“I have dropped 45 pounds, and I want to drop about 30 more,” Jakes said. “We have to continue to create an atmosphere where people can talk openly about their issues and have healthy solutions. My father died when he was 48 and I was only 16, so I am bombarded with the reality that health can be a challenge.
Jakes has health and fitness conferences planned for men and women in the coming months.
But Renette Dallas, a neuropath and member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the District, who consults with pastors on healthy living, isn’t convinced that everyone is serious. “I conduct health and fitness programs and people are giving out free cotton candy and hamburgers.
“We do things because everybody else is doing it,” Dallas said. “The president is talking about fitness, the first lady is talking about fitness and big business is talking about fitness, and churches are big business. It is a trend but it doesn’t mean anything.”
Deborah Adams, 56, a resident of Hyattsville, and her daughter Rhonda R. Gladden, 39, were among several hundred people who lined up in front of the scales at First Baptist Church to be part of the church’s weight-challenge program. “In order to work for the kingdom, we have to be fit for the kingdom,” Adams said. “Rhonda said that she is excited to lose weight with her mother.”
In addition to dieting and exercising, Tate, of the Glenarden church, said he read a book titled, “What Would Jesus Eat,” and now he teaches his own class at the church. “This class is to educate men with what God says about how to take care of our bodies and to help men to develop a closer relationship with God.
“The key for me was getting closer to God,” said Tate, whose weight loss efforts began in earnest after he enrolled in “Body By Christ, a spiritual weight loss class that is one of several programs at First Baptist of Glenarden, which is an extension of the church’s health ministry.
Next Saturday: A member of From the Heart Church Ministries in the District writes about taking a scripture-based class on healthy living.