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The Link Between Fried Chicken, Church and Health

PHOTO: Head shot of Michael Minor
PHOTO: Head shot of Michael Minor
July 25, 2012

KEYSTONE, Colo. - Meet a minister who's on a mission to improve the nation's health.

Dr. Michael Minor, one of the keynote speakers at the Colorado Health Symposium which begins today in Keystone, is a nationally recognized pastor who spreads the gospel of healthy living from his pulpit at Oak Hill Baptist Church in Mississippi - and also nationwide, as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign.

Minor went so far as to ban fried chicken from his church dinners, although he insists he isn't changing the social culture of the church fellowship.

"We're still a fellowship. What we're doing is, we're saying when we eat, let's eat healthy. That's the difference. I believe that food is important. I think when we break bread together, that's how we can make things happen."

He says his healthy-living message squares perfectly with the Bible's message of "shalom," which he says is a notion of a person being at peace or complete.

"The Old Testament, New Testament. If you look at it, that's what God wants us to be. He wants us to be good - mind, body and spirit."

Small steps can add up to major health changes, Minor says.

"I tell people, 'Consider your everyday activities and work on those. That's something you already do. If you go to the grocery store, park farther away. If you're in your office building, walk the stairs. If you have a yard, get a push lawn mower instead of a riding lawn mower."

Churches in Colorado also are making health a priority. New Hope Baptist in Denver offers its parishioners nutrition and exercise classes, and LiveWell Westwood partners with area churches to hold exercise classes and healthy-food banks.

Minor's speech to the symposium Thursday will be streamed live at

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO