First Baptist Church, Griffin
For many years, First Baptist Griffin has contributed to Five Loaves Two Fish Food Pantry through funding, donations, and with volunteers who serve on a weekly or monthly basis. The church’s benevolence team offers food vouchers, particularly at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Christmas Toy Shop guests receive food vouchers as part of an effort to help them have a good Christmas in the fullest sense.
The Community Garden is a neat story. Joyce McCartney had been praying about the possibility for several months, and at about the same time, a couple of lay leaders came forward with tangible ideas and drive to make the garden happen. Under the leadership of Ellee Hilley and Stuart Whatley, the First Baptist Griffin church family has been able to transform a small green space in the middle of one of our parking lots into a Community Garden with 42 raised beds.
The garden that was started in March 2017 has grown seasonal vegetables and flowers since then. There have been two inter-generational work days, and the children’s ministry and weekday classes have participated by seeding and transplanting, weeding, and harvesting produce.
Many adults also contribute time individually. Over 500 pounds of produce were donated to Five Loaves Two Fish Food Pantry in 2017, and more was shared with a local soup kitchen. Stuart Whatley organized and led a fundraiser for the food pantry on New Year’s Day 2018, using collard greens grown in the Community Garden as part of a traditional meal for those purchasing as well as for any in need of a meal.
Additionally, flowers are grown not only for pollination but are cut and shared with homebound members. Several students have contributed their talents by painting a sign for the garden, painting the side of the neighboring garage that is used for storage, and building two compost bins.