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Pastor Starts Movement to Literally Feed the Flock

When Rev. Heber Brown III started noticing a particular need trending in his church, he did what pastors do – he found a way to spearhead a solution. Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone; now, neither do the people under Brown’s care.

That’s because his church, Pleasant Hope Baptist, planted a community garden in order to provide the people in their community with fresh produce. Since food deserts, obesity, and diabetes plague many parts of Baltimore, the garden is meeting a critical need in the community.

Not content to keep all the goodness, Brown considered what might happen if he could find other local and regional partners. “We saw attendance bump up in our worship, we saw a great energy … and it went so [well] here, that I wondered what would happen if we could spread it through other churches and create a network of churches that do the same thing.”

Spreading it around meant not only partnering with local farmers and starting a pop-up farmers’ market after church, but partnering with other churches in neighboring Baltimore, Washington D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina in an initiative known as the The Black Church Food Security Network.

“If you come in with the mentality that I cannot be fully free until everybody is fully free, it makes for better partners,” said Rev. Brown, in a local radio interview. “And if we are strategic in being courageous subversives for each other, then I think the world that our children will inherit will be better than the one that we’re in right now.”

Potential Preaching Angles:

God cares about all of our needs, and Jesus often paired spiritual renewal with the meeting of physical needs. So if we’re going to be like Jesus, it might mean helping people get enough healthy food to eat.


Rachel Nania, “‘I wanted to do more for people than just pray’: Pastor blends faith, farms to end food insecurity in black churches,” WTop (2-4-19)

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