More than half a dozen Denison churches teamed up Friday to thank area public servants for their work with an appreciation luncheon. The event that has been taking place for more than 30 years was held at First Christian Church of Denison and welcomed police officers, paramedics, firefighters, government employees, educators and others to sit down or drive off with a brisket lunch.

Participating organizations included First Christian, First Presbyterian Church of Denison, Park Avenue Church of Christ, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Trinity Methodist Church, Waples United Methodist Church and Bratcher Funeral Home. Former judge Horace Groff also helped with the event.

“They serve us unconditionally,” said Carolyn Brady of First Christian. “Some of them put their lives at risk every day. We appreciate them for that and we’re just trying to show it.”

Brady said the luncheon was started in the late 1980s under a different name, but has been hosted at a number of the city’s downtown churches over the years. And that cooperation was key with an estimated 100-250 meals served this year.

“It’s so neat that we all work together,” Brady said. “We’re all unique and we all have our own congregations, but we have a lot in common here in wanting to support the people in our community.”

United States Postal Service Mail Carrier Sherry Jackson attended the luncheon for the third time this year and said she takes pride in her work with the public.

“I love my job and I love working for the people,” Jackson said. “When I’m on my route, my customers see me and know me by my first name. And, I know them by theirs.”

Jackson said while she and other public servants don’t work for the recognition, Friday’s luncheon was a welcomed reward.

“It does feel good, that’s why we keep coming back here,” Jackson said.

Drew Smith is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at