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Outreach feast draws large crowd

By Staff | Feb 2, 2018

Toni Milbourne/Chronicle Harper Vocature tells Master of Ceremonies Tim LeMaster that she’s celebrating her third birthday. Harper selected the grand prize winners during the Wild Beast Feast.

Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction once again drew a large crowd to its annual Wild Beast Feast held last Friday evening at the Ranson Civic Center. More than 800 attendees came out to enjoy a delicious meal that included several game dishes, including venison burgers and deer tenderloin. Some were even able to taste some grilled bear before the plates emptied.

The event is one that has been hosted by the church for several years. It originally was held at the church on Daniel Road until so many people wished to attend that the social hall couldn’t hold them. In the early years, the event included dishes of varied game prepared by the hunters. Judges ranked the offerings; favorites received recognition and prizes. In addition, organizers held an indoor bow-shooting competition.

As the number of attendees has grown, the church has moved to the Ranson Civic Center, which can accommodate many more people.

“We had great attendance this year,” said Senior Pastor Van Marsceau. “And the Ranson Civic Center was the perfect place for such a large crowd. They are great to work with.”

While the favorite dish and bow-shooting competitions have been eliminated, guests were treated to music from the band Contranova, as they enjoyed the bounty prepared by church members. Pastor Nate Hettinga from Cascade, Washington, was the guest speaker for the event. Hettinga, Marsceau’s cousin, shared stories of bow hunting in his favorite places in Washington.

According to organizer John Goff V, many attendees indicated via a survey card that they had decided to follow or rededicate their lives to Christ that evening.

“The purpose of the event is to serve as an outreach and present the gospel,” Goff said. “Pastor Hettinga did an excellent job in reaching many in the room through the sharing of his hunting experiences.”

Marsceau shared Goff’s sentiments.

“We had an encouraging speaker who reminded us of the words of Jesus Christ to love God with all our hearts, and love our neighbor as ourselves,” Marsceau said.

Many others came to enjoy food and fellowship, and to have a chance to win one of the grand prize guns offered at the end of the evening.

The annual gun and prize giveaway included a Henry H006MR Big Boy, .357 magnum; a Chiappa C6 pump action 12 gauge; a Ruger 10/22 wooden stock .22 lr; a Ruger American bolt action .270; a Winchester XPR bolt action .308; and a shoulder mount provided by Corbins Wildlife Art Taxidermy.

Every attendee was given an entry card and the top winners were drawn from the bin by Harper Vocature, who celebrated her third birthday the day of the feast. Those grand prize winners were then placed in envelopes and held until all other door prizes were drawn for and distributed. As the top six names were called, each one was given the opportunity to select the top prize of their choice until all prizes were claimed.

Each of the guns given at the event were donated. All state and federal firearm laws were followed and any individual who won the guns must pass a standard Federal application and background check.

In the days following the event, Marsceau had only good things to say.

“This was such a well-run event, and we had so many people from Fellowship Bible Church volunteer to help.”

“We love hosting this event and we want the community to know that Fellowship is here for them and their families,” Marsceau said.