Joyner to Deliver Keynote Address

Reverend Richard Joyner will serve as the keynote speaker for the 22nd Annual Community Unity Breakfast

GREENVILLE, NC — The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce will host the 22nd Annual Community Breakfast on Monday, January 21, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., inside Harvey Hall at the ECU Murphy Center.  Reverend Richard Joyner, pastor at Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and founder of the Conetoe Family Life Center, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Reverend Joyner was raised in Pitt County, NC and spent his childhood on farmland tended by his family of sharecroppers.  Tired of the economic injustice and racial discrimination his family faced as sharecroppers, he enlisted in the Army as soon as eligible.  Despite his determination to leave, he returned and has been serving the small, rural community of Conetoe since 2001.

Through his pastoral role, Reverend Joyner witnessed firsthand more than 30 funerals in one year for people under the age of 32, due largely to complications from chronic health problems related to obesity.  This moment was pivotal in his decision to turn his focus back to farming as a means to improve the health of his community by founding the Conetoe Family Life Center in 2007.  The central focus of the center is a 25-acre garden that provides approximately 60 youth the opportunity to develop leadership abilities, social skills and stress management techniques through gardening.  The garden also increases access to healthy, locally grown foods to broader the county.

Reverend Joyner, who also serves as the Director of Pastoral Care at Nash-UNC Health Care in Edgecombe County, NC, was named a 2015 Top 10 CNN Hero.

The Community Unity Breakfast is held in conjunction with the City of Greenville on the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to celebrate and expand diversity initiatives in Greenville and Pitt County.

The 2019 breakfast is presented by the City of Greenville, Reimage Church, and Vidant Medical Center.  The event is free and open to the public, but advanced registrations are preferred.  To register online, visit and for more information, contact Sarah Fuchs at (252) 752-4101 ext. 234.

Reverend Richard Joyner
Richard Joyner has led his rural community of Conetoe, N.C., to better health by helping students grow and distribute 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year.