It's been called one of North Carolina's hidden dining treasures. The "hot dog church" even has it's own Yelp review page. The cooks say the secret behind their red-hot success is no mystery: they give away every dime and dollar they make. In 2014, Heidi Robinson sampled the summer staple this church is known for.
(Locator: Greensboro, North Carolina)
Carraway United Methodist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina is known far and wide as "the hot dog church."
(Man with a box of hot dogs) "Ten all the way. And I'm willing to share if ya'll would like to try."
The Rev. Karen Gobel: "I think the chili is sooo good."
They've got a reputation… not just for good food… but good works.
Merari Mortera, Volunteer: "We are only making hot dogs but this is going to do so many other things, either help people pay for rent or food."
At $1.50 a dog, this little ministry has raised 400,000 dollars over the years to help people like Chuck Schorr.
(Schorr shows his hand) "The blade cut along this line right here; took this finger off."
Money from the hot dog ministry at Carraway paid bills when insurance disappeared, though neither Chuck nor his wife are church members.
Chuck Schorr: "This church is so loving and helpful to do a thing like that for me who hadn't graced their doors."
Carraway pastor Karen Gobel says the hot dogs give the church a way to reach their community.
The Rev. Karen Gobel, Carraway United Methodist Church: "What we pray here is that what they get and receive here every Saturday when they come, they take it out into their community as well, and so it passes from person to person to person and that love extends and that is The United Methodist Church."
Church members have been simmering, steaming, and stirring for two decades…serving an estimated quarter of a million hot dogs.
Volunteer: "I need one slaw, eight onions with extra chili coming up here."
One happy customer…
(Little girl) "Hot dogs!"
(C.L. Nabors at window) "Ten all the way, ready to go."
(Richard Poteat) "Thank you! Be here next week."
Hundreds come for the food…
Minnie Hudson, Customer: "No, they're not spicy, just sweet"
…and stay for the friendships, seasoned over time.
(C.L. Nabors to Minnie) "You're not here for a hot dog, you came here to see me!"
(Voice of Minnie Hudson) "Sweet, cause sweet people made the hot dogs."
C.L. Nabors, Hot Dog Ministry Volunteer: "We have people who come here who have never been in a church and if we can show them the love we have, maybe they'll go to church.''
Chuck Schorr: "Are you ready for us tomorrow?" (speaking to Rev. Karen Gobel)
Chuck Schorr and his wife will soon be Carraway's newest members.
Chuck Schorr: "Being a Methodist feels like you do have the ability to make a difference."
And making a difference tastes good in Greensboro.
Chuck Schorr: "God works in mysterious ways and if God works through hot dogs, so be it."
Each Saturday in the summer, customers buy almost 1500 hot dogs. And despite changes in the cost of living, the legendary hot dogs at Carraway United Methodist remain priced at $1.50 a dog, with or without the fixings.
You can find out more about the program by contacting Carraway UMC at 336-621-6906.