Building a garden that honors God and serves the community
Rev. Allen Noah was showing TMF Area Consultant Melvin Amerson two empty lots near Barnett Chapel United Methodist Church in the Parson’s Addition neighborhood in Kerrville. The lots had been willed to the church in 1984, but had been left vacant since that time.
Rev. Allen had asked his congregation what they could do with the property that would honor God and serve the community. The consensus response was to build a community garden.
But how could Barnett Chapel take on the task of building a community garden with no knowledge of how to build a garden, no experience in launching such a project, and no funds to support it?
That’s when Rev. Allen experienced the power of Holy Conversations. As the two men looked at the lots and discussed the numerous challenges to the project, Amerson talked about how the church could share the news of what they were trying to accomplish and seek out partners and sponsors who shared the congregations’ vision for transforming the vacant lots.
Eighteen months later, the Glory Community Garden has 40 raised beds, underground water lines donated by the city of Kerrville, and a local builder has offered to design and construct a 22’ x 19’ building on the property. Other local churches lent their support, including Kerrville First United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and Mount Olive Baptist Church.
Local businesses including Home Depot, McCoy’s Building Supply, Alltex Nursery and MG Building Materials, along with several anonymous donors have also contributed to cause.
“The Lord has been very gracious to us,” says Rev. Allen. “This outreach mission was born out of grace, faith and prayer. We had no money, but we’ve already succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. We’re building a gathering place where neighbors can develop relationships, share stories, and establish bonds that will last long into the future.”
“We wanted to build something that would be self-sufficient so that it could connect and serve the community and help us all to honor God. It was a daunting challenge. That’s where my conversations with Melvin really proved insight that we could do this.”
- Allen Noah, Pastor Barnett Chapel UMC