Mobile Heights Baptist Church is having success with Living Well Alabama. Their pastor, Pastor Martin, participated in the first round of Living Well and graduated on April 29, 2017 with eight other participants. Their first round was a huge success, and the second round was met with similar enthusiasm from participants and the community.

Mobile Heights began their second round of Living Well on April 12, 2017. Participants from the first round invited their family members to attend while the church advertised through church announcements and by posting flyers throughout the community. Sonya McCall, lay leader of Living Well Alabama, taught the second round of Living Well along with her colleagues Lela Harris and Angela Rogers. The second round ended May 31, 2017 with 7 graduates—another great success!

Deona Tucker, community liaison with The Wellness Coalition, spoke with Sonya and Minister Jiles about their experiences with the class.

Deona Tucker: How does Living Well Alabama fit within your mission as a church?

Sonya McCall: Living Well Alabama fit within our mission of “Equipping the People of God with the Word of God”. As we share God’s word as in 3 John 1:2 – “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Can you see your church using it as a part of your teaching work in years to come?

Sonya: We must teach one to be strong spiritually, physically and emotionally. Therefore we do see this as a tool the church would use in years to come.

How have chronic disease-related complications affected the lives of your church members and the lives of the members of your community?

Sonya: Complications of chronic diseases have affected members of our congregation and community in a very negative way. Many of whom attended the class were depressed, had low self-esteem, and did very little socially due to their chronic disease.

Would you share any stories of transformation or profound effect that resulted from Living Well Alabama?

Sonya: Every member that has taken the class thus far has stressed how the six week session empowered them to become a self-manager of their health in one way or another. They’ve begun exercising, eating healthier, counting calories, reading food labels, and using breathing techniques to relax and many have become helpers to others. They no longer feel isolated with their chronic condition. The weekly action plans have been adopted by many to reach personal goals they felt they would not achieve otherwise.

Please explain how Living Well Alabama has affected you, personally.

Minister Jiles: The Living Well Alabama classes have allowed me to see the importance of exercise. I always knew it was something I needed to do but never did. My wife would walk, and I would find an excuse not to. My first action plan was to walk, and I accomplished it and have added to it each week. I feel better and am motivated from the information of the class to continue my exercise regimen and eat healthier along with my daily meditation and prayer to be the best self-manager of living with my chronic diseases. Thanks to my Pastor, the teachers and Wellness Coalition for this opportunity!

Mobile Heights Baptist Church has been active for approximately 60 years, and currently has a congregation of about 125 people.