people in pew/finley maddox

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Finley Maddox knows his way around the kitchen when it comes to planning a meal for a large group. He can slice a pie or cake to serve a crowd, figure the number of servings in a ham and portion potato salad so everyone has enough food.

But these meals aren't connected to celebrations, but with funerals.

Maddox serves on the bereavement committee at First Baptist Church and coordinates meals for families whose relative has died. Most often the meals are served at the church, where the deceased was a member.

Church members provide the food for the meal, with the exception of the meat, which is usually purchased from a grocery store. In some cases, the family will not request a meal but Maddox makes sure that they have a meat tray to use at their home or at the funeral home.

Maddox has been serving as the bereavement meal coordinator since taking the committee post in 1989. He is also a deacon at the church and former Sunday school department director.

"The ladies say I'm the handiest man to have around because I know how to work in the kitchen," he said.

But there were lessons involved. The kitchen hostess told Maddox how to figure up the number of pounds of meat needed to serve a large crowd and how to make sure there were enough breads or cakes to go around.

"I know that cakes go farther than pies and that potato dishes always run out," Maddox said.

Often, he gets a call from the funeral home director asking for the church to serve a meal. And, he said, the family who has lost a loved one is always appreciative.

All the thank-you notes received are posted in the church for members to see, he said.


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