• 45°

Rev. Richard Joyner encourages unity to solve community issues

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY – Everything a community needs to improve can be found in that community, according to Power in Partnership breakfast speaker the Rev. Richard Joyner.

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce held its December Power in Partnership breakfast at Trinity Oaks on Thursday.

The not-for-profit organizations were this month’s sponsors.

Joyner talked about the success his community has experienced by using community gardens.

Joyner is senior pastor of Conetoe Missionary Baptist Church in North Carolina and board chair of Conetoe Family Life Center.

He started the center after noticing health problems in the church and town, many of them preventable.

Joyner has received numerous awards because of his work in Conetoe, including being named as a top 10 CNN National Hero.

“My heart is out to communities,” he said. “…I do not like farming, but children – the hearts of children, saving children – will motivate you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do,” he said.

He took a moment of silence to acknowledge the death of A’yanna Allen, a 7-year-old who was shot and killed in her grandmother’s Salisbury home on Dec. 4.

Joyner said his main focus with his program was to make communities self-sustainable. The program eventually all boiled down to food, so they started the Conetoe Human Development Sustainability Garden.

Joyner said they researched how much money schools, hospitals and restaurants in the area were spending on food.

“What if (schools, hospitals and restaurants) were buying all that food from the community? And what if the community were taking that money and putting it back into after school programs, putting it back into summer camps, putting it back into scholarship funds? And what would it be like if the youth led that movement?” Joyner said.

Joyner said the youth of the community were instrumental making the program a success.

“I can tell you that the CNN award and most of the awards that we have gotten over this process is because the youth on our board of directors are the majority vote and they have outvoted us every time,” he said.

It was the youth’s idea get bees to pollinate the plants and expand the land of the garden.

One of the youngest children to pass the beekeeping class was 8 years old and fought to get the county and state policies changed so that she could be certified. She won, and will be among the group gardening with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

Businesses that have moved into the area have gotten involved with the gardens, and food from the garden is in the schools.

At the end of his talk, Joyner emphasized the importance of different segments of the community working together to solve local issues.

“… We have everything we need to save ourselves,” he said. “We just have to unite it.”

The next PIP meeting will be on Jan. 19 with a focus on the economic outlook.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.



Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time


GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending


Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem


Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes


Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide


City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras