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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

A message of faith and health at Glad Tidings

Last Modified: Saturday, February 16, 2013 8:19 PM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

Father-and-son duo, Ken and Austin Andrews, eighth- and fifth-place finishers respectively on season 11 of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” visited Assembly of God, Glad Tidings Church on Saturday and took part in its 5K run and hosted a health and wellness seminar.

The 5K and seminar took place as part of the church’s imitative to bring healthy activities to its congregation.

“We’ve been doing a spiritual health and physical wellness promotion that we started at the beginning of the year when most people start trying to get their lives in order,” said Outreach Pastor for Glad Tidings church, Paula Raley.

“We wanted ‘The Biggest Losers’ to come in because they are Assembly of God pastors from California, and when they were on the show they did great and lost over 300 pounds together. They travel all over the United States doing health and wellness seminars, and they’ve had such a great impact on the Body of Christ. Nobody wants to talk about people being overweight, but they do. People talk about drug addicts or alcoholics or those hooked on pornography but they don’t want to talk about people’s weight issues, and it’s a huge issue. We believe that you can be spiritually fit and still have a physical problem, but that the more spiritually fit you are, the more fit you’ll be on the outside too.”

Ken Andrews said that the lessons that he and his son learned during their stint on television were important ones for the Christian community.

“What people don’t realize is that obesity is worse in the Christian community than it is in the society at large,” he said.

“Among 22 percent of Pentecostals are obese, 30 percent of Baptists are obese while other religions such as Islam the percentage of obesity in its followers is less than 1 percent. It really is part of our Christian culture, it’s the one deadly sin that we embrace. We have gained such a level of freedom from our weight loss that we really feel called to bring that to the Christian community and feel that we have to tell people that it’s not okay to eat themselves to death, that some adjustments must be made.”

Austin Andrews said that during his time on the show he learned that there are two kinds of people that struggle with weight issues, those with deep set emotional problems and those who just need the proper information to motivate them to lose weight, and that this would be the focus of the day’s seminar.

“There are two kinds of people dealing with this issue, there are people like me who because of stress from bullying when I was in school who need emotional healing and there are people who once they are shown what healthy nutrition looks like and are given those tools can lose weight on their own. We’re here to just help people and embrace them as much as we can,” Austin Andrews said.

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