When it comes to fertile ground, the garden at First Baptist Church has yielded an abundance of squash, zucchini, cucumbers — and souls.
For the second year, the Metropolis church has sown a community garden at its Massac Creek Road location. The distribution begins Tuesday and will be held each Tuesday from 10-10:30 a.m.
Vegetables ready for harvest — which are now yellow squash and zucchini and will later include tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and okra, plus bread prepared by church members — will be picked, cleaned and sorted. Those needing the vegetables are invited to come to the church and receive them. Bags will be provided. For more information, contact the church office at 524-8681.
“The purpose of our garden is to share the love of Jesus with the people in Metropolis and Massac County and neighboring counties and also to help meet the physical needs of some of the needy with the vegetables we’re growing,” said Bob Bryan, a member of the church’s garden committee. “More importantly, the purpose is to feed them spiritually — to help them grow spiritually and to feed them the good news of Jesus Christ, to tell them about God’s plan for their salvation.”
The community garden is an outreach of the church’s move last year and its desire to do something for the community. The idea was expressed by Amy Gagel, who grew up in Florida and attended a church that developed a Widows & Orphans Garden on its property.
During its first year, the First Baptist community garden assisted over 70 people over a six-week period.
“We had pretty good turnout,” Bryan said. “Some of them came more than once, but there were 70 different ones so we got to share the gospel with quite a few.”
The garden committee — Bryan, Jack Hankins, Charlie Saylors, Gary Quint, Donnie Edwards, Jackie Lange — is expecting more this year.
“Several have asked me if we’re going to do it again and when it would start, so I imagine we’ll have some come back that were here last year,” Bryan said.
The garden’s leftovers are distributed to the church’s widows and then to the Metropolis food bank, COPE.