One of my favorite meals of the year was the chicken pastry dinner I enjoyed at Banner Chapel Advent Christian Church in Benson.
Not only did I get to introduce my sister-in-law to chicken pastry, I ate my fill of homemade desserts. (Who could pass up the banana pudding made with Pepperidge Farm chessman cookies?)
The best part of the night was the auction with a real auctioneer. He auctioned off plates of cookies, cakes, homemade wreaths, toys, a fishing rod and more. I loved watching the older men and women coolly bid on items, some spending hundreds of dollars for two dozen cookies or a pound cake.
If my sister-in-law or I had cash or our checkbooks, we would have been in real trouble.
It’s those experiences that reinforce for me why we publish this list twice each year — once in the fall and then before Lent — so you too can have such a memorable dining experience.
Wake Forest Church of God Fish Fry
The Men’s Ministry will sell plates with flounder, green beans, boiled potatoes and a roll. Desserts and drinks available for $1 each. Dine-in and takeout available. Free delivery of orders of 10 or more plates. 11 a.m. Sept. 2. $8. Wake Forest Church of God, 155 E. Cedar Ave., Wake Forest. 919-562-2425, wakeforestchurchofgod.com.
Mount Zion UMC BBQ Chicken Dinner
Plates include a half chicken, boiled potatoes, green beans, a roll and dessert. Dine-in and takeout available. Proceeds go to the building fund. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 9. $9; $5 for children ages 3 and up. Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 15772 NC 50, Garner. 919-772-8415, mountzion-umc.org.
Wendell United Methodist Church Fish Fry
This event includes silent auction, bazaar, frozen casserole sale and games for kids. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., 4-7 p.m. Sept. 10. $9. Wendell United Methodist Church, 129 N. Main St., Wendell. 919-365-6266, wendellumc.org.
Benson Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church BBQ & Chicken Plate Sale
Enjoy a meal while helping support the church. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 10. $8. Benson Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church, 205 E. Hill St., Benson. bensonpfwbc.com.
Ebenezer UMC BBQ Chicken Fundraiser
Plates include a half chicken, boiled potatoes, coleslaw, roll, dessert and beverage. Dine-in and takeout available; takeout does not include a beverage. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 16. $8. Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 724 Beaver Creek Road, Apex. 919-387-0944.
Carter’s Chapel Baptist Church Pork BBQ
Pork barbecue with homemade sauce, boiled potatoes, coleslaw, hush puppies and a slice of homemade cake. Sweet tea is available for dine-in. Delivery is limited to large orders. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 17. $8 plate; $10 pound of barbecue. Carter’s Chapel Baptist Church, 3644 Old Buelah Road, Selma, 919-634-7802.
Woodland Baptist Church Barbecue Pork and Chicken Dinner
Pork or chicken. Dine-in and takeout available. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17. $10 Woodland Baptist Church, 190 Woodland Church Road, Wake Forest. 919-556-5455, woodlandwakeforest.com
Holly Springs UMC Monthly Dinner
Free community comfort food dinner every third Saturday of the month from 4-7 p.m. Next one is Sept. 17. Holly Springs United Methodist Church, 108 Avent Ferry Road, Holly Springs. 919-557-3467, hsumc.net
Providence Presbyterian Church Youth Group BBQ
Barbecue pork, boiled potatoes, slaw, hush puppies and dessert. Dine-in and takeout available. Call the church between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to order tickets in advance, or join on the day of the event. Proceeds benefit youth activities and capital campaign. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 23. $8. Providence Presbyterian Church, 14664 NC 210, Angier. 919-894-4063, providencepresb.org.
St. James UMC Annual BBQ Fundraiser
Barbecue, slaw, green beans, potatoes and hush puppies. Dine-in and takeout available. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 23. $8.50. St. James United Methodist Church, 3808 St. James Church Road, Raleigh. 919-876-5796, stjumc.us.
Olive Chapel Baptist Church Annual BBQ Fundraiser
Barbecue pork or chicken with two side, hushpuppies and dessert. Eat-in or drive-thru. Delivery available for plates of 10 or more. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. $9. CC Jones Building, 309 Holleman St., Apex. To order by Sept. 22 call 919-218-5784. www.olivechapel.org.
Temple Baptist Church Fish Fry
Fried flounder, potatoes, coleslaw, hush puppies, dessert and a drink, with proceeds supporting church missions and capital efforts. Dine-in and takeout available. There will also be a craft sale. Noon-1:30 p.m., 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 23. $9. Temple Baptist Church, 2121 Umstead Road, Durham. 919-309-0050, tbcdurham.org.
