LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The congregation of the Southside Baptist Church gathered for a family-style Thanksgiving feast on Sunday.
"We come together and have a good time eating. And there probably be well over 200 hundred people here," said Karen Salinas, a member who has been attending the event so almost a decade.
The church hosted the dinner at the Grand on First located in downtown.
Pastor Randy Brown said their congregation expanded in May---where the Spanish speaking and English speaking churches became one. Now they needed a space to meet all their needs.
"This venue allows us to be not so cramped together," Brown said. "We're able to fellowship more and get around move. Whereas before tables were almost sitting on top of each other. I mean you couldn't really visit because one you got your spot you pretty much had to sit down."
The church said they host the dinner at least two weeks before the actual day of Thanksgiving as a way for the church family to come together before the travel season begins. Adding that it's an unofficial kick start for holiday season.
"Having lived in nine different states, been a part of different churches everywhere, these people are important to me," Salinas said. "They are my family here in Lufkin, Texas. These are my brothers and sisters and the lord and that means a lot to me."
Planning for the banquet started at least three months ago. Members of the church carved at least five turkeys at the feast.