By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer
WINNFIELD – In the town of Winnfield and its surrounding areas, people have three essential passions: hunting, fishing, and God. This September, those people will have a chance to enjoy all those loves in one place.
The Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Jonesboro will sponsor and host its second annual Hunters and Anglers Rally at 6;30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Winnfield Civic Center.
“After the tremendous success of the first rally, we had to make this an annual event,” said Missions and Ministry Center DOM Clovis Sturdivant. “We’re hoping that the second can top the first in so many ways.”
Sturdivant himself has a love for hunting and fishing that was instilled in him during his childhood by his grandparents. He recalled how the idea for the Hunters and Anglers Rally came to fruition in the first place.
“One of our pastors had been doing something like this for the members of his church for a couple of years as a way of creating fellowship, but on a small scale,” the DOM said. “He and I talked, and he met with Bobby Brasher over in Texas, where they were doing this sort of thing on a much larger scale. He came back and told me about some of the things they were doing, and we said, ‘Why can’t we do something like that for our entire area?’
“We got together a group of men who were interested in it and started having some meetings about the rally, and one thing led to another,” Sturdivant continued. “We appropriated funds out of this office for the rally, and got a speaker. Since a lot of these guys are involved in different hunting and fishing federations, they began to reach major players in their organizations, particularly those who were Christians.
“We started inviting them and ended up with about three or four of those men who talked about hunting and fishing and gave faith testimonies. We also invited Brother Jack Daniels to deliver a message. Despite a few challenges, such as getting enough room for people, the event turned out really well. We had eight adults saved for the first event and are expecting greater things this year.”
Some of the activities that are to take place at the 2011 Hunters and Anglers Rally include a repeat of Jack Daniels as the guest speaker, giving away door prizes such as shotguns and rifles. Several other special speakers who will give their testimonies will be Davy Hyte, winner of The Bass Masters Classic, and Chad Bowen, four-state representative for the Wild Turkey Federation.
“A meal will be provided; however, to have a sit-down meal, you must have tickets,” said the DOM. “Although anyone is invited to the program, we are limiting the meal to the 400. The program is free and the meal is free; however, again, you must have a ticket to eat. Tickets will be made available through the pastors of the churches in Jackson, Shady Grove, and Winn Baptist Associations. We’ll also have some of our men singing, which is always fun.”
Though the event will provide great opportunities for the hunting and fishing crowd, Sturdivant affirmed that it was Christ as the most important factor in the rally.
“Some people think it’s either hunting or Christianity, and we’re finding out that we can combine all of that and enjoy it equally,” the DOM said. “We want to show people that you can enjoy life being a Christian. We’re asking our church members to bring people who are unchurched to this event, as a lot of them hunt and fish, and give them a chance to hear godly testimonies from some of the main leaders in both categories. We’re also challenging all of the adult Sunday School classes in our 60 churches to come up with some kind of door prize they can provide for the rally. We’ve got a lot going on at this event.”
Sturdivant said he hopes the event will see more professions of faith in addition to being even better than last year’s event.
“After last year, we had a lot of people who approached me and asked if we’re doing this again, and that’s
By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer