Teresa Gentry said it best.

Teresa Gentry said it best.

As coordinator of the Soup Day on Nov. 3 at First Christian Church, Gentry said this annual event is not just a fundraiser, “It's really important to our church that it be a time of fellowship for our church and our community.

“We talk about how important it is to reach out into the community,” she said. “We were very pleased with the turnout.”

Gentry said the soup day profit, including from the items sold at bazaar tables and in the silent auction, “go to First Christian's Repair And Maintain our Property (RAMP) fund.

“We have one of the oldest churches in Hannibal are are trying to keep it maintained,” she said. “We appreciate the support.”

Gentry added, “I would not do it if not for the diligent efforts of our church members.”

In addition to being served chili or chicken noodle soup and dessert at the church, some people were taking carry-outs home. Jeanne Thomas had some chili, and then took home some bowls of both soups, along with pieces of pie.

Pickles, carrots and celery were also served on all the tables, and before leaving, Thomas noted that “the pickles are delicious, and they are Teresa's special recipe.” They also were being sold by the jar.

Gentry said the Soup Day has become locally renowned for its pickles, which are made from a recipe left years ago by one of the church women’s groups.

“I found it in the church archives,” she said. “It is a five-week process. I hand out the pickles, and the women do it at home. The pickles are in jars, and they are turned every three days. (The women) are called pickle turners.”

Pickles are not the only special food people were taking home, Gentry said. “We are now famous for our pimiento cheese spread. I made up a recipe, and it has been popular, and we now sell it in containers.”

Gentry also was proud of the church's youth group, which was selling beer bread the members had made. “They use that profit for local mission work, such as taking supplies to the women's shelter and making slipper socks for nursing homes,” she said.

Youth group members Elizabeth Beyers and Mia York were busy selling homemade beer bread.

Some church members shared Soup Day with several generations of their family. Among them was Pat Cowder with her grandson Ben Lane, his wife, Jayne, and their children, Emmy and Abby.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Steve Barker, credited Gentry for the Soup Day's success, calling her the “boss” and executive director of Soup Day.

First Christian hosted an old-fashioned worship service on North Main Street on Oct. 21 during Hannibal's Folklife Festival, and Barker said the church plans to continue this event. “We had a very nice time, and it went well,” he said. “We had 86 people attending, along with six dogs.”

See photo gallery for more pictures of First Christian Church Soup Day.

bev.darr@courierpost.com