History made with the first USDA recognized urban farm in Richmond, VA

By Rebecca Shipman

Rev. Dr. Morris Henderson and his congregation made history with the first USDA- recognized urban farm in Richmond, VA. Dr. Henderson found environmental activism through his strong belief that everyone has a right to food and his commitment to getting food to those who need it. In Dr. Henderson’s words, while his main focus was food and agriculture, “you can’t have agriculture without a healthy environment”. This understanding led him to the environmental justice movement.

Now retired, Dr. Henderson served as minister of music and then as senior pastor of 31st Street Baptist Church, in Richmond, VA for over 20 years. Dr. Henderson started the program “Seeds for P.E.A.C.E. (Promoting Education, Arts, Culture, and Environment)”. The organization includes many different socially-oriented programs, most notably their community gardens.

In 2008, following Dr. Henderson’s appointment as the senior minister, and in the midst of...

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