John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
This year marks 28 years that Hickory Grove United Methodist Church has held the Annual Founder's Day Celebration. The celebration will be held on the third Saturday in October, which is Saturday, Oct. 20.
As usual, there will be food, gospel singing, syrup-making and plenty of fun. The festivities begin at about 8 a.m., and will last until about 3 p.m. The last event on the agenda will be when the Circuit Rider Preacher arrives for his annual message. As in past years, a message will be given by Hickory Grove's own minister, Steve McHargue.
During this year's Founder's Day, the official program is being dedicated to Bobby Joe Buchanan, who grew up in the Hickory Grove Methodist Church. Bobby Joe passed away this summer, and he is missed by everyone who attends the small country church.
When Founder's Day first began, Bobby Joe began cooking a huge pot of venison chili and has continued for 27 years. His son, Michael, who is also a great cook, has helped him all these years, and will now take over the official "chief cook" duties for the chili booth. It is certain that Bobby's wife, Mary, will assist Michael and give great advice.
Bobby Joe is remembered for many things and being a great cook is at the top of the list. He is also remembered for his love of North Florida Community College and all the dogs he had over the past 50 plus years.
A highlight of Hickory Grove's Founder's Day is being present for breakfast, cooked on old wood-burning stoves. Cousin Mary Lou's Breakfast Booth will be open by 8 a.m., with hot biscuits stuffed with ham or sausage. You can also split the biscuit open and pour real cane syrup over the biscuits. It's definitely a breakfast no one wants to miss.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy a great day at the church during the festivities. The festivities will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hickory Grove Methodist Church, located at 1218 NE Hickory Grove Rd., in Pinetta. Look for the signs so you will not get lost. For more information, call Dan Buchanan at (850) 464-8710.