LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – St. Stephan Baptist Church is encouraging its members to turn five pounds of fat into five pounds of muscle with the motivation to do God's will.

On Wednesday evening the church community traded in their Sunday best for gym shoes and sweats. After listening to Reverend Kevin Cosby's sermon about starting a healthy lifestyle change, church members were ready for the challenge.

“We gonna be fit, not for vain reasons but because we want to be around to do God's will,” proclaimed Revered Cosby.

To start that process, the church got active with volleyball, basketball, and walking. Healthy foods, meal planning, and even health evaluations were also provided. It's a way of counting calories with a Christian purpose.

“Help our people become as fit and healthy as they possibly can become because in order to serve God, and be beneficial to your family and the community it presupposes you have the health to do so,” Revered Cosby told WDRB News.

It's that message that spoke to church member Linda McDaniel.

“I need motivation -- I really do -- to get fit,” said McDaniel.

But she wasn't the only one motivated to become healthy and holy.

“I realize God give everyone a gift and a lot of times we ask God for a two or three other gifts but we don't utilize the one gift. In order to move forward with that gift you need to be healthy,” said Calvin Brown.

And if your health isn't there, Reverend Cosby says you're digging a grave with your own fork and knife.

“We're canceling out the great plans and purposes that God has for our lives,” said Reverend Cosby.

The healthy lifestyle program lasts until March, but the church encourages it's members to adopt the change the rest of their lives.

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