Sowing the seeds|Garden ministry aims to grow values

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2009

Homegrown squash and tomatoes have become more than just simple summer fare at Travelers Rest Baptist Church.

In a patch of land near the church, at Bowmar Avenue and Washington Street, church members and youths water, weed, fertilize and care for a variety of produce.

“We want to teach the fruits of the Spirit — the process of developing a garden and then the relationship between the two,” said the Rev. Thomas Bernard, pastor of Travelers Rest.

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Seven adults and about a dozen youths work together in their spare time. Supplies, including a tractor, are provided by church members.

“Reaping what you sow, the parable of the seeds, types of soil and harvesting,” said Bernard, “these are all things we want to get people to understand.”

The garden ministry is an extension of the church’s men’s ministry.

“We’re trying to get the young men and kids to grow a garden,” said Curtis Shields, a member of both ministries. “Our end goal is to see what it (the veggies, as well as hard work) tastes like.”

Many of the vegetables will be taken to elderly residents. Work in the garden is done in scheduled groups throughout the week.

“When we were planting, we got the children to just stick their finger in the ground to make a hole,” said Katrina Johnson, a member of the garden ministry. “They dropped their seed in it, and that was on Earth Day.”

“The kids really love it,” Bernard added. “Getting dirty is simply play time for them.”

A fall garden with turnip, mustard and collard greens is being discussed.

Travelers Rest is an 85-year-old church with a congregation of about 400 people. It has been located at Bowmar and Washington since 2000.


Contact Matthew Breazeale at