By Chris Murray
For the Sunday Sun
Although the ministers of the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, under leadership of the Rev.Dr. Alyn Waller, are definitely concerned about their congregation’s spiritual well-being, making sure they are healthy in their physical state here on earth is equally important to them.
“We believe that people are not only spiritual, but they’re body and mind,” said Rev. Ann L. Colley, Enon’s associate pastor of Evangelism. “Not only do we take care of the spiritual part of us, we have take care of the physical and mental part of us.”
Recently, Enon held its sixth annual Fit for Eternity Walk/Run. Between 1,000 and 1,200 people participated in a walk/run that was based on a time-honored tradition within the Baptist Church, Colley said. In this tradition, church members walk from their old church home to a new one as a way of praising God for allowing their expansion to happen.
“What that means is that when a Baptist church moves from an old edifice and they build a new edifice, the tradition is that they will walk from the old edifice to the new edifice celebrating what God has done,” Colley said. “Our pastor (Waller), because he’s community-oriented person, wanted to see how we could take that old tradition and do it every year to be a blessing to someone else.”
In this case, the people walked from Enon’s old facility, Enon West on 230 West Coulter Street to its new building on 2800 Cheltenham Avenue.
In addition to being a way to celebrate the church’s expansion, the yearly walk/run was a fundraiser in which the church collects fund to assist charities that work with health-related issues.
“The Walk/Run is really a community walk-run, it’s not just for Enon, because we have organizations that run with us each year that come and participate,” Colley said.
Each year, Enon’s Fit for Eternity Walk/Run has raised somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000 dollars a year for local health-related charities. Over the past five years, the event has raised over $80,000 for health-related organizations and agencies, including those who battle childhood obesity and mental health issues.
This year, Enon is donating the proceeds from this year’s walk to the Greater Philadelphia Health Action Inc, which is a health facility, which provides primary dental and behavioral health services throughout the city which has 11 primary health care facilities, four dental clinics and about two behavioral facilities.
Enon itself has a wide variety of health-related ministries including a health clinic in partnership with Einstein Hospital for parishioners of all ages. Each month during its service, Enon has what it calls, “A Medical Moment” in which a doctor from the congregation speaks about health issues.
“We are just passionate about the fact that at the end of the day you can be spiritually astute, but if your body is broken down and your mind is so broken down that you’re not able to carry out the spiritual life that God would have for you because you are dealing with physical ailments,” Colley said.
“We have to focus on the body, you have to focus on the mind and you have to focus on the spiritual. When one of those pieces is out of whack, the whole person is out of whack. They all have to be in balance and in sync with one another.”