By Stan Friedman
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 28, 2014) — A future college student will have their tuition paid for because members of Westmoore Community Church lost 1,337 pounds during a “Lose to Serve” contest among participating congregations in the Oklahoma City metro-area.
The Covenant church had 129 individual participants and lost the most weight of any of the congregations. Winners were determined by the greatest weight loss per person on each team and had the lowest percentage of participants drop out.
The Westmoore congregation came in second with an average weight loss of 10.36 pounds per person. The winning church, which had 54 participants, lost 635.2 pounds for an average of 11.76 per individual.
The prize for finishing second was the opportunity to give a full-ride scholarship to Mid America Christian University. The first-place team was able to present a Habitat for Humanity home.
The contest started January 6 and ended March 3. Altogether, church teams lost a total of nearly 5,000 pounds. Weekly weigh-ins were all done online, with numbers being submitted based on the honor system.
Cody Bobay, a Newcastle, Oklahoma, personal trainer who describes himself as a “fitness evangelist,” organized the contest through the Lose to Serve nonprofit he established. Portions of the $10 entry fee are being donated to local nonprofits.
Bobay said his goal was to help people develop healthier lifestyles so they might better be able to serve in ministry and give back to the community. He said fitness is a way to honor God with our bodies, he added.
“It is a gospel-centered perspective on healthy living with a gospel-centered incentive to serve others,” Bobay told a local news organization.
Matt Porter, an associate pastor at Westmoore, organized the church’s team. During the contest, the church held a class that focused on promoting a biblical view of fitness.
Porter said the church is receiving applications from people to determine who will be awarded the scholarship.