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Faith-Based

YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE

Delphine Dorsey has served as the Health and Wellness Ministry leader at Fifth Street Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City for over half a decade, and during that time she has seen a lot of changes occur in her congregation’s approach to nutrition and fitness. She recounts that one of the church’s secretaries used to keep a large jar of candy on her desk during the holidays. Concerned by the number of people she saw grabbing handfuls of candy as they walked past, Delphine put a sign in front of the candy jar that read, “Want diabetes?” Some of her fellow church members balked at her bluntness, but Delphine explained, “Your body is a temple and you’re tearing it down!” Since then, more and more church members have gotten on board with her ministry’s campaign for health and wellness. Just this past Spring, they participated in “Rethink Your Drink” week by pledging to reduce their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and now water and reduced-calorie lemonade are offered in place of sodas at church gatherings. In addition, the “donut ministry” encourages church-goers to choose healthy snacks over deep-fried sugary ones, and the church offers a Zumba exercise class to the community on Sunday afternoons. Last Fall, Fifth Street Missionary Baptist Church even hosted a health and fitness fair during their Women’s Ministry Conference, offering participants health screenings, exercise classes, and healthy cooking demonstrations.