There's an old saying the Rev. Marion Davis likes to remember when he grows vegetables.
"I heard a pastor say one time you can't tell people about Jesus with their tummies growling," he said.
Davis, 62, a pastor at the Fairview Baptist Church of Aberdeen, has for the past five years grown vegetables in a small plot of land and given them to members of his congregation of roughly 50 people.
The plot of land where the church is, on Fairgrounds Road Northeast between 387th and 388th avenues, is also where Davis lives. His home is just behind the church and behind the home is where he grows the vegetables.
Davis, who moved to Aberdeen from South Carolina more than five years ago, said he didn't intend to become the pastor in the Hub City.
"The Lord kind of brought us here," Davis said. "It wasn't because I wanted to come. It was just his leading."
Davis grew up on a farm in South Carolina and said it's hard to break away from the farming habit.
"You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy," he said.
He initially grew vegetables in a 1,225-square-foot plot and shared the harvest with members of his congregation.
Since then, he's added another plot - about 15,000 square feet - to grow corn and squash. While his congregation has about 50 people, the tending to the crops and harvesting the vegetables falls onto Davis and his wife.
And for the past five years, Davis has been providing members of the church with an array of vegetables, such as squash, zucchinis, bell peppers, green beans and sweet corn.
Jade Combellick, 34, who has been a member of the church for six years, said the weekly supply of vegetables has helped her and her son tremendously.
"I'm a single mom, so having extra food in the house helps out," she said. "Fresh vegetables are expensive. I can't afford to buy them."
And her 6-year-old son, Elijah, loves the summer squash, she said.
On a recent Sunday, Combellick filled two grocery bags with zucchinis, summer squash and handfuls of green beans.
But there was still plenty to go around. Davis' harvest from that week, usually placed in a room slightly to the left of the church's entrance, was more than enough. After starting with more than five buckets full, there was still half of the vegetables by the time the members of the church left.
Richard Beams, 71, a member of the church for two years, is a fan of the cucumbers. Filling a box with more than a dozen cucumbers, he said he plans to pickle a year's supply himself.
"I think it's great," he said. "Like I said, no use to let the land and grass go to waste."
Beams, who often travels for his job, said the vegetables help him.
In gratitude, he left a bag of peanuts for Davis.
But Davis doesn't do it for the peanuts or the thanks.
"This is a way for us to help our (church) family out with their grocery bill and provide something healthy for them," he said.
But he admits he's not trying to put anyone out of business by providing for his congregation.
"They're really paying for it," he said, referring to the support his congregation gives him. "It's just in a roundabout way."