Church of the Holy Trinity’s turkey dinner continues 115-year tradition

Published 3:08 pm Thursday, October 24, 2019

Plans are underway for Church of the Holy Trinity’s annual turkey dinner Nov. 21 at the church, 900 South St., continuing a 115-year-old tradition.

The dinner runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans, cranberry salad, roll and dessert are $10 each and available by calling the church office at 601-636-0542.

“We have 1,000 tickets and we’re usually sold out before the day of the event,” dinner chairman Logan Peay said, adding dinners will be available for dine-in or take-out. People wishing to eat at the church will have dinner at the parish hall, and take-outs are available in the chapel.

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The dinner will also feature a bake sale and bazaar, which is in commemoration of the church’s 150th anniversary.

Volunteers start cooking the week of the dinner, Peay said, adding the event is handled by the women and men of the church. Some of the men, she said, help with the cooking, while others carve the turkey and help set up tables and move pots and cookers.

The dinner is sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women, and is the group’s biggest fundraiser, she said.

“The money goes to help with outreach and things within the church,” she said. “One year we used money to remodel the kitchen; whatever is needed in the church.”

Church historian Tim Ables said Holy Trinity’s first turkey dinner was Nov. 23, 1904.

“That was a Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and it was the first time we (the church congregation) had something at that season,” he said. “It was called a Thanksgiving dinner and bazaar and sponsored by the altar guild. It was at the volunteer sothron’s armory. The group was like the local militia and sent units off for the Civil War. It later reorganized; it was like the National Guard.”

The menu for the first dinner was oyster stew, turkey sandwiches and chocolate russe. A special item sold at the bazaar was Christmas dolls.

The 1904 turkey dinner was not the church’s first fundraiser.

In 1869, when Trinity was founded, the church women held a three-day church fair in December in a location called Harmonia Hall in the downtown area.

“That was the first event ever held to raise money,” Ables said. “They raised over $2,500. It was to raise money for the church. What we’re doing today is still in that tradition.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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