Church ministry fosters blossoming love for one couple

It sounds like a Hallmark Movie, but it’s even better. Through the Missions and Outreach Ministry at St. Mark United Methodist Church, Greenville, the Sans Souci Community Garden has become everything to Jake and Fanny.

Fanny has lived in the Sans Souci community for almost 10 years. She loves the community and the garden ministry, noting, “I found my place and my family and friends through the garden.”

Eight years later, a young man named Jake who was looking for a place in Greenville to call home heard about the Sans Souci community through a friend who played in the garden concerts. These concerts are held on the last Sunday of the month during the summer. He also heard from another friend about the movie nights held in the garden.

About two weeks after Jake moved into the community, he went to the garden. Fanny was the first person he met. They instantly made a connection and became friends. They came to the church and took some art classes together. When COVID-19 started to shut everything down in March 2020, they continued to get together and have lunch at the picnic table in the garden. 

Two and a half years later, they got married where they met, in the Sans Souci Community Garden.

“We are so grateful St Mark has provided this outreach for the community,” said Fanny. “Without it, I don’t think that we would have ever met.”

“This is why we do what we do,” said St. Mark’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Maston. “As a community church nestled right in the heart of the Sans Souci community, we are no doubt heavily involved in community outreach. We are blessed to be able to provide a space where we can come together and build bonds and make friendships that last a lifetime, as with Jake and Fanny.” 

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