05/19/08 — Really big grill has a higher calling

View Archive

Really big grill has a higher calling

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 19, 2008 1:49 PM

Julian Nelms of Fremont and Chip Crumpler of Goldsboro are used to fielding questions about the three large green and yellow grills mounted on a long trailer that they haul around.

So when they pulled up to their site at the Wayne County Relay For Life on Friday, they weren't too surprised when a little girl asked if she could ride their train.

The trailer hauling the trio of grills was used originally to carry irrigation pipe. The bodies of the grills were created from donated 500-gallon oil drums.

Nelms said God gave him the idea for the tandem grills.

"We'd be cooking at the First Pentecostal Holiness Church (in Goldsboro), and we'd have to get four or five grills and carry them every time we cooked. So we decided to build one so that when we went. We would be able to pull all that we would need in one trip," Nelms said.

And, as a farmer for 25 years, the John Deere green and yellow seemed to be a natural color choice.

"I just thought it would be something different and not just a regular black cooker," he said.

It took 240 hours and help from several friends to assemble the massive grills. He estimates the project has cost about $3,000.

He said about six people helped build the grills. It takes 20 to 25 people to help with the grilling chores.

"We can put two whole pigs on one grill," Nelms said. "We can cook over six pigs at one time. We can get all three grills going at one time."

He said that the cooking is done mostly for churches "to glorify God."

"It gets attention wherever it goes," Crumpler said. "The grills stay rolling all year round. They go out to a lot of events, all for fundraising and different church activities. We don't do it for hire, and we just do it to get the pleasure out of serving the Lord."

But getting the grills around town isn't easy.

"The first time he (Nelms) took it out, it came unhitched from the back of his truck, and he liked to have crashed it the first time he ever took it out."

Nelms said he slowed his vehicle and that when the trailer touched the bumper, he locked his brakes and held it and managed to stop without incident.

Friday, the grilling crew was cooking up sweet corn, rib-eye sandwiches, chicken-fillet sandwiches, French fries, ribbon fries and sweet potato fries.

Nelms called the grills "our gift to the community."

"We enjoy doing it and it is not work when it is your gift," he said.