Local church holds wellness service

Pastor Tony and First Lady Tiffany Jones give a cooking demonstration during Wellness Sunday at Fellowship Church.

Local church holds wellness service
August 01
10:10 2019

This past Sunday, Fellowship Church held Wellness Sunday in lieu of their traditional morning service. Wellness Sunday is a part of “Summer Stretch,” which is a series of services by the church to enhance the mind, body and spirit.

For Wellness Sunday, the congregation was provided information that will assist with a healthier lifestyle when it comes to eating, working out and preventative care.

“Our focus on health and wellness is one leg on a three-legged stool,” said Tony Jones, senior pastor of Fellowship Church. “We have a campaign we are doing this summer called Summer Stretch and we came up with the idea because during the summertime, people are vacationing and somewhat transient.

“A lot of times, churches kind of put things in neutral and wait until fall to put things together and we did not want to do that. We wanted to have a period where we still had some engagement.

The first part of the Summer Stretch focused on spirituality. The church created teams within the church that allowed people to be engaged, even though they may be away on vacation. He wanted to bring this idea to Fellowship Church to create team building and a deeper sense of community, he said.

Pastor Tony, as he prefers to be called, wanted to include the physical portion to the campaign because they are a multi-generational church and many of the older members do not engage in as much physical activity as they should and the younger generation is locked in on a screen, such as computers, smartphones or television.

It was only a year ago that Tony was dealing with his own health issues, so the physical aspect hit close to home for him and his wife, First Lady Tiffany Jones. 

“Personally, for both of us, we looked at our biggest asset, our health and our temples,” said Mrs. Jones. “So we said we want to take care of our temples, so I think that’s where our focus was.”

Pastor Tony added, “I’ve had a deeper interest, because I have recovered from surgery. My health has come back, so to get a new lease on life I have been more active, so obviously I want the congregation to do that as well.”

Another motivating factor for Pastor Tony was witnessing people come to the church for prayer for preventable illnesses. He said, “God should not have to heal us for things we can do ourselves.”

During the service, there were a number of speakers that presented information for healthier living. Dr. Kyle Luth of Simons Community Garden spoke about the benefits of growing your own produce. Pastor Tony and First Lady Jones gave a demonstration and recipes for healthy food options, and personal trainer Coach Kurt gave home workout tips for those without gym memberships.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Ahuna Freeman. Freeman is a pharmacist who discussed chronic diseases, among other topics. She touched on the importance of regular checkups, along with keeping an eye on what to put into our bodies to live healthier lives. Following the service, the congregation could get free health screenings, as well as preventative care tips from healthcare professionals.

To conclude the Summer Stretch, Fellowship Church will hold an event focused on financial literacy in August. The church will bring in an accountant, investment bankers and individuals who will speak on end-of-life finances.

As a Winston-Salem native, Pastor Tony says the initiatives he brings to his church are intentional. His pastoral style breaks the mold of the traditional church pastor. They have done things at the church, such as taking away pews and replacing them with chairs, enhanced the church lighting and incorporated social media as well. Pastor Tony feels his style allows him to connect with people from all age groups.

“Me being a Gen-Xer, I think I am just right in the middle; I am old enough to identify with Boomers and older generations, but I am intentional to stay relevant to the generations that are behind us,” he said. “We try to be inclusive and be intentional to represent all. I try to do things that are life applicable and general enough that you can apply to whatever stage of life you are in.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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