Mays uses green thumb to plant the seeds of faith at St. Anthony

GREENVILLE—‡In his outside work clothes, Horace Mays wades through tall okra plants, the very embodiment of Christian charity.

Mays, 88, is a lifelong member of St. Anthony of Padua who established a vegetable garden in 2007 to help supplement the church’s food pantry year round with fresh produce. He also helps students at St. Anthony School learn where food comes from, and gives parishioners a way to work outdoors while enjoying fellowship. Most Saturday mornings, he can be found with a cadre of dedicated workers, including Gower Street neighbors who have been recruited to lend a hand.

The garden is located on a lot where a small house was razed. When Mays first plowed the lot, it was full of clay and debris. For the first few years, it produced only summer crops. Over time, as composted amendments were added, and with community involvement, the soil has become rich and loamy, and the garden is plentiful all year long.

Teachers also turn the garden into lessons about plants and soil, and show how God impacts it all. See photos at

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