Turkey Dinner returns to Crawford Street United Methodist Church

Published 4:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2021

After a one-year hiatus, Crawford Street United Methodist Church’s turkey dinner returns Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The more than 100-year-old tradition, which was canceled in 2020 out of concern for COVID-19, returns with its usual fare of turkey and dressing, corn pudding, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie. The only difference from previous years, pastor the Rev. Kevin Bradley said, is all meals will be takeout only; patrons will not be able to sit down and enjoy their meal in the church’s Wesley Hall.

“The turkey dinner committee felt very strongly that we wanted to have a turkey dinner again, but also felt that having in-person dining was not the right thing at the time and to have pickup only,” Bradley said.

He said there will be two ways people can pick up their meals: park in the church parking lot on Crawford Street and go inside to get their dinner or use a drive-thru under the church awning.

Because the dinner is being held the same day as Vicksburg’s Veterans Day observance in the Rose Garden on Monroe Street, Bradley said, “What we’re asking people to do if they’re coming down Clay Street is to go to Walnut Street to go to Crawford Street and up Crawford Street to the church; the drive-thru is under the church awning.

“We’re wanting to be respectful of the Veterans Day observance, so while those two things are going on simultaneously we think that’s the best way to do it.”

Dinners are $12 per plate and tickets are available from the church office by calling 601-636-5612.

The church began holding the turkey dinner more than 100 years ago. Besides being a popular and well-attended event in the community, the dinner is a fundraiser for the church with the money divided three ways. One-third of the money is spent globally, one-third in the United States and one-third locally.

In the past, money raised by the dinner has been used to buy mosquito nets for those in Africa and cows and goats for people in impoverished countries through Heifer Project International, a program based in Arkansas.

The annual event has also raised funds used to drill water wells in South American and Central American countries like Honduras and Mexico and supported mission teams from several local churches to go and work in Honduras and Mexico.

Locally, the money supports Grace Christian Counseling Center; Service Over Self, a summer youth ministry where youth work in the community repairing or improving homes; the Community Storehouse Food Pantry; Good Shepherd Community Center and Haven House.

“Last year, we just decided to suspend the turkey dinner (because of COVID-19) which was a difficult decision to make but at that time it was the appropriate decision to make,” Bradley said. “We’re excited we’re having it again; it’s an important part of the life of Crawford Street, so everybody is excited about the turkey being back, even in this form.

“It is an important part of what goes on in this church.”

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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