Elijah Kellogg Church volunteers prepare meals during the traditional chicken barbecue on July 29. Back row, from left: Pat Myer, of Brunswick; Lindsay Deinzer, of Harpswell; Dave Deinzer, of Harpswell; and Becky Marcos, of Brunswick. Front row, from left: Martha Richardson, of Harpswell; Jane Perkins, of Harpswell; Meg Tucker, of Topsham; and Elly Cary, of Harpswell.

On the last Saturday in July, the Elijah Kellogg Church in Harpswell Center hosted a chicken barbecue, a summer tradition for more than 60 years. A hardworking group of church volunteers served more than 380 meals to residents and visitors from all parts of the community.

The attendees reflected the diversity of Harpswell’s residents. Looking as if he had just come in from hauling traps, a lobsterman waited patiently in line near a town official, who stood behind frequent summertime visitors who were happy to be in Harpswell for the community meal. A visitor from New York City was heard speculating about doing a similar barbecue at her church in upper Manhattan, near Columbia University.

Hoping to beat a forecasted downpour, many of the diners arrived during the first hour of the three-hour event and joined a line that at one point extended to the parking lot. Once they had picked up their meals, most chose to sit at the crowded tables inside the fellowship hall, since by then the wind and rain made the outdoor seating only for the hardy.

Keyboardist Sam Saltonstall entertained diners and volunteers alike with lively background music. Despite the weather, the wait and the heat, many people had smiles on their faces and were glad to have a chance to meet and converse with their neighbors and visitors.

Upcoming community events at the Kellogg Church include the holiday fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 4. Lobster rolls, fish chowder and homemade pies will be available beginning at 11 a.m.