Abundant Life Worship Center on Memorial Drive in Hinesville had its annual Health and Wealth Conference on Nov. 15-16. The conference, now in its seventh year, is just one of the many educational programs the Pentecostal church offers as a regular part of its ministry and community outreach.
“We offer quarterly events. There is always something new. In the past we have offered marriage and military, financial, women’s health and life-skills classes,” said Felicia Delacoudray, the church’s chief financial officer and teacher.
The classes are not just offered in the church, she said, they also take the classes out into the community — often to low-income areas — as part of the church’s Skills for Life Organization. Church members provide information sheets, notes, resources and guides as part of their events.
The two-night conference was open to the community and was led by Abundant Life Pastors C.A. and Dedra Norwood, who have been married for 30 years. The evening opened with prayer and song. C.A. Norwood read from the Book of John and spoke about negative attitudes. Sometimes, he said, misunderstanding of the word of God leads people to blame Him for their health issues.
“It is not God’s will to put people in sickness nor keep you in sickness. God’s nature is to heal — the body is the temple for the Holy Spirit,” he said.
The pastor touched on underlying fears of genetic illnesses and encouraged attendees to stop living in a constant state of worry.
“Fear operates just like faith — it is a spirit. If you fear it, it will come to pass,” Norwood said.
The pastoral duo shared their wisdom, stressing an overall message of the importance of seeking guidance from God on how to achieve optimal health and wellness. They offered several tips:
• People must take responsibility for their own health. Work with God and doctors by following orders.
• Fueling one’s body properly is important. Many foods are loaded with preservatives, chemicals and steroids. Failing to research food before it’s eaten eventually can cause sickness and disease. Eating in moderation also is important. Overeating can lead to obesity and even diabetes.
• Get enough rest. Sleep is essential to the body. Without it, stress can break the body down, leaving a person susceptible to illness.
• Don’t settle for what one person claims is true. Get a second opinion when it comes to medical matters. Ask the doctor questions. Make sure to understand how prescription medications work and what side effects they might have.
• Emotional disturbances can cause physical ailments. Don’t let issues fester or build into hatred. Forgive and heal. The spirit triggers naturally positive responses in the body. The body and the soul cannot be healed until the spirit is healed.
Abundant Life’s doors always are open to new members. There will be a New Year’s Eve Celebration at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31. For more information on upcoming classes and events at Abundant Life, go to www.abundantlifeworshipcenter.net.