He is a celebrity to man and fish alike. The men admire him and the fish hate to see him coming. Professional bass fisherman and popular TV host Hank Parker headlines the upcoming Men's Wild Game Supper at Solid Rock Baptist Church in Covington on Feb. 12.
"Hank Parker's a big name, but one who loves Jesus," Solid Rock Pastor Mike Franklin said. "He wants to share his love for Jesus."
One of America's foremost competitive bass fishermen, Parker's career began in 1976, when he began fishing in the National Bass Association Tournament Circuit, winning the National Championship his first season.
For the next two years he fished both the National Bass Association and the American Bass Association, beginning the storied career of a fisherman that CBS describes as one who is "the rod-and-reel answer to Michael Jordan in popularity and talent."
Parker was the first fisherman to win the Grand Slam of Bass Fishing, which included the Classic, B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year and the B.A.S.S. SuperBass Tournament.
Parker has also enjoyed a professional bass fishing and outdoor television host career that continues to grow each season. Broadcast on the Versus network, his "Hank Parker's Outdoor Magazine" remains among the most popular on TV.
A $5 donation is requested from those attending the Wild Game Supper, which will be held in a 1,700-square-foot tent on the church grounds at 8111 Brown Bridge Road in Covington. The event begins at 6 p.m.
In addition to Parker, Stephen Hill, who performed with The Gaithers, is also on the program that evening and door prizes will be awarded to guests. Those prizes include a new boat and a large-screen TV.
"It'll be a good night," said Franklin.
This is the first Men's Wild Game Supper Solid Rock Baptist has held in a couple of years. The pastor said the church hopes to host one every other year.
"We just want people to know the Lord," he said.
In previous years, the Wild Game Supper attracted about 1,500 people, and Franklin expects a similar crowd this year. The menu includes such fare as deer, rabbit, alligator, wild hog and quail.
Solid Rock Baptist Church offers regular Sunday services beginning with Bible study at 10 a.m. followed by morning worship at 11.
Common Grounds is the church's Wednesday night fellowship in which people come together at 7 p.m. for coffee, cookies, music and Bible study. Also on Wednesdays, the children's AWANA program meets at 6:45 and the W.O.W. program for youth begins at 7 p.m.
Church ministries include the Rock Mart Store, a faith-based thrift store that supports the community service ministries of the church. Also, the Solid Rock Willing Helpers deliver food to those in need, the disabled and seniors in rural areas. The group also volunteers at Solid Rock's new free medical clinic.
Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Snellville. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.