CLINTON — It’s an event that many people look forward to every year.

The good cooks at the Bethel AME Church will be hosting their annual soul food dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church.

According to Vince Jetter, event organizer, the church hosted approximately 500 guests last year and this year the event is going to be even better. He said they have made some changes to more comfortably accommodate all of the diners and serve faster.

“Last year we had a lot of people standing outside waiting to get in,” he said. That won’t happen this year.

“We will have more food and we’re taking the carry-outs and deliveries out of another building. And all of the people will be calling their orders in ahead of time for delivery,” he said.

They may call ahead at 243-8603 on Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with deliveries beginning at 4 p.m. A specific delivery time may be designated.

Menu items include fried chicken, ham, barbecued pork ribs, assorted side dishes including beans and hocks, candied yams and corn bread. Sweet potato pie and peach cobbler will be served for dessert. Tickets will buy two meat and three side dishes. Bethel’s famous fried pies also will be on sale for $2 each. This will be the seventh year for the community dinner.

The proceeds will help the church pay heating bills throughout the winter. The church is located at 303 S. Third St.