At BCFSN, we thrive in part from our local Coordinating Committees positioned across the country who act as a “hub” for churches in that specific region to build relationships and discuss location specific topics. It’s our duty to expand our reach nationally but through the work of our Coordinating Committees, we can also continue to focus efforts locally.

Our Coordinating Committee in Jacksonville, Florida is helping great churches mobilize to do great things! This week, let’s shine a spotlight on one of them: The Masters Touch Ministry.   They have recently broke ground on their plot and are becoming a part of the Black Church Food Security Network here in North Florida. Below is an interview with Eddie Hunter and Pat Laster of the Masters Touch Ministry, two of the Head Coordinators of the Garden Ministry.

Hi, Mrs. Eddie and Ms. Pat, would you mind sharing what your connection is to the Ministry?

Ms. Pat: Good Morning. John O. Laster Jr, the founder of the Church was my brother.

Mrs. Eddie:  I was married to Pastor Laster’s brother when I moved to Jacksonville in 1971 and was connected to their physical family. Their love drew me to the Greater Jacksonville Church of God (currently The Master’s Touch Ministry) and the rest is history! Love brought me here and I am blessed to be a blessing.

And what was it like in the beginning of the Ministry?

Ms. Pat: John O. Laster Jr, founded The Greater Church of God on March 18, 1973. The church was started with 13 members, 4 of which were small children under the age of 5, the rest were seniors and adults with no money. The church was originally started in a store front building right down the street. The Lord blessed us and Miracles were seen by all.

And Ms. Pat, you mentioned there was a farm at the start? Correct?

Ms. Pat: Yes! Wonderland Farm had 2 cows – 1 named Debra and 1 named Eugenia,  it had 2 Shadland ponies, a horse name Rusty, some chickens, turkeys, rabbits and 1 goat. We also had the Wonderland Farms Daycare, and a very large Garden. A Gospel and Films store was also a part of the church, where we rented and sold religious books and tapes.

Why are you joining the Black Church Food Security Network? What are you hoping to gain from it? And what are you hoping to be able to give back to the community?

Mrs. Eddie: We’re joining the Black Church Food Security Network (BCFSN) for an opportunity to partner with other congregations who are seeking solutions to the food and health  challenges in our community. BCFSN is committed to investing seed money into the agriculture-related vision in our church, assisting with training, volunteer recruitment,  congregational mobilization,  fundraising, etc. to facilitate our goal of food security and sustainability in our community.  As a result, this will allow access (by growing our own) to nutrient rich foods that will lead to eliminating the health disparities that have and continue plague our community.

We all look forward to seeing this Ministry’s growth!

For more information about our Coordinating Committees or if you are interested in starting one in your local region, contact us at [email protected].