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Pastor Brings New Life After Death With Fresh Food

by OIC News on 08/18/16

Many believe that after death, a new life begins. That is particularly true about a pastor who after burying many of his church members, decided to bring a fresh idea to light to help them and the community he serves.

Just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, there’s a little town of Conetoe — population 300 and predominately African American. The town is surrounded by farmland, but the nearest grocery store is 10 miles away, making it one of the country’s many “food deserts,” where fresh, nutritious food is not readily available.

That’s where Rev. Richard Joyner, a local pastor, stepped in and stepped up.

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So Joyner started a community garden and enlisted local children to help him care for it. Today, his nonprofit, the Conetoe Family Life Center, manages more than 20 plots of land, including one 25-acre site.

“Diabetes, high blood pressure — when we first got started, we counted 30 funerals in one year,” Joyner said. “I couldn’t ignore it because I was spending more time in funerals than anything else.” This community garden directly impacts both the food desert issue and the death of his members.

More than 80 young people help Joyner plan, plant and harvest nearly 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year. Much of this produce is given away to local residents. But the students also sell the food — including their own brand of honey — to businesses and restaurants, raising money for school supplies and scholarships.

CNN talked with Joyner about his work and the impact it’s had on his life and he’s even nominated as a 2015 CNN Hero. It’s hard to believe that something so great started with death.

“I was literally exhausted from the funerals, and I was asking God, ‘What are we going to do?’ And I really heard a voice saying, ‘Look around you.’ I looked around and there was nothing but land.”

But there was a little pause from Joyner where he wasn’t really sure this was the calling that God gave him because of one minor glitch: Joyner didn’t like farming.

“Now, I didn’t like farming, and I almost paused and said, ‘Is there anybody else up there I can talk to?’ But it was almost like my eyes opened up, and so that’s what we started doing.”

“I didn’t have a good experience with the soil growing up. My family, we were sharecroppers. We grew up eating…

Stanley Green Bereavement Announcement

by OIC News on 07/21/16

Stanley Green, Jr.


The Board of Directors, Staff and Family of the Rocky Mount OIC mourns the loss of one of our founders and leaders, the late Stanley Green, Jr. Mr. Green was one of the founders of Rocky Mount OIC and served as our Board Chairman (1974-1986), Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Fundraising Chairman. 


OIC of America awarded the OIC Torch-Bearer Award to Mr. Green for his outstanding and untiring years of service in the work of OIC organizations and was the first North Carolina resident to receive this award. Mr. Green was recognized along with other notable leaders such as Vernon Jordan, Dick Gregory, Benjamin Hooks, Andrew Young, Shirley Chisholm and Joseph Lowery. His impact on the growth of the Rocky Mount OIC will forever live in the history of our organization. Under his chairmanship, partnerships were formed to assist in the development of the OIC programs with Edgecombe Community College and J P Stevens, a multinational textile manufacturer. While he was chair, the OIC Beauty Pageant, OIC Annual Labor Day Tennis Tournament and the OIC Annual Business & Industry Appreciation Banquet were formed and prospered. Mr. Green always attended OIC of America’s National Convocation to represent Rocky Mount in order to bring back ideas that would help our economy and organization grow.


While in Rocky Mount, Mr. Green was the Assistant Vice President of Peoples Bank and Trust Company. He later moved to Raleigh, NC to assume the role of Vice-President and City Executive for Mechanics and Farmers Bank.  Wherever Mr. Green traveled, the OIC motto “helping people help themselves” remained in his heart and was always reflected in his work.


Homegoing services will be observed at 12:00 noon Saturday July 23, 2016 at St. Paul AME Church, 402 W. Edenton Street, Raleigh, North Carolina preceded by an 11:00am visitation. Interment will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park.


by OIC News on 07/13/16


Unspoken Truth about HIV/AIDS

  • Aired: 07/10/2016
  • 26:45
Despite progress in the medical and social stigma realms, black North Carolinians are still suffering at staggering rates from HIV and AIDS. Bridgett Luckey and Drs. Allison Mathews and Adaora Adimora discuss how to continue and increase the fight against this terrible medical phenomenon. BIF intern Ayana Sadler also takes us to a 2BeatHIV event in Durham for more information about HIV research.

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