ROOPVILLE, Ga. — The church that can capture the hearts of men for Christ is likely to save marriages, children, homes, the community, and the nation. Roopville Road Baptist Church is winning the favor of men and equipping them to become change agents for the glory of God.
They use events like low country boils to get the attention of men and proceed to disciple them.
The Roopville church recently sold 1,600 tickets for their low county boil. What does it take to have a low country boil for that many men?
Scotty Burkes, the leader of the men’s ministry at Roopville Road Baptist Church, and Tim Eady, who along with others, has been preparing these meals for 7 to 8 years, reported that feeding the very large passel of hungry men for the low country boil on a recent Friday night takes about 815 lbs. of shrimp, 448 lbs. of sausage, 2000 to 2400 small ears of corn on the cobb, 450 lbs. of red potatoes, 60 lbs. of sweet onions, 8 5-pound tubs of butter, 12 bags of lemons at 2 lbs. a bag, 110 gallons of tea, and enough corn meal and whatever else it takes to make 10,000 hushpuppies.
Rick Burgess, co-host of the Rick and Bubba Radio Talk Show, made a video appearance at the event and stated, “The last time I was at the low country boil at Roopville Road I saw more hushpuppies than I had ever seen in one place in my life.”
Roopville Road Baptist Church has a variety of events for the various groups in the church. Burkes explained that the men have golf tournaments, family fishing rodeos, small group discipleship groups, and External Men’s Conferences. They are intricately involved with the Carrollton Baptist Association in assisting local churches by encouraging men to individually listen to God’s voice to be revived and transformed.
After the men had fully enjoyed the fellowship of having a meal together, their attention was directed to the inspirational part of the evening in the worship center. The church’s minister of music, Bryant Turner, led the formidable host of men in singing, “Victory in Jesus,” “I Sing Praises to Your Name,” “'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” and “Oh How I love Jesus.” The auditorium reverberated with the voices of hundreds of singing men.
In years past The Promise Keepers events had t-shirts for sale that read “Real Men Sing Real Loud.” There were none of those shirts visible in the throng of men at Roopville Road, but the worship center was filled with “real men,” because the sound of all those men singing was thrilling.
When the host pastor, Dr. Stephen Peeples, rose to welcome the crowded auditorium of men, he said, “We started this years ago in our fellowship hall with 40 men and the meal that night was barbeque. But what has happened over the years is of the Lord. It has nothing to do with us or with Roopville Road. It is all the Lord. We have other pastors here tonight and men from other churches. This is not territorial. This is Kingdom work. And we are gathered here to worship an audience of One.”
Scotty Burkes's obvious passion is to reach men for Christ. He said, “God told me, ‘Go, tell men I want to fellowship with them.' Christ’s love goes deeper than having a personal relationship. He wants a continual fellowship with men which includes spending time alone with Him.
“My goal, mission, vision, purpose for our men is for them to become Great Commandment Men according to Matthew 22:37-38 where Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’
“We are discovering that if men become Great Commandment men, they will soon become Great Commission men as mandated in Matthew 28:18-20. I have discovered that what I love the most is what I talk about the most, therefore, obedience to the Great Commandment will lead to obedience to the Great Commission.”
The guest speaker for the occasion was Rich Wingo, a former linebacker on the University of Alabama football team who was drafted to play in the National Football League by the Green Bay Packers. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2014. His professional experience also includes being a football coach at Alabama and a business owner.
Wingo told the story about being kicked off the team at the University of Alabama by Paul “Bear” Bryant for not giving his best in practice. He met with the coach the next day to plead for a new chance which was reluctantly granted. He ramped up his work ethic on the football field in practice and stated, “I went from being satisfied and contented to being sold out and committed.”
Wingo brought a powerful message on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 and encouraged the men to be watchful, be strong and do it all in love.
Wingo challenged the men to “get off the couch, turn off the television and engage in the life of your wife, your children and your grandchildren.” It was a rousing message that won the attention of those present.
Don Tugman, an usher at Roopville Road, testified, “Once we got in the worship service you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was uplifting to be among so many men who gave evidence of a desire to grow in the Lord. The amazing spirit of the meeting is almost impossible to adequately describe.”
Daniel Bearden, who attends Midway Church on Sundays, but attends a Bible study at Roopville Road on Wednesday evenings, showed up early on Friday with an apron and a knife ready to work and stated, “It is always a blessing to be involved with these guys. I get strength from them, and through them I have discovered that the more you are in the Word, the less you are in the world.”
Tim Eady, who has been a member of Roopville Road for 16 years, loves the fellowship derived from working with other men in preparing the event’s meal. He emphatically stated, “Rich Wingo did a great job of touching our hearts. He hit the nail on the head.”
The attendance, the excitement, the food, the fellowship, the singing, the message, the spirit, and the response of those who made commitments to Christ all combined to make the low country boil a meaningful and memorable experience.