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Bible and brisket: Texas church feeds the body and soul of local first responders

A church group from Texas made its way to Vicksburg Thursday as a part of what they call the Barbecue Baptist Church’s “seven-day, barnstorming, barbecue distributing, gospel preaching tour.”

The idea behind the week-long tour, First Baptist Church Navasota youth pastor Chad McMillan said, grew out of an outreach ministry they had been doing in their hometown of Navasota, Texas, a community located northwest of Houston.

“When the coronavirus pandemic began we saw a need for folks not being able to find toilet paper in our community,” McMillan said. “So we did a bunch of toilet paper scavenging and after finding it, we then wrapped the rolls in scripture verses and made some pneumatic guns, and we went around on a trailer and shot toilet paper out of the guns.”

As their toilet paper distribution continued, he said, the group wanted to do more.

“So we decided to put a pulpit and piano on the trailer, and we went around doing pop up worship services,” he said. “Then I joked one day that we need to have a barbecue pit on it and serve barbecue and that just grew into what we are doing now.”

The tour has included going to homes, businesses and reaching out to law enforcement and first responders.

“We do a very short worship service and then feed them a barbecue meal, distribute toilet paper and Bibles,” McMillan said.

The tour group, which is one of two that together are comprised of 23 church members representing all ages, had been doing this locally for the past two months before deciding “to take our show on the road,” McMillan said.

The group’s first stop was in Nacogdoches, Texas, early Thursday before heading to Vicksburg. After spending the night in Vicksburg, the group ended the Mississippi portion of its tour Friday in Louisville before heading to Nashville for two days.

McMillan said they’ll then head to Eureka Springs, Ark., and Avila, Mo. The group is also scheduled to make stops in Oklahoma and other parts of Texas before heading home.

Originally, the group had planned to feed the first responders at the Vicksburg Police Station, but as the numbers grew, the event was moved to a larger space at Washington Street Park.

Prior to distributing food, local first responders had the opportunity to enjoy Christian music, fellowship and a message from McMillan that began with him sharing the purpose of the group’s outreach ministry.

“The mission of the Barbecue Baptist Church is to glorify God through the Bible and brisket, prayer and pulled pork, redemption in ribs, church in chicken and salvation in sausage,” he said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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