Health Incarnate: Growing a Healthier Community through Youth Ministry in Greene County, Georgia Open Access

Williams, Avis (Spring 2018)

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The Health Incarnate Project engages young people in partnership with churches, schools, health care providers, individuals, and community groups to build healthier communities in Greene County, Georgia.  The Health Incarnate Project addresses the crisis of food insecurity and lack of access to affordable health care by engaging the entire community.  Community transformation in this project may decrease the dire condition of hunger that is present in this traditionally underserved community by introducing classroom and community gardens. Youth ministry is an opportunity for youth to be co-leaders in this project.  The youth are students at Greensboro Elementary School in Greensboro, Georgia.  The school founded a garden club in 2017 to assist in shifting the thinking of the Greene County community towards the attitude of a healthier community.  A healthy church partnership works to meet the needs of the entire community in an equitable and just manner.  Health Incarnate points to Christ’s presence in community in biblical reflection as a model and one of the guiding forces behind communal practices.  Jesus spent times in conversation and fellowship with persons in community.   The project demonstrates how food and faith are vital ingredients for engaging the Greensboro Elementary School community.  This is a youth-led movement that is bringing sectors of the gated and non-gated community together to transform a poverty-stricken community into a healthier one.  The ministry of this project encourages community members to come together for the good of the body, regardless of socioeconomic status.  The partnership of the garden club and the faith community, along with the local hospital, clinic, and some physicians, will be hosting quarterly community health fairs.  The project involves seeds and planting, both ideas of transformation, into physical soil.  Local pastors and church leaders are working together to imitate the work of God through Jesus Christ in community.  The efforts of Health Incarnate over time will suggest a decrease in health disparities as we remain vigilant in our project efforts.




Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                        Page 1            

Section 1         Community Demographics                                         Page 3

Section 2         Youth and Community Partners                                 Page 5

Section 3         Greensboro Elementary School Garden Club             Page 7

Section 4         The Theological Claim                                               Page 10

Section 5         Pastoral Role                                                               Page 12

Section 6         Health Literacy                                                            Page 15

Section 7         Research, Evaluation, Outcomes, and Assessment     Page 17

Section 8         Conclusion                                                                   Page 20

Section 9         Bibliography                                                                Page 24


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