(Locator: Jackson, Miss.)
This isn’t Weight Watchers.
It’s sweatin’ at the altar… part of a growing trend where churches take
on more than just the “spiritual” side of life.
Nat/Church class: “Anybody got love handles besides me? Yeah! We’re
going to get rid of them.”
Nearly 200 members of Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson,
Mississippi signed a covenant to shape up, even if it means giving up
some favorite foods.
Wilson Bell/11-year-old: “Before, I would eat a bunch of junk food, eat
candy, eat a lot of chocolate cake.”
Pastor Joe May challenged his congregation to join him in shaping up
after a doctor told him he needed daily injections to control diabetes.
The Rev. Joe May/Anderson United Methodist Church: “He said, ‘If you
don’t do it, you’re going to go blind, have to go on dialysis, and
you’re going to die.’”
May started walking five miles a day and went on a diet. He’s lost 46
pounds. That’s encouraged members of his church.
Lapraevian Jackson/Member, Anderson United Methodist Church: “My mom
passed away about two years ago, a massive heart attack. And she wasn’t
really overweight, but that encouraged me to eat better.”
Nat/Church class: “Everybody okay? Yeah!”
The church sponsors aerobics and karate classes… and members weigh in to
track their progress.
Ruth Davis: “I’m 61 years old. And I need to keep this body in good
shape as I can.”
Anderson church members are losing more than pounds.
Sondra Bell/Aerobics Instructor: “Probably about eight inches, which I’m
probably more proud of than the weight. Because there are some dresses
and skirts and jeans that I haven’t been able to put on for years.”
The church has even cut back on pot-luck dinners. But members say that’s
a small price to pay for living longer, healthier lives.
You can contact Anderson United Methodist at 601-982-3997 or check their