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Life and Religion

Mecklenburg County initiative aims for healthier congregations
Village HeartB.E.A.T. kicks off Jan. 13
Published Friday, January 12, 2018 11:00 am
by Herbert L. White

How healthy is your congregation?

More than 50 churches are participating in Village HeartB.E.A.T., a health initiative starting Jan. 13 at the Martin Luther King Jr. parade. The goal is to encourage healthier habits and fitness in Charlotte’s faith community. Among them is Reeder Memorial Baptist Church, where the Rev. Thomas Farrow Jr. is pastor.

“The church is courageously voyaging new territories in an effort to be effective missionaries with a focus on stewardship of our finances, our bodies, our time and our talents,” said Veronica Rankin, co-leader of Reeder Memorial’s Health and Wellness Ministry and captain for the Reeder Memorial Village HeartB.E.A.T. team.

The goal of Village Heartbeat, an initiative launched by Mecklenburg County’s Health Department now in its sixth year, is to improve health outcomes within the faith community by reducing health disparities. A team competition between churches is part of the initiative. Reeder has committed 10 participants and four alternates whose outcomes will be based on weight loss, cholesterol level, diabetes management, blood pressure control, and physical activity. Anyone 18 years old and up with heart disease risk factors and unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor diet, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol can join.
New Covenant Bibleway was the fifth season competition, followed by St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church-West.

Although 10 participants from each church will compete, every congregation will have free access to exercise classes and events such as chair aerobics, Zumba, water aerobics, indoor and outdoor walking groups.


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