St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church Harvest Festival
The 2016 Harvest Festival features authentic South Indian cuisine, live music, stage performances, live auction, kids’ games and more. 3-8 p.m. Sept. 24. Free. St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, 225 Bashford Road, Raleigh. 919-307-6390, stgregoriosnc.org.
McMannen UMC Fall Festival
Meals include Brunswick stew, barbecue pork, chicken and dumplings, coleslaw, hush puppies, desserts and tea or coffee. Plus a silent auction, musical performances, kids activities and bake sale. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 1. $9 per plate; $18 quart of barbecue; $7.50 quart of Brunswick stew; free for children under 10. McMannen United Methodist Church, 4102 Neal Road, Durham. 919-383-1263, mcmannenumc.org.
Macedonia UMC Fall BBQ
Pork or chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, hush puppies, dessert and drink. Dine-in and takeout available. Office lunch delivery available. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 7. $9. Macedonia United Methodist Church, 2700 Jones-Franklin Road, Raleigh. 919-851-1551. macedoniaumc.org.
Clyde’s Chapel Baptist Church Brunswick Stew & BBQ Chicken
The Baptist Men will serve Brunswick stew, barbecue chicken, sides and desserts. The money raised goes toward missions in the community. 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8. $4-$8. Clyde’s Chapel Baptist Church, 16657 Buffalo Road, Wendell. 919-365-6969, clydeschapelbaptist.org.
Chatham UMC BBQ, Craft Show and Bluegrass
Barbecue dinner with craft show and bluegrass music from New Direction. Plates include pork, sides and dessert. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 15. $8. Chatham United Methodist Church, 1826 Chatham Church Road, Moncure, 919-545-0906, Chatham.nccumc.net.
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Oktoberfest
Enjoy bratwurst and beverages during annual Oktoberfest celebration. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share. Donations will support an outreach ministry. 12:30 p.m. Oct. 16. Free. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 824 N. Buchanan Blvd., Durham. 919-682-6030, gracelutheranchurch.net.
First Presbyterian Church Raleigh BBQ Fundraiser
This fundraiser celebrates the church’s 200th anniversary and support its missions and kitchen. Plates include Clyde Cooper’s barbecue with slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, pork skins, dessert and tea. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 28. $10. First Presbyterian Church, 112 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh. 919-821-5750, fpcraleigh.org.
North Raleigh UMC Pork BBQ Dinner
Enjoy an Eastern N.C. barbecue pork plate including rolls, potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and drink. Brunswick stew will be sold by cup or quart, and pork by the pound. Desserts will be available via bake sale. Dine-in and takeout available. Free delivery of orders of 10 or more plates. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 4. $9 plate, pound of pork or quart of stew; $3 cup of stew. North Raleigh United Methodist Church, 8501 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh. 919-847-1536, nrumc.org.
Mount Pisgah Baptist Church Chicken Dumplings and Stew Dinner
Chicken dumplings, green beans, baked apples, fried cornbread and dessert. Dine-in and takeout available. 4-7 p.m. Nov. 5. $9; $4 children 10 and under. Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, 1288 Mt. Pisgah Church Road, Apex. 919-362-7951, mountpisgahchurch.org.
Southwood Memorial Christina Church Harvest Festival
Pork and chicken plates with sides are available starting at 10 a.m. Fish stew sold at 5:30 p.m. Dine-in and takeout available. Delivery available for orders of 10 or more plates. Auction at 6:30 p.m. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 12. $8. Southwood Memorial Christian Church, 1027 Highway 58 S, Kinston, 252-527- 8780, southwoodmemorial.com
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Mid-Week Advent Dinners
At 6 p.m. each Wednesday in Advent, a light dinner will precede 7 p.m. vespers service. The food will be catered by a local restaurant or prepared by members of the congregation. Please RSVP by Sunday to the church office. Nov. 30, Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. $5 suggested donation. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 824 N. Buchanan Blvd., Durham, 919-682-6030, gracelutheranchurch.net.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Soup Lunch and Bazaar
Enjoy soup, cornbread, sides and desserts. Dine-in and takeout available. Sales benefit local social ministries. The bazaar includes homemade jams, desserts and pastas. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 3. Prices vary. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 10 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough. 919-732-9308, stmatthewshillsborough.org.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Holiday Cafe and Bake Sale
Enjoy delicious Greek food and pastries prepared by the members of the Philoptochos Society. All proceeds benefit local, national and international charities. Dine-in and takeout available; pastries can be pre-ordered online. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Prices vary. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 5000 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh. 919-781-4548, holytrinityraleigh.org.