St. Luke hosts annual Wild Feast
by Carly Grady
Feb 13, 2013 | 771 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joy Hill Watson is keeping her father’s memory alive by coordinating Matthew Hill’s Annual Wild Feast, which her late father started almost 30 years ago.

The feast is scheduled for Feb. 17 at St. Luke A.M.E. Church, following the 11 a.m. service. Everyone in the community is invited to attend the free event and taste a variety of wild game.

“My father, Rev. Matthew Hill started the Wild Feast about 30 years ago and it was born out of his love for wild game. He used to bring opossum and squirrel to school when he was assistant principal at Cartersville Middle School,” Watson said. “He started doing it at our church, and so after he passed in 2009, I started [hosting the feast] and it was always a part of the Black History Month celebration.

“I inherited this event from the greatest man on the earth, my daddy. So it always brings me a little closer to him. Throughout the years, he always had me in the kitchen with him as he was preparing his wild game, and I thought I was just keeping him company. What he was doing was actually teaching me how to cook the food.

“I think he was preparing me for when I had to take on this event myself because my mama won’t do it. She doesn’t even want me to cook the food in her kitchen.”

The feast will be served buffet-style and will have a variety of wild game, including deer, goat, rabbit, mountain oysters, alligator meat, chicken feet, pig ears and raccoon. There also will be chicken and ham for those who are not as adventurous.

Watson, however, has learned from her father to love wild game.

“I think my favorite thing to eat is goat. Goat tastes like pork. I like turtle and rabbit, too; those taste like chicken. Squirrel tastes like chicken. Deer and bear, they taste like beef,” she said.

In addition to the feast, the event will feature guest speaker Creed W. Parnell Jr., publisher, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and founder of the Gospel Choice awards. Watson said she usually tries to find high-profile people to speak at the event.

“My husband knew [Parnell] and talked about the things that he’s doing in the community and through his magazines and he also holds the Gospel Choice Awards, which is a big event in Atlanta, and now he’s trying to spread it throughout several other states,” Watson said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity for people in Cartersville to hear from him, and it would be a good opportunity for him to tell about his magazine and his Gospel Choice Award.”

St. Luke Church is located at 130 Jones St. in Cartersville. For more information on the event, visit www.saintlukeame.org. Charles Ramsey is pastor at the church.