Church opens garden to community
Aldersgate Redemption United Methodist Church is ready for Lawtonians to grow plants in its new community garden space.
The garden is a 1-acre plot of land west of the church at 41 SE Ford Road. The Rev. Lory Fahle said the church, formerly known as Sullivan Village United Methodist Church, purchased the lot next door when it was growing at a rapid rate and thinking it would expand. The church, which has been in the community since the '60s split and the lot was never used for anything.
"So that lot has been sitting empty," Fahle said, "and we just mow it."
Fahle thought a community garden would be a good use of the acre and it would also benefit the neighborhood, which has several apartment complexes and two Title I schools, Sullivan Village and Carriage Hills elementary schools.
"I kept standing and staring out this door at that area over there just thinking, 'We've got to do something with this. Show me a way, Lord. Show me something,'" Fahle said. "A garden was just the best thing."
Before the lot could be made into a garden, it needed a little TLC. Recently, the surrounding roads received some repairs and the lot was filled with mounds of asphalt and concrete. Fahle said the City of Lawton has since removed the rubble, and in March the church started mending the ground by removing disruptive materials from the soil. She said now the lot is more than ready for plants to take root.