Suwannee Valley Times is distributed into the following cities and towns: Lake City, Live Oak, Madison, Branford, Dowling Park, Falmouth, Lee, Wellborn, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, High Springs and Alachua

Church Garden Update

**UPDATE** 5-12-23

Tristen Alderson received the "Seed for Education" scholarship during Hamilton High's senior awards ceremony, May 11. Over $600,000 in scholarships were awarded.

Harvest Church board and members present scholarship award. L-R: Darlene Lister, Kasey Register, Tristen Alderson - scholarship recipient, Mark Smith and Charlotte Henderson. -Photo by Paula G. Williams.

The Church Garden

Sowing a seed into a student’s life

Church Garden Photo by Doug Clayton

Pastors Danny & Charlotte Henderson from Harvest Fellowship Church in Jasper, holding a representation of the Harvest Fellowship - Seed For Education Scholarship check presentation scheduled for May 11 at Hamilton High’s Senior Awards Ceremony. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

By Tami Stevenson

Since Charlotte Henderson, wife of Pastor Danny Henderson of Harvest Fellowship Church in Jasper, became the head over missions and outreach in January of this year, she has been thinking out of the box.

The church regularly gives to various missions and worthy causes, both in the states and other countries. This year, however, the church is adding something completely new and it all started with a church garden.

Pastor Danny Henderson, along with the church board, made a decision to grow a church garden this year, where members helped plant, weed and harvest the produce, not only for themselves, but for other members that are not physically well enough to do the work.

He decided to contact Hamilton High’s Ag Teacher Doug Clayton for some advice from his expertise. Clayton shared his knowledge and helped get everything underway, from working up the ground to what seeds to plant and when.

The garden project turned out to be a huge success. Church members rallied behind the idea and it is producing onions, potatoes, greens, peppers, tomatoes, squash, corn and more.

“God just impressed on my heart one day to do something locally,” Charlotte Henderson said. She believes the idea to sew a seed into an Ag student at the high school came from the Lord, because the seeds sewn in the church garden produced much more than vegetables.

The Henderson’s took the idea to the church board and they agreed. The church is calling it “Harvest Fellowship - Seed For Education Scholarship.” They will present a check for $1,500, Thursday, May 11, at 6:00 p.m., to an Ag student whose name they asked not to be released. The Ag teacher wanted it to be a total surprise for the student and the family, so they are keeping it under wraps until the ceremony.

Clayton said in a social media post, “When you plant a seed… Oh the possibilities! Plant it in good soil, water, nurture, remove the weeds that would steal the nutrients, remove the pests that would further drain the plants potential and what you get is something truly beautiful. The fellowship with people of faith working toward a common goal has been the real reward.”

He added, “How much more valuable are our youth than a garden seed? If we make it our mission to nurture and support our kids with the same template we would our garden, the sky’s the limit!”

He also stated the Hamilton County FFA is honored with the privilege of being part of the selection process for this scholarship. Community engagement is a cornerstone of the FFA organization. “This is a great example of what that looks like.”

Harvest Fellowship Church is already making plans to make this scholarship an annual thing and hoping they will be able to do more than one scholarship in the future.

“We love sewing into our community and our youth in Hamilton County,” said Henderson.