Profiles in Faith ‘Feeding the body and the soul’: Church 212 starts community garden to feed the needy | The Cullman Tribune

Profiles in Faith

‘Feeding the body and the soul’: Church 212 starts community garden to feed the needy

Church 212 members work in the church’s community garden in early June (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor)

GOOD HOPE - Right down County Road 437 from Good Hope, members of Church 212 have been tending a garden, and harvest time is about to begin.  Some plants are already being picked. Their produce won’t be just for the congregation; church members hope that their vegetables will be a means of reaching out even to total strangers all around the community.

Church 212 representative Robert Taylor, Jr. told The Tribune that the crop includes tomatoes, squash, okra, zucchini, corn, eggplant, green beans, purple hull peas, pinkeye peas, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and a host of various peppers.  Large numbers of each type of plant are expected to produce continuously through the season.

“Once that starts producing, it’ll have to be picked every other day,” said Taylor.  “And what we’re going to do is pick it, and we’re going to give it out to anybody we know with a needy family.  Then we’re going to bag it up and go door to door, like throughout the area of Cullman--say, into the projects, apartment complexes--and just knock on their door and give them some food, give them some fresh vegetables, and the kids watermelons and stuff.”

Taylor talked about the idea for a community ministry garden:

“We just have the property, and we kept talking about something to put our church family together like a small group in the church.  Two or three of us decided to build a garden and asked other people in the church to get involved with us. And we said, ‘Look, we can get vegetables for our own family, we can provide and bless somebody else with what it produces’--we’ve got a lot of elderly people in our church.  So it was just a good idea to come together.”

Gardeners, from novices as young as 10, to veteran farmers in their 70s, work side by side in the field next to the church, with the experienced sharing knowledge and pointers, and everyone sharing good fellowship.

“You know, the best part about it is,” said Taylor, “I’ll be honest about it: I’ve got some people I’ve been going to Church 212 with for a year, and I see them on Sundays and Wednesdays, but I’ve never talked to them.  But now, since we’ve been in this garden, I know a lot about their family, they know a lot about my family. After we get finished working, we’ll sit around together at a picnic table there and talk or pray for the church or what we know if anybody’s got anybody to pray for.  (It) just became a good fellowship. We call it ‘feeding the body and the soul’ or the spirit, because we’re bonding together as a church, you know, uniting together to serve our community.”

Those who know of a needy area family and want to get some of the church’s produce to them can message Church 212 - Cullman or Robert R. Taylor Jr. through Facebook or call or text Taylor at 256-735-6809.

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