Pastor Preaches “Health” By Living It

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Whether we care to admit it or not, many of our brothers and sisters in the church aren’t as healthy as we claim to be. With man of us in the church hearing “your body is your temple” you would think many of us would be healthier, but we’re not.  But one pastor decided to something about it.

According to aarp, after 13 years as the pastor of Long Branch Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C., the Rev. Sean Dogan, a short, stocky man with a sculpted goatee, had given over 400 eulogies for his parishioners, most of whom had died from heart disease, diabetes, obesity or stroke. And after each funeral he’d sat down with friends and families of the deceased to a meal of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens boiled in fatback.

Then one day, Rev. Dogan had a revelation: It was the food that was killing his people. So, on what the congregation thought was just a regular Sunday morning, he stepped up to the altar with a small scale, and for all to witness, the reverend weighed himself.

seandoganDogan wanted to make a point: Like many in his congregation, he was overweight. The time for change, he declared with fire-and-brimstone urgency, had come.

Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you know that you are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him,” is the scripture pastor Dogan uses to make the point for a more wellness lifestyle.

Often, after services, the pastor leads some of his parishioners in a vigorous walk around the community.

The purpose, he says, is to remind them that their bodies are temples of the Lord. “I use scriptures during services,” Dogan says, “to make that point.” In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.” Of the 1,200 members of the church, nearly a third participate in some wellness activities, he said.

Dogan, along with some of the congregants, participated in a program created by LiveWell Greenville, a citywide organization that he chairs. He called it “100 days of faith, fitness and fellowship” — and its message was simple: Physical activity of the most elemental kind, like walking and a modest diet of fruits and vegetables, can improve your health. To spark enthusiasm, he…