The 138th Annual Chicken Pie Supper and Bake Sale at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Wauseon will be held Wednesday, Nov. 8, 129 E. Elm St.
The bake sale begins at 4:30 p.m., and dinner is served from 5-7 p.m. in the church fellowship hall or until it’s sold out. Carry-out drive-through service will be available in the church parking lot north of the hall from 4:30 p.m. until sold out.
The menu includes chicken pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, and homemade dessert pie, with sides of cole slaw, cranberry salad, bread and butter, and a beverage, all served family style.
This event requires 525 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of potatoes, 60 pounds of cranberries, four bushels of cabbage, 40 gallons of gravy, and 160 dessert pies.
The tradition began on a wintry day in 1879, when Jacob and Elizabeth (Mattie) Miley set out for the church with their bobsled and team. They arrived at the church and were joined by Jacob’s brother, Thomas, and his wife, Caroline (Cally) Miley, who were there to help serve the supper. The food was placed at the front of the church near the pulpit, and the diners sat in the front pews, where they were served by Jake and Tom Miley. Coffee was made and kept hot next door at Mrs. Wood’s house. The menu consisted of fried chicken, hominy, pickles, bread and butter, cake, and coffee. The price was 10 cents, and the ladies made $4 on their venture – the equivalent of $94.24 today.
This was the beginning of what has come to be called the Chicken Pie Supper at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It became an annual custom, and has been served each year except 1943, due to sugar rationing during World War II. However, in 1944, even though rationing continued, members of the church saved their stamps and donated them to be used for the church Chicken Pie Supper.
A bazaar was added in connection with the meal so that those attending might purchase the needlework, crafts, and other goodies prepared by members of the church. The custom continues with a bake sale replacing the bazaar.
The annual dinner still continues to be served for the public, which is cordially invited, with an annual attendance of nearly 1000.