Savannah Missionary Baptist Church is committed to developing a holistic ministry. For the past six years our congregation has made a concerted effort to improve the health of our members and reach out to the community. We have declared our campus Tobacco Free and have posted signs on church grounds. We also have a bulletin board with flyers, brochures and health announcements.
Savannah Missionary Baptist is currently seeking participants to join our Biggest Weight Loser Challenge, a program for participants to lose weight collectively. We have even added lockers and installed a towel rack in our fitness room to encourage members and others in the community to utilize the fitness room for daily workouts. We have also purchased exercise DVD’s that are available upon request for members to use, and we are considering mounting a flat screen TV in the fitness room as well.
Our greatest challenge continues to be space, as the sanctuary is not conducive for working out, but we are determined. Even after adding a fitness room to our multipurpose facility, space continues to be an issue, especially when several individuals try to workout at the same time. Another challenge is having the flexibility to add more exercise equipment to our fitness room due to its size. Those who do utilize the fitness room, however, tend to be in better physical shape than those who do not.
Savannah Missionary Baptist has added a healthier eating alternative to all meals, but the challenge is trying to serve healthier meals along with some of the tastier, not so healthy foods for those who choose not to eat healthy. For example, if we serve baked chicken, we also serve fried. Our goal is to continue to teach all of our congregants to eat healthier and to one day serve only healthy foods. Since we started providing healthier alternatives, a significant number of individuals who would normally choose unhealthy options are now selecting healthy ones instead.
The health ministry at Savannah Missionary Baptist continues to grow each year. We are considering the idea of planting a community garden to further empower the community, and we will use the current PHW mini-grant to purchase more healthy foods. Savannah Missionary Baptist is the proud host of this year’s Union Missionary Baptist Association, where we will feed over sixty-three churches during a one week session, offering them healthy meals in hopes that they will embrace a healthier style of eating at their own churches.
The success story above was submitted by Eva Burns, PHW Liaison at Savannah Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville, and under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Mark Rowden. If your congregation would like to put your faith in action by prioritizing the health of your members, please visit the PHW website at www.healthandwholeness.org.