Waynesboro First Baptist Opens Doors for Christmas Community Din - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Waynesboro First Baptist Opens Doors for Christmas Community Dinner

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Waynesboro's First Baptist Church is bringing people together for its traditional community dinner on Christmas Day.

It takes an entire community to pull off the event. Church members began cooking 1,000 pounds of food Tuesday. They're ready to share a meal - but also a tradition and blessings.

Three generations crowd the kitchen at Waynesboro Baptist Church to prepare cranberry relish, a recipe straight from grandma's cookbook.

"As far as I can remember back, and I'm 64 years old, that recipe has been prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Velva Barr, volunteer & past coordinator of the community dinner.

But Barr and her family serve more than a favorite dish.

"I think it gave my children the real meaning of Christmas in giving to others. And now I can't imagine not doing it," said Barr.

Volunteers expect to host 500 guests at the Community Christmas Dinner on Wednesday. The event has taken off since it began almost 20 years ago.

One of the coordinators of the dinner, Don Thomas, says everyone will have a seat at the table.

"That's the whole purpose of the event - is involving the community. Not only to feed, to serve. But for those who come, who have nowhere else to go," said Thomas.

Besides the classic foods - like turkey, ham, potatoes and green beans - volunteers work around the clock to make sure everything looks perfect, too.

Barr says the secret ingredient isn't that splash of vanilla or dash of sugar - it's a devotion to the community.

"It's what the season is all about - giving to others," said Barr. 

The meal is served Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the church on South Wayne Avenue and anyone is welcome.

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