Every year, over 200 senior adults from Grand Bay and surrounding communities join together on the Thursday before Thanksgiving for a meal and a time of fellowship. Started from a desire in a small class meeting in 1974 by Marie Brooks, the Community Senior Adult Thanksgiving Meal was born. Marie’s desire that all senior adults from South Mobile County would get together for a thanksgiving meal would grow into something that has people arriving an hour or two early to get a perfect spot for the meal and door prize giveaway.
This popular event is held at Friendship Baptist Church, where volunteers serve a homemade traditional Thanksgiving meal, conduct a small worship service, and do a free raffle for their attendees. This year, there were 225 guests not including all the volunteers, and over 80 gifts ranging from scarves and soups to gift cards and blankets were also donated and raffled. The Grand Bay Convalescent Home reserved two tables as they have done in years gone by and the residents who were able to attend had a wonderful time. Grand Bay local, Jennifer Brown led the crowd through worship in song and an Alabama football veteran, A. B. “Bubba” Sawyer from First Baptist Church in Fairhope, shared experiences and scripture commemorating the Thanksgiving holiday.
All the food is prepared by volunteers, mainly from Friendship Baptist, but open to others in the community. Many bring desserts to donate to the meal as well as sweet potato casserole and cranberries. Once everyone was stuffed with turkey, casseroles, and dessert, many ventured over to the church fellowship hall where Brother Jerry Hovel had a beautiful display of paintings, done by his art students this past year. Brother Jerry, Associate Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, is a very skilled artist that uses his gift of teaching and art to teach others how to do some of the type of artwork he creates. His artwork has been featured in various places around Mobile with one of the main places being the recently moved Von’s Restaurant. Other prints of his can be found in the Grand Bay Post Office.
As always the South Mobile County senior adults departed the 42nd Annual Senior Adult Thanksgiving Meal feeling grateful, thankful and blessed. Many have already commented on their excitement to join together again next year.