Healthy North Carolina 2020: Are We Gaining or Losing Ground?


Healthy North Carolina 2020 is a health improvement plan for our state. It addresses a wide range of issues that impact our health, such as tobacco use, physical activity and nutrition, mental health, and injury and violence. Optimal goals have been established in each of these areas, with a 2020 deadline for achieving them. So where does North Carolina currently stand? Out of the 40 original health goals, we’ve achieved 3 of them, 13 have improved but are not at the set target, 21 have gotten worse, 2 were not…

Bread: Embodying Justice


Shannon Axtell Martin, Regional Consultant, Partners in Health & Wholeness

There is nothing like the aroma of bread baking, and the incredibly comforting and satisfying taste of warm, fresh bread. From “give us this day our daily bread” to “I am the bread of heaven” to the feeding of the 5,000 to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, this seemingly simple food is so theologically rich. It is used to represent Christ’s body, God’s provision of manna in the wilderness, and livelihood in general.

PHW-Certified Congregation Receives Funding to Improve Access to Healthy Foods

Piney Grove Baptist_2

Love Fellowship Believers – a PHW Silver-Certified Congregation located in Greensboro and under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Kevin Webb – was awarded a Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities Youth Advocacy grant to take on the issue of healthy food access in their local community. With rising childhood obesity rates in our state and country, a lack of healthy food options in some of our communities, and unhealthy food advertisements geared toward children and their families, the members of Love Fellowship Believers have recognized a problem and are trying to fix…

Gardening With a Purpose

Butternut on the vine

Recently, I received a notice from a local community garden organizer about a grant opportunity sponsored by a fertilizer company. I shared it with my e-mail group and found one response, in particular, intriguing. Within this email, a local community leader expressed the importance of gardens, eating healthy, and making healthy local food accessible to the community, while being environmentally responsible. She continued to express the importance of our actions lining up with our values. She concluded that corporate sponsorship of funding for community gardens brought up questions of justice…

2014 PHW Certification & Mini-Grants: We’re Now Accepting Applications!

Shirley Smith_2_resized

New activities and requirements for the 2014 Partners in Health and Wholeness Certification Program are now posted on our website! We hope that you will join this statewide movement to improve the health of people of faith through increased physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco use prevention and cessation. PHW-certified congregations are taking charge of their health by serving healthier church meals, forming sports leagues and other exercise groups, addressing health from the pulpit and so much more! They may also qualify to receive a mini-grant ranging from $500 to…

PHW Receives Outstanding Community Service Award

Peletah Ministries_resized

PHW received an Outstanding Community Service Award from Peletah Ministries in New Bern, under the leadership of Pastors Anthony and Dawn Baldwin Gibson, on Saturday, January 11.  Peletah Ministries, a small congregation of about 50 people, is making a real difference in their local community and surrounding areas. But instead of shining the spotlight on themselves, Peletah Ministries chose to acknowledge other community partners – e.g., the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, NC Cooperative Extension, NC Resourceful Communities and the Council’s very own PHW Initiative – at their…

Walking Together


Partners in Health and Wholeness cannot do its work without your involvement. We are dedicated to equipping individuals and churches with the proper resources to be successful at implementing healthier habits. We are powerful because you are with us. If there is anything on this list that you are willing to do, would you let us know? We thank you in advance for joining our team, our community, and this global passion to make health a right, and not a privilege. Would you consider: Joining the prayer team that will…

PHW Success Story – Tabernacle of Deliverance, Rocky Mount


Tabernacle of Deliverance is a non-denominational church located in a low socioeconomic community that strives to promote health and wellness along with spiritual guidance to those residing in the community. Programs targeted at at-risk youth are encouraged and implemented, including education on gang violence, teen pregnancy, substance abuse (drugs, alcohol and tobacco), and health and wellness. Monthly events are held where literature on each topic area mentioned above is distributed. Events such as our End-of-School Bash, Women’s Conference, Men’s Conference, Youth Conference, Back-to-School Bash and Community Outreach Day also include…

Church Youth Groups Invited to Apply for Funding to Create Healthier Communities


Partners in Health and Wholeness is teaming up with the NC Alliance of YMCAs to identify organizations, like churches, with active youth groups who seek to improve the health of their local community. This opportunity, called the Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities Teen Advocacy Mini-Grants program, supports the YMCA’s mission to strengthen communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Grant Purpose The purpose of this mini-grant program is to engage our state’s teens in advocacy for healthy food and physical activity access for all members of a given community,…

PHW Success Story – St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Durham

Lori Ramsey

Our congregation has used PHW’s gold status requirements as a framework for implementing activities throughout the year. Our priest, Jonah Kendall, led our health directive through his healthy and active lifestyle and by creating a PowerPoint presentation regarding health and Christianity and presenting it during our adult formation series. We formed a Health and Wellness Committee and established a mission statement for its work: The Health Advisory Committee promotes healthy lifestyles for the St. Philip’s congregation and our Beloved Community through prevention, education and advocacy. In addition, we now provide…

PHW Receives Faith & Community Health Excellence Award

Faith & Community Health Award_2

I had the pleasure of attending the Tri-Regional Faith and Community Health Summit in Atlanta, GA on October 3-5. The event was chock-full of dynamic speakers and informative sessions. Some of the topics included: the impact of institutionalized racism on health outcomes, the Affordable Care Act, mental health and counseling, youth engagement, and how to start a free medical clinic or farmer’s market. I was the only representative from North Carolina; others came from Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. And aside from a few of the presenters not…

Healthy Communities, Healthy Churches Summit

Peletah Ministries

Partners in Health and Wholeness is co-sponsoring a Healthy Communities, Healthy Churches Summit on Saturday, September 7 from 10am-3pm in New Bern (Christ Episcopal Ministry Center, 311 Middle Street). The Summit will provide information on local health initiatives, funding opportunities for faith-based organizations, as well as information on the upcoming Affordable Care Act. Other participating organizations include: Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, Coastal Carolina Substance Abuse Prevention, NC Justice Center, NC Cooperative Extension and Easter Seals UCP. Lunch will also be provided. You don’t want to miss this…

Laurinburg Presbyterian Lets People Grow Food on its Property


The Fayetteville Observer

Sam Thompson was looking for a sunny spot to plant tomatoes. He ended up leading an award-winning community revolution. Thompson, an elder at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, pitched the idea of a community garden to the church six years ago. What began as a creative use for otherwise empty church property was recently awarded an equipment grant by the North Carolina Council of Churches and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “We’re using the grant funds to dig a well,” Thompson said. “Wouldn’t you know this would be the wettest June in years.”

Grant to Strengthen Community Garden Program

United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist

Winston-Salem Chronicle

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation has partnered with the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide grants to faith-based organizations to help them supply healthy eating alternatives to their members and underserved communities.

United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church (UMMBC) is one of 20 faith-based organizations that have received a $5,000 Healthy Eating Equipment Grant. The church will use the grant to purchase much needed equipment and supplies to support the 10 gardens that now comprise the S.G. Atkins Community Gardens at Winston-Salem State University.

Piney Grove Baptist Ministries Helped with Healthy Eating Equipment Grant

Piney Grove Baptist

Mt. Airy News

Piney Grove Baptist Church’s food ministries recently got a boost from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC) in the form of a $5,000 healthy eating equipment grant. The effort is a partnership between BCBSNC and the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide equipment for 20 faith-based organizations to bring healthier food to their members and communities. More than $90,000 in equipment grants are being used to provide canning and cooking supplies, expand church community gardens and increase storage for fresh produce.


2014 Critical Issues Seminar on Public Education Register Here