A rainbow tea was the fitting meal to follow a recent hat parade at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Fieldale.
"We believe in having fun at Shiloh, so y'all just laugh and do what you want to do," Sophia Redd announced from the pulpit before the parade began. She is the wife of Shiloh's pastor, the Rev. Benjamin Redd, who has served the church for six years.
Judging by the culinary creations adorning the tables in the fellowship hall, the folks at Shiloh believe in eating well, too.
The food was arranged for a rainbow tea, in which each table has a scheme based on one color. All of the decorations, settings and food on that table are of that color.
The basic meal included chicken tenders, meatloaf, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, corn and beans on a serving table in the corner of the fellowship hall. The meatloaf was made by Jean Patterson of Rocky Mount and the potato salad by Lisa Brooks. The macaroni and cheese was a favor from Pandora Gil, Tonya Craighead's mother-in-law.
Each table was laden with sweets, hors d'oeuvres and desserts. The food on the colored tables was shared by members of each color team.
Sophia Redd was the captain of the purple table. At each end of the table were large plates with lemon tarts. As the meal progressed, people kept coming by to get tarts until the plates were empty.
The congregation of Shiloh has big dinners together "every time we get a chance," said Adrene Cox.
Sophia Redd said she enjoys being with her church family as much as with her real one. "We always have fun in our church. We laugh. We have outings together. ... The pastor tells us that everybody is somebody at Shiloh."�
She added that the pastor enjoys "working with young folks," and "we're always visiting the sick." Sophia sings in the choir and plays piano.
Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 each Sunday. Prayer meeting is held at 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday.
The pastor is a volunteer fireman in Patrick Springs and an avid fisherman. He also has a hobby with old cars, his wife said. He has a 1939 Plymouth. Both of the Redds belong to a car club.
Many members of the church will drive old cars on Aug. 31, the fifth Sunday, which Shiloh will observe as Old-Fashioned Day.
The Redds were married in 1979. Their other daughter is Tarongula Yellock of Stuart. They have four grandchildren, Tycarius Yellock, 4, Kyonna Dandridge, 8, Nakiyah Redd, 6, and Jymasia Manns, 1.
Sophia, 46, babysits her grandchildren. She also enjoys "looking at stories," particularly "Days of Our Lives" and "Passions," she said.
One of Sophia's favorite things to cook is fried chicken. She pours oil and butter to fill a regular saucepan about 3/4 full. She rolls each piece in seasoning flour before laying it the hot oil to cook for about a half an hour.
Her meals often are accompanied by deviled eggs. She mixes the yolks with relish, mustard, mayonnaise and a little sugar, dabs a spoonful of the mixture back into the well of each hard-boiled egg white, and tops it with paprika.