A community grows its way out of poverty

A pastor in rural North Carolina has developed a farming and beekeeping operation that improves the health of local residents while training a new generation.


The Rev. Richard Joyner prefers delivering his sermons in the garden. Dressed in jeans and boots and armed with gloves, Joyner is surrounded by rows of collards, peppers, eggplants and okra.

“This is the sermon,” he said, gesturing toward a field where youth from the impoverished rural North Carolina community of Conetoe are working, laughing and playing.

“This sermon out here — you can experience it here. You can experience it immediately in your kitchen, and you can experience it on your table, and you can experience it in your health.

“That’s real.”

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