Church chili fest will raise money for mission trip

Published 12:46 am Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Some of Suffolk’s finest chili chefs will go head-to-head this Sunday during a Nansemond River Baptist Church event raising money to send youth members to an enriching summer camp in South Carolina.

The student ministry’s first Chili Cook-off will take place at the church, located at 2896 Bridge Road, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Entrants will bring their chili to the event, the church’s Tom Powell said, for judging in three categories: People’s Choice will be selected by those who purchase tickets to attend the event; Judge’s Choice will be judged by four leaders of the student ministry; and Most Creative will be decided by the same ministry leaders.


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But it’s not all about chili. The event will also feature a homemade dessert auction, where Powell will auction specialty desserts that have been donated.

“Some are generational treats where the recipes are passed down for years,” Powell said, adding that his auctioneering style would “focus on describing each dessert in a way that brings the most money,” emphasizing fun descriptions, special ingredients and unusual stories attached to the heirlooms.

The summer camp the event is raising money for, MFUGE, will take place in Charleston, S.C., Powell said. “During the week, students will have the opportunity to grow spiritually with their youth groups and other campers, as well as have the opportunity to go to the city to do intentional work in the community,” he added.

“It’s a hands-on way for students to experience missions work.”

Tickets for the chili cook-off are $5. Guests can try sample bowls of as many different chilis as they want, and fixings — cheese, sour cream and crackers — plus water and tea are included in the ticket price.

Powell said the event would be fun, engaging and relaxing. It’s the student ministry’s first such event, he added, and is based on an event he organized at another church, which was “successful and fun.”

The event will help youth in the church to attend a summer camp that will enrich their lives and the world, according to Powell.

“Our students are special, and it takes a lot of money to go on a mission trip, but the return on investment is immeasurable, as it will change and influence lives.”

Tickets are available from any sixth- through 12th-grader at the church who is attending the camp, or at the door.

For more information on tickets, or about donating a chili or dessert, visit