Gospel message shared with hundreds at church’s Wild Beast Feast
Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction continued an annual tradition Saturday when they hosted their ‘Wild Beast Feast and Gun Giveaway.’ While organizers expected several hundred attendees, the nearly 1,000 that filed through the doors of the Ranson Civic Center was an impressive crowd.
The event, free to the public, offered a dinner featuring potluck items as well as wild game dishes. Pastor Van Marsceau shared that this is the 16th year for the event, which has now become too big for the church, hence the move to the Civic Center.
The addition of the gun giveaway in 2014 has increased the numbers attending; however, the church organizers do not see that portion of the event as the main focus.
“The main goal is Jesus Christ. While we giveaway prizes, it’s all for nothing if they don’t hear the gospel message of Jesus,” said lead organizer Tim Helman.
The hundreds did hear the message presented by guest speaker Steve Chapman, a well-known country singer and evangelist.
“On days when we’re not traveling, writing or entertaining grandkids you might find me outside hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking or riding my motorcycle.” says Chapman on his website. His hunting stories and videos shared at the feast were interspersed with the gospel message.
Members of Fellowship Bible Church provided the food for the crowd including more than two dozen wild game dishes. A judging competition, a tradition at the event, was overseen this year by Scott Anderson, head chef at Shepherd University. The dishes were judged on taste, presentation and uniqueness, Anderson said.
Each person attending the event received an entry ticket for the door prize drawings. Names were drawn for adult and youth prizes. Among the many items given away were a Coleman 4-person tent, a Zebco fishing pole and tackle, an Alpine Archery Soft Loc 4-Arrow Quiver, Crestview Meat Market gift certificates, River Riders gift certificate, a Carbon Express 3-Pack Braadheads, A daisy Buck BB Repeater and much more. Prizes, for the most part, revolved around hunting and the outdoors.
Grand prizes for the evening included a youth kayak as part of the youth drawing and five hunting rifles as part of the adult drawing.
The guns included a .22 Henry Lever Action; a .17 HMR Savage Bolt Action Varmint Rifle; a .30-30 Marlin Lever Action Rifle; a .30-06 Ruger American Bolt Action Rifle; and a 12 gauge Mossberg Pump Action Shotgun. Guests whose names were selected were required to pick up their prize at Valley Guns 2 in Inwood, where they must complete the proper background check process before taking possession.
This event is a celebration of the outdoors presented by FBC church members who are passionate about hunting, fishing and shooting and enjoy the opportunity to gather together and celebrate these American pastimes.
Marsceau shared that similar events are popular in other parts of the country; however, Fellowship hosts the only local event of its kind.
Helman shared that the turnout this year was nearly twice as big as last year.
“We’re looking forward to next year being even bigger,” he said.