CREEDS — Perhaps 150 people joined together on a Saturday in August for a dinner recognizing the senior citizens in the community surrounding the Church of Christ at Creeds.
The church has held the gathering for decades, well before the Rev. John Boyer came, and he’s been here 20 years. First it was in a hallway, then in larger and larger fellowship halls that have served this rural congregation and welcomed everybody else.
Joining the gathering this year was Bob Morris, who left here long ago to enlist in the military, serving as a communications specialist in the Johnson White House. He later worked in the Washington, D.C., area, and he lives in Winchester now, but this is still his home church, though this was his first time at the dinner.
“I just followed my nose from about 20 miles down the road,” he said, arriving.
“You’re not old enough to be here, are you?” Boyer asked.
“No,” Morris said. “I’m not.”
Billy Sager, 13, passed out programs with great enthusiasm.
“These tell you what’s going on,” he said.
“We already know what’s going to happen,” Morris said. “There’s going to be some eating.”
Someone else arrived. Sager was ready.
“Help yourself to these lovely programs.
If you sat down without a program, it was your own fault. Sager said he would help serve the meal later.
“The dinner is just to come and have some great fellowship, hear some music and get closer to the Lord,” he said.
A few moments later, Morris discredited the notion that he is a senior citizen.
“I’m only 70,” he said. “I’m just a kid.”
He remembered the church before it had the facilities. Buildings aside, it is the work of community that matter, such as members of this congregation who visit his parents at an assisted living home in Moyock, N.C.
“I’ve already seen people I grew up with, and that’s a good thing,” he said.
J.D. Waterfield, a lifelong Creeds resident, remembered coming to church in a horse and cart during his childhood.
Joan Waterfield, his wife, said the dinner has been going on for at least 35 years.
“We started just doing it in the hallway by the sanctuary,” she said. It grew into a fellowship hall, and then the present hall.
“We started inviting the community.”
Those present came from other churches, other areas, including Knotts Island, N.C.
After a meal of ham, chicken tenders, sides and desserts, there was music, both sacred numbers and, of course, “The Pungo Song.”