Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Turkey dinner place to be today

link Betty Williamson

Local columnist

Shortly after Keith Wilks moved to Portales in July, he was paying a pastoral call to Roosevelt General Hospital and telling someone that he’d just arrived in town to be the new preacher at First United Methodist Church.

Wilks remembers the man lighting up and saying, “Oh, that’s the church that has the turkey dinner.”

Four months later, Wilks has spent this week learning exactly what that means, and today he’ll be hosting what is arguably one of Portales’ oldest and largest traditions, the 61st annual FUMC Turkey Day and Bazaar.

Shelly Atwood, a longtime church member and “head turkey” for the event, plans to take it a little easy on Wilks this year since it’s his first official turkey day. “The biggest thing I’m excited for is for Pastor Keith to just experience this,” she said. “It’s an amazing process.”

Wilks, who was a chaplain with Gentiva Hospice in Hobbs before accepting the position at FUMC, has been pitching in all week. He’s scheduled to be waiting tables and refilling drinks today as he takes part in an event that was founded six years before he was born.

He joins a crew of dozens of volunteers who are hoping to serve more than 2,000 meals today.

Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and supper is served from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

There is only one place to be in Portales today: “that church that has the turkey dinner.”

Betty Williamson would give up Christmas before she’d give up Turkey Day. You may reach her at [email protected]