Durham church creates healthy mind, body and soul challenge in wake of pastor’s medical scare

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham church put its own spin on the popular television show “Biggest Loser” in the wake of their lead pastor’s medical scare.

Members of the River Church competed in a healthy mind, body and soul challenge (Beairshelle Edmé/CBS North Carolina)
Members of the River Church competed in a healthy mind, body and soul challenge (Beairshelle Edmé/CBS North Carolina)

The inspiration behind the challenge came after the River Church’s lead pastor, Ronald Godbee, suffered a major medical scare.

Pastor Godbee encouraged his members to join him in getting a healthy mind, body and soul.

The program included several 5K walks and runs and they also partnered with a Durham gym, Prime Athletic Training and Fitness Institute. Church leaders were also able to get several corporate sponsors, including Food Lion, Walmart, New Balance and Omega Sports.

On Sunday, the church revealed the winner of its challenge, but organizers said it’s really a celebration of the collective effort to get health.

“I mean, if they only now tended to the spirit like they did to the physical, yeah we’d be on point,” Pastor Godbee said, as he laughed. “The energy level is through the roof, the participation has been amazing and it’s just been a great initiative for us.”

One of the challenge’s coordinators, Carmen Thompson added, “We’ve seen people’s blood pressures lower. We’ve seen weight loss, we’ve seen people accomplish their first 5K ever.”

The winner of the challenge walked away with a $300 check and several fitness items to help them continue their healthy lifestyle.

Those with River Church said they  hope to continue their efforts past the challenge.

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