Mission statement prompts church to grow a garden

Pastor Larry Allen at the Batavia Church of the Nazarene.

Pastor Larry Allen at the Batavia Church of the Nazarene.
By Jordan Puckett
Sun staff

The Batavia Church of the Nazarene has recently planted a community garden on their grounds. The food grown will be donated to local groups that give to those in need.

The garden was inspired by a recent change of the church’s mission statement.

“We spent several weeks discussing our mission statement, or motto,” said Pastor Larry Allen. “We finally decided on ‘Worshipping in unity and serving the community.’ Now we are checking everything we do by that motto.”

The church sits on 12 acres of land on State Route 132 outside Batavia. The garden was one of several ideas of how the church can serve the community. So far, the project has proceeded solely on donations, with the only cost being gas for the tiller. The tiller itself was donated by a local community member and all the plants have been donated.

The garden was first tilled in early June and the plants have been added as the donations come. The garden is already nearly full.

“We have potatoes, three rows of beans, 45 tomato plants, corn, peppers, cabbage, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, and we still have room for one more row of beans,” Allen said.

The majority of these plants have been both donated and planted by members of the church congregation.

“Next year we hope to be able to expand the garden,” Allen said. He also hopes to get some fertilizer donated to improve the quality of the food grown.

The food grown in the garden will be donated to the local homeless shelter, the Clermont County Senior Services, and the YMCA.

Other ways the church wants to serve the community include allowing various groups, such as local sports teams, to use its grounds. Allen said the church is currently trying to come up with several other ways to serve.

“We’re just trying to help anyone that could use it.”

The church is located at 4650 St. Route 132 in Batavia.