Special to the
Beginning in 1976, for 39 years, the members of Watoola United Methodist Church have had an annual pork and chicken barbecue. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 23. Food will be served between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Proceeds are used for church improvements.
Work for the barbecue begins long before the day the barbecue takes place. The wood used in cooking hams and chickens has to be gathered, the pit has to be cleaned, and paper and food products used in serving have to be purchased. More than 60 gallons of homemade Brunswick stew has to be made along with approximately 25 gallons of barbecue sauce. On Friday before the day of the barbecue 650 pounds of fresh whole hams and 350 halves of fresh chicken are picked up and prepared for cooking.
On Friday afternoon while the men are preparing the meat for the pit, the women of the church are preparing coleslaw, packaging bread slices, and setting up the serving line and tables. The area for the bake sale sponsored by the Watoola United Methodist Women must also be set up.
The men of the church and community gather to start cooking at approximately 3:00p.m. on Friday afternoon. The hams will cook until about 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning at which time they are removed to cool and then the first batch of chicken halves is placed on the grill. At about 6 a.m. members of the church and community return to cut the meat and get it ready for serving at 10:30 a.m.
Pork barbecue or chicken plates are $8.75 each and consist of chopped pork barbecue or a chicken half, Brunswick stew, slaw, dill pickles and bread. Soft drinks and baked goods may also be purchased. You may eat in the air-conditioned fellowship hall or take your plate with you.
A variety of home-baked cakes, pies, cookies, bread, brownies and other goodies will be available for purchase at the bake sale. These proceeds are used to support projects of the Watoola United Methodist Women. Copies of the Watoola cookbook, “Family Favorites”, will also be available for $12. Watoola United Methodist Church was established in 1838 on Watoola Creek. In 1905 the present church was built; it was renovated in 1980. The fellowship hall was built in 1990 with an addition added in 2010. The Reverend Gary Perry is the present minister.
Watoola United Methodist Church is located at 1370 Lee Road 38, Opelika. Travel about 13 miles south on Alabama Highway 51 and look for a sign directing you to Lee Road 38. Turn left onto Lee Road 38 and follow this road to the church. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the good barbecue and fellowship time.