Growing Mind, Body, & Spirit Together at St. John Faith Garden

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May 25, 2023

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Growing Mind, Body, & Spirit Together at St. John Faith Garden

May 24, 2023 Podcast:

Audio file

Moderators Shannon Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Reverend Ray Hendricks, Pastor at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.

For over 150 years, there have been sermons and fellowship on the land where the St. John Faith Community Garden now thrives. In 2018 Pastor Ray Hendricks and Angela Bigham from Rehoboth Baptist Church in Austin started the Community Garden because they recognized that community gardening can improve people’s quality of life. The community garden started at Rehoboth Baptist Church and moved locations when the St. John Regular Baptist Association offered a larger piece of land that was not being used. The now thriving Community Garden plays a role in boosting spirituality and well-being by fostering fellowship and creating a space where people can come together for a moment of peace.

On May 20, the St. John Faith Community Garden hosted an event to promote health and wellness by sharing gardening tips and ways that the garden can offer healing to the mind, body, and spirit. About 300 people attended, including community members, local government officials, and gardening organizations. During this event, attendees received supplies to create their own herb gardens and Master Gardeners provided instruction on how to plant them. They also heard presentations from local experts on the widespread impact the garden has on health, including the many ways in which healthy foods, being in nature, and tending to plants can improve physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

The garden continues to grow and thrive, thanks to the leadership of Ms. Bigham, with help from volunteers, Girl Scouts, individuals and organizations from the local community, including the AMEN program. The garden has received overwhelmingly positive feedback since it began and continues to help local communities by providing fresh fruits and vegetables, offering cooking classes, providing information about gardening, and allowing individuals to spend time in nature. The long-term vision for the garden is to preserve the food that is grown and donate the harvest to “food deserts” on a large-scale. To learn more, participate in, and donate to the St. John Faith Community Garden, call Pastor Ray Hendricks at 512-293-6273 or Angela Bigham at 512-554-9086.

Community Garden Resources: 

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