Thanks to some spiritual direction, Daryl Lea has cooked up a way to help a worthy cause. He is spearheading the First Newark Baptist Church Cookoff.
Proceeds from the event will go to Compassion to the Nations, a locally based missions organization.
Lea said he was led to do something to further the kingdom of God after the death of his son Alex last summer.
“I felt like I needed to do something important or big,” he explained. “That’s what started the whole idea, the whole process.”
Lea, a barbecue aficionado, has put a lot of thought and work into the event slated for April 12 at First Newark. He has spent the last few days at Young Harris’ Brasstown Valley Resort, site of the Georgia BBQ Championship Winter Throwdown, looking to pick up tips to make the local cookoff successful.
“One of my friends is the manager up here,” Lea said during a Thursday telephone interview. “He said, ‘We’ll get you some good information and some good ideas.’”
The Throwdown features a $6,000 prize purse and Georgia Barbecue Championship points are awarded.
“This thing is a pretty big deal,” Lea said. “The grand prize is $2,000.”
The prize money for the First Newark Baptist Church Cookoff will be considerably less, but Lea hopes Compassion to the Nations, led by Stewart Braswell, will be the big winner.
“Stewart Braswell is in the states right now so he can drum up some money to go back to Nicaragua,” Lea said. “He is trying to get money to sponsor kids for school and stuff like that. They have to pay for school. It’s not like here.
“If they can’t pay for it, they don’t get to go to school.”
In addition to competing for prizes, First Newark Baptist Church Cookoff participants will be allowed to sell their barbecue chicken and/or pork. The church is requesting that 10 percent of the proceeds be donated to Compassion to the Nations.
Suggested prices are samples ($1), sandwiches ($3) and plates with sides ($5).
“The mission of the First Newark Baptist Church Cookoff is to have fun, cook excellent barbecue and raise money to donate to Compassion to the Nations,” Lea said.
Meat categories are chicken, pork ribs and Boston butt. Chickens may be cooked whole, halved or in individual pieces. Ribs may include loin back (baby back) or spare. Boston butts must be cooked as a single piece.
Entries will be judged on presentation, taste/flavor and tenderness/texture. A minimum of six separate and identifiable portions must be submitted.
A first- and second-place winner will be named in each category. The top winners will receive $50. The runners-up will get $25.
The entry fee is $20 per team.
“If we can get 15 to 20 teams, that would be awesome,” Lea said. “Hopefully, hundreds of people will help us raise $2,000-$3,000. The public is invited.”
First Newark Baptist Church is located at 225 Russell Rd.
For more information, call (229) 228-1418.