The Crossview Missional Church in Huntingdon County will host its fourth annual wild game meal this evening, welcoming a guest speaker from Tyrone.
This year’s guest speaker for the meal is Ryan Walk, a professional hunting guide of 18 years at Quest Haven Lodge in Tyrone. Walk enjoys hunting, fishing, and God’s beautiful creation. He serves as the director of the outdoorsman camping ministry at Truth Quest Ministries, also of Tyrone.
Walk has hunted all over the United States, and has traveled as far as Canada and Brazil on expeditions. He also has a passion for sharing the gospel wherever God leads him.
The wild game meal event is organized by a group at the church, with Freddie McKnight of Cassville heading the event.
“While it is church-based, it is open to the community, too,” said McKnight. “It’s usually a 50/50 mix of people who attend the church and people outside the church. We try to get the community involved; basically that’s what it is all about, and maybe get someone plugged into a church if they’re not already.”
Doors to the event open at 4 p.m. for a social hour, with the covered dish meal beginning at 5 p.m. and the speaker beginning around 6 p.m. There will be prizes at the end of the night. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge to attend. Attendees are encouraged to bring a favorite wild game dish to share, and photos of trophy game and fish on copy paper to be hung on the walls. The church is located at 18546 Cooks Rd., Cassville, at the former Trough Creek Elementary School.
The menu will include, at least, beaver, fish — some of which were caught on previous church group fishing trips, venison, bear, waterfowl, pheasant, striper, and “who knows what else,” said McKnight. He laughed when sharing stories about “mystery dishes” in years past, including “skunk fritters” (simply meatballs in barbecue sauce), and “wild rooster eggs,” which some people would shrug and try, while others would turn up their noses.
“It’s all prepared by the guests, and we just try to have a good time for the evening,” said McKnight, noting there have been 50 to 60 attendees in the past. “There are all ages, families, older people who don’t get out and hunt anymore but like to get out and socialize.”
In its 11th year, the church is “pretty outdoorsy,” with a group that gets together to go camping every year. Two yearly fishing trips are planned, with one to Niagra River in March, and another in Maryland in August. The youth group — Waypoints Ministry — takes part in various outdoor activities as well. A favorite has become a shed antler hunt in Benezette in April.
“We are trying to get some excitement for the outdoors. Hunting is a dying sport and not many youth are taking it up — and we like to get them involved in ministry as well,” explained McKnight, whose youngest son attended and loved Quest Haven’s camp in the past.
He is looking forward to welcoming Walk as this year’s speaker, with a respect for Quest Haven and Truth Quest Ministries for “how they incorporate worship and their camps,” and for having a “good foundation in their faith.”