InlineSEMINOLE, Fla.—Starkey Road Baptist Church went on a hog hunting “missions trip” to build relationships among the church’s men.

“We converted nine hogs—to bacon,” says Pastor Tom Benefiel. “Most of us left wives and children at home to also enjoy the great outdoors—cutting the grass and washing the car.”

Speaking seriously about the trip, he explains, “Hogs are part of an ecological disaster in Florida. They are not an indigenous species and they ruin the habitat. Where there are wild hogs, you find no quail, no rabbits, and very few deer. Any animal that has its babies on the ground are easily destroyed by a herd of hogs. So harvesting hogs in the wild is a public service.”

On a recent Saturday, the hunters loaded into two swamp buggies with six-foot-high tires and rumbled off into swamps and pastures. A hound dog accompanied each buggy to help find the pigs. Riding instead of walking to find the hogs made the task easy in Central Florida’s heat and humidity, and everyone got a hog.

The hunters butchered their hogs, put them in coolers, and went into town for ice and a late lunch. “Everyone said they had a great time of fellowship,” Benefiel says.

The hunting trip is one of many activities that Starkey Road Baptist Church hosts to build relationships among the church’s men. Benefiel says, “These activities provide the kind of atmosphere that promote deepening our men in the faith and with one another. We get to know one another by spending time doing fun things men like to do, whether it’s hunting, fishing, or sports activities.”

Starkey Road Baptist Church is an area church near the site of the GARBC Annual Conference June 23–27. Benefiel led a workshop at the Conference on “Mobilizing Your Church for Evangelistic Impact.”

Churches that would like to hunt hogs in Florida are invited to contact George Loeffler of Starkey Road Baptist Church at 727-543-9815.