2024 Holy Smoke barbeque competition raises over $17,000 for children's homes


PRESTON, Ga. — Springtime in Preston means that it’s once again time for the Holy Smoke Christian Grilling Competition, sponsored by Macedonia Baptist Church. Other churches in the area also joined to support the barbeque competition, which raises funds for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home in Meansville and the Methodist Girl’s Home in Americus.

This year’s event earlier this month marked the 21st edition of the competition which dates back to 2004. The judging includes categories for chicken, ribs, Boston butt, sauce and cakes. Westside Baptist Church from Adel, Ga., earned the coveted Grand Champion trophy, beating out 12 other teams for the honor.

Eight of those teams also competed in a cornhole tournament, with Weston Baptist Church taking home that title.

Food and music often go together, and the Holy Smoke competition is no exception. Guests were treated to a full day of gospel singing from local groups, as well as William Herndon coming from Jacksonville, Fla. The groups donated their time and talents to entertain the crowd.

Another tradition at Holy Smoke is the highly anticipated cake auction. This year, there were 12 cakes that fetched over $4000 from hungry bidders. That brought the total raised to nearly $17,700. Over its 20-year history, Holy Smoke has raised close to  $170,000 to support Christian ministries serving abused and neglected children.