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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Wild game supper is ministering opportunity

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paul Causey places rocks into the First Assembly of God's waterfall.
SIKESTON -- The First Assembly of God will once again minister to men by recreating the outdoors inside their multipurpose building for their annual Wild Game Supper.

Last year's event brought in over 600 men. "We will have well over 1,000 this year," predicted Ron Tate, pastor of the church.

Even though tonight and Sunday are open to women and children, the focus remains on men.

"It's all about men ministering to men," Tate said, with the goal being to have a positive influence on men and the community. "If you have strong men, you have strong families."

Men are encouraged to be strong leaders at their jobs and in the community and to "live a godly life," Tate said. "We encourage them to be good men, solid men, upright men."

This bobcat mount is one of the wild animals that can be seen at the event.
Guests are invited to bring in their trophy mounts as well as wildlife meat and recipes to be prepared by the cook team. Mounts are guarded by security 24 hours per day, seven days a week for the event.

Those attending can expect to be "surrounded in mounts," Tate said. Over 75 wild game mounts were displayed last year and well over 100 mounts are expected this year, from local game such as deer, fish and turkeys to the more exotic such as moose, caribou and even a rhinoceros and a 16-foot crocodile.

Different areas of the multipurpose building's main hall are decorated to reflect different themes like the Rocky Mountains, Missouri woodlands and lowland plains.

Coordinated by a leadership team consisting of 10 men and two women, the church has worked on decorating and preparing the hall since Jan. 2, according to Tate, "from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m., six days a week."

In addition to full-sized stuffed mounts in a variety of poses, decorations include a life-sized hunting cabin and a fully-functioning waterfall, creek and pond.

Recommended attire for the evening, which begins with a meal at 7 p.m., is camouflage.

"Each table is served by the ladies of the church: it's a sit-down, family style meal," Tate said.

Every table will have a variety of meats prepared by the cook team -- fish, venison, duck, quail, chicken and more -- as well as side dishes and dessert.

"It's all on a big platter," Tate said.

Following the meal, guests are encouraged to walk around, view the mounts and cast their vote for the "Hunter's Favorite" prize.

"At the end of the night, we announce the winner," Tate said.

The prize will be a gift certificate to a hunting/sporting goods store.

The cook team will also vote on their favorite dish with the winner receiving a ham.

Live musical and comedy entertainment by the "Soggy Bottom Blue Boys" -- along with crowd participation -- is next.

"They have a great time," Tate said.

"Then we have a hunting story tied into a devotional -- we challenge the men spiritually," he continued. "This year I've asked Ben Bryant to be our guest speaker."

A Sikeston native, Bryant now lives in Eldon.

"We end it with a door-prize drawing," Tate said. Door prizes typically are shotguns or rifles, tree stands or gift certificates.

If you've never received an invitation to the event, there is another way in: be a sponsor.

Friday and Saturday are just for men invited by men from the church and Sunday is for the church's families but tonight is a special "appreciation night" to thank sponsors for supporting the event, Tate said.

While this is the third year for the event, this is the first year with a sponsors' night.

Sponsors can bring spouses and children, co-workers, family, friends, "whoever they want to bring," Tate said.

The goal is to have 100 sponsors at $100 each, according to Tate.

As each table seats 10, table captains -- which will be sponsors tonight -- invite up to nine guests. Sponsors should include a request for the number of tickets they need.

Tate said while the hall will be filled to capacity Friday through Sunday, "there's still room for sponsors." He said they will accept sponsorships up until the minute dinner begins tonight or the tables are filled.

The church has never solicited for sponsors before but is now actively looking for community involvement and sponsorships while keeping their high standards.

"I'll never give up quality of the experience at the cost of quantity," Tate said.

The church is accepting tiered donations of $100, $250 and $500.

Businesses and individuals that make donations or provide sponsorship will also be advertised on the church Web site, at the event, and in the newspaper following the event.

For more information on sponsorships, contact the Sikeston First Assembly Church office at 471-4649.