KEARNEY, MO (June 11, 2015) — The deluge of rain stopped, the floodwaters receded, and Community Covenant Church was able to host its annual Holy Smoke BBQ contest to raise money for a local food pantry on Sunday.
“We had a break from the rains and flood damage just in time for everything to come together,” pastor Mike Coglan said.
It was the fourth time the church had hosted the event, which requires 80 to 100 volunteers, Coglan said. He added that the purpose is evangelism in the tradition of the banquet thrown by St. Matthew, who threw a party when Jesus said he would dine at the tax collector’s house.
The style of entertainment changes every year—a Branson-styled variety show one year, a country music concert another. This year music was by a DJ and later the church praise team, followed by a brief inspirational message from Coglan. The event has grown to include an antique car and fire truck show, and there are many activities for children.
“This thing has taken on a life of its own,” Coglan said.
There is no charge for guests, but the church does accept donations for the pantry, which is run by one of the church members.
The event was in jeopardy this year because continuous rain had caused serious flooding in the area, and a congregation that was heavily damaged has been using space at Community Covenant for its offices. More rain is forecast.