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Sportsman’s Night Out

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By: Tia Lynn Lecorchick

Sportsman’s Night Out, an annual hunting celebration of Centennial Baptist Church held in Heritage Park, attracted over 600 people on Thursday, Sept. 11. The event featured Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fortworth, Texas. The event’s focus was broadened by honoring local servicemen and servicewomen on account of the event being scheduled on Sept. 11. County and city police, firefighters, and EMTs were honored at the event for their dedicated service to the community and their unfailing bravery to keep people safe and healthy. Even public servants from Greene and Newton counties attended. The event also featured ample BBQ food and fun door prizes. Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley was moved by the community recognitions for law enforcement and other public safety organizations. “It was definitely a good moral booster for myself, my officers, and other representatives there,” said Markley. “It is an important piece in today’s times, when everyone wants to be critical of what’s going on with law enforcement, it’s nice to know that we are supported by our local citizens and that is what’s important to us.” “We felt it was especially important to honor our public servants because it was Sept. 11,” said Alan Shultz, one of the event coordinators. “We invited them all for free and then our pastor, Dr. Michael Stovall, recognized all of them and we played patriotic music. According to Shultz, even some of the door prizes were reserved for attending public servants, such as brand new grills from Lowes and various hunting and fishing gear. We recognized them and some of our door prizes were reserved for just the public servants, like grills from Lowes, hunting and fishing equipment. “We just feel as a church, in general, it’s important for us to invest in the community and to share the gospel,” said Shultz. Shutlz was pleased with the turnout. “This all started as a small church event called “The Deer Supper” at church member Bobby West’s barn in Rutledge about 12 years ago,” remembered Shultz. “To see it grow into something like this is just amazing.” Centennial Baptist began hosting the event at Heritage Park about seven years ago once the event got too big for the Rutledge location. Tickets were $12 each and a table for 8 cost $90. But this event is not a fundraiser for the church. The cost to attend pretty much covers the cost to put on the event for Centennial Baptist. “This is purely an outreach for the community,” said Shultz. Bill Sewell, another coordinator for the event, was grateful for all the participants who made this event possible. “It was just awesome,” said Sewell. “Best of all, we had 35 people make a commitment to Christ, and that’s a really big thing for us.” “We also had had great food and food service and a very interesting speaker,” said Sewell. “I want to make sure to thank all of the sponsors for the event and Lance Alexander of the Morgan County Rec Department for allowing us to use the facilities and for his valuable time. I’d also like to compliment the Centennial church members who participated in cooking and setting everything up. Everyone came together to make this happen, and I appreciate all of their hard work.”

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