Anyone who grew up in the Baptist church knows that having a meal after service, a funeral or other special event is going to be interesting. No matter what city, town or state you are in the stories of what happens before during and after never changes. There may be a few variations, but for the most part, Baptists are pretty consistent, This is a list of Seven things that everyone associated with this denomination knows to be true, even when they won't admit it. Some of these are subtle and may be easily missed by a casual observer. Those, however, who are deeply involved in the preparing and serving of food, as well as the cleanup, know what can be counted on to take place.

It's always about the food in the Baptist church

The first thing that happens when a meal needs to be prepared in the Baptist denomination is to make the list of who will be bringing what. Someone is always designated to make the phone calls and coordinate which church members will be bringing the vegetables, casseroles, desserts, and drinks. Number two is that the church itself most always pays for the meats. There was a time when members of the fellowship did all the cooking, but today most churches cater the meats.The third thing you can count on is fried chicken and green beans on the menu.

The fourth consistency that always takes place is that someone on the food committee will opt to sit through most of the church service and at an appropriate time they will leave the sanctuary to go and help the rest of the hospitality committee.

You can count on seeing those two or three individuals walk off of the choir stand or leave their seat in the congregation simultaneously so they can work behind the table serving the meal. The fifth constant is the servers limiting what is put on the plates. They give a stern look as if you are trying to steal something and even though there is more than enough on hand to eat, they act as if you are raiding their personal refrigerator.

It's always about the food for the Baptists.

The real fun begins after the church dinner is over

Number six starts the real fun once the church dinner has been concluded because this is when the pack up occurs. This is when the servers who frowned on your asking for an extra role as you went through the line or coming back for seconds, pack up the extra food and take it home.

The food is supposed to be for those in attendance, but the church members behind the table often hoard the leftovers for themselves. Sometimes they even take a cake or pie before the meal begins and put it away in the kitchen or take it to their vehicle.

Number seven is the phone calls in that take place during the next few days. In my 40 plus years in the Baptist church, I have been in a number of homes where the older ladies call each other to swap tales about the kitchen crew. They discuss who smuggled food and drinks out of the building and could tell you how much of each was taken. This is a light-hearted view of what often takes place in this particular branch of Christianity and certainly was not meant to offend.