|Norman Winter, left, and David Smith, center, accept a check for $125,000 from Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Director J. Robert White in a Feb. 18 ceremony. Winter, vice president for advancement at Brewton-Parker College and Smith, president of the Mount Vernon educational institution, were one of 51 grant recipients from among 107 applicants chosen to receive financial assistance from the Foundation operated by the Georgia Baptist Convention. The funds will be used to help launch a community oriented Christian spirituality and wellness program.
BPC receives $125,000 GBHCF check to build community wellness program
By Kelley M. Arnold
BPC Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College recently received $125,000 from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Foundation to launch a community-oriented Christian spirituality and wellness program, said Dr. David R. Smith, BPC president.
“This grant will allow Brewton-Parker College to fulfill its mission on our campus and in our community by developing individual wellness prescriptions, which will enrich our constituents physically and edify them spiritually,” said Dr. Smith
The grant was awarded at a luncheon Feb. 18 at the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth, and was presented by GBC Executive Director J. Robert White. BPC was one of 51 grant recipients from among 107 applicants chosen to receive financial support from the Foundation. operated by the GBC. The Foundation distributed grants totaling $3,257,283 in the annual awards ceremony, according to the Feb. 23 issue of The Christian Index.
“Unfortunately, in Georgia, as in many southern states, our state’s residents’ ‘temples’ are in need of some renovation.”
- Sheila Simmons, BPC Athletic Director
The “Body and Soul” Community Wellness Program at Brewton-Parker is intended to respond to the trend of obesity in the surrounding community. The basis for the program is centered on 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (NIV).
“Unfortunately, in Georgia, as in many southern states, our state’s residents’ ‘temples’ are in need of some renovation,” said Athletic Director Sheila Simmons. “Georgia’s prevalence of obesity was 27.3 percent in 2008, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.”
Reasons for this include “a gap in education, affordable healthcare, and disposable incomes to provide purchasing power for healthier foods.”
Simmons added this program will provide helpful health information to Brewton-Parker faculty, staff and students and, later, some in the local community: “Our hope is that we increase the awareness of the importance of wellness from a physical and spiritual standpoint. The mentoring process will help participants stay on-track.”
“We plan to start with BPC family first and then expand to the local community,” explains Norman Winter, VP for College Advancement, adding the program is intended to collaborate with the Daniell Baptist Association and perhaps at a future point with Montgomery County middle and high schools to reach out to community families in Christian fitness ministry.
BPC’s proposed program will be based in the college’s Sports & Fitness and Athletic departments, which would serve as a “hub” to reach individuals both on and off campus. These departments would teach the principles of personal fitness and wellness and offer standard fitness tests for early diagnosis to prevent disease, Simmons said. The majority of the program will be based in the Lee Center inside the Snooks Student Activities Center. Devotional sessions and Bible study will also be a part of the program.
The college plans to hire a new staff member to run the program.
Participants are encouraged to maintain a staff-planned and personalized physical fitness improvement regime to address diet, exercise and spiritual needs. Christian mentoring and support is provided through both face-to-face sessions and an online community component for registered participants.
Cost is free for the first year, and then those who elect to continue would be charged $10 per month.
BPC faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contact Simmons at 912-583-3266 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to register for the program.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in South Georgia. Affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, BPC’s main campus is located in Mount Vernon and it has an external center in Newnan.