An outreach ministry of the First Baptist Church in Navasota, Texas, called the Barbecue Baptist Church, kicked off a weeklong, multi-city mission Thursday to bring the Gospel to first responders and medical professionals along with ample servings of free barbecue meals.
"We have been through such an incredibly painful season as a country. First with the pandemic and now with this racial tension. So in a small way, we are going to do the best we can to encourage people and lift them up," Pastor Chad McMillan, who works with the ministry, told news station KBTX.
From June 11-17, 23 barbecue enthusiasts from the ministry will make 17 stops in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma where they will serve up "Bibles & brisket, prayer & pulled pork, redemption & ribs, church & chicken and salvation & sausage!," according to the ministry's Facebook page.
"People are fearful. People have lost their jobs. People have lost loved ones or even lost their own lives because of the pandemic," McMillan explained to KBTX. "And then, with the incredible tension and anger and frustration out of the tragedy that happened in Minnesota, people are struggling, and we believe the Bible gives people hope through Jesus Christ."
The ministry was birthed in the small town of just under 8,000 people in March when the coronavirus hit and toilet paper became scarce. A few members of the church's student ministry responded by outfitting a trailer with a sound system, an air compressor and two specially designed pneumatic guns to launch rolls of toilet paper wrapped in Scripture verses around the community for people in need. Once they added a catering trailer, however, the ministry evolved even further.
"The ministry received a big vote of confidence when a member of the church gave use of his catering trailer … complete with charcoal grill, deep fryers, and a barbecue smoker … the dream of the Barbecue Baptist Church was coming to life!" the group said on Facebook.
"We need to go out there and tell them, 'Hey, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,'" Hunter Haug, a member of the Barbecue Baptist Church told KBTX.
According to the ministry, while the stops on their road trip will vary — from the number of people served to the menu — their mission will not. And thanks to the generosity of members of the Navasota community, they have been able to cover the expenses of the mission to serve the Gospel and barbecue on a trip of nearly 2,000 miles.
"We are trying to share with people, God loves you, and we love you, and we came to tell you that and share the Word of God with you and some delicious food," McMillan said.
The Christian Post reached out to the ministry on Thursday, but no one was immediately available.