Wilkinson, said he was happy he could be there for the event.
“I think it is always important for us to get involved with the public,” he said. “They have their concerns with hunting and wildlife. It’s good to get their opinions and feedback and identify how the department is helping and serving them.”
Grigg said he wanted to thank all of his sponsors and his committee of Greg Gadsen, Doug Wilson and Kevin Wiliams. Grigg added that it is possible his church might host another similar event in the future.
“We thought we would see how this went,” he said. “And we had a good turnout. Who knows, we might have another one sometime. We’ll see.”