Combining spiritual health as an important component of physical health
Terry Dent joined Forest Baptist Church in the Newburg neighborhood wearing a halo brace to support his broken neck and back after he suffered a seizure while driving. Little did he know he would wear a spiritual halo by being asked to start a health ministry and serve as a deacon for the church that saved his life.
That car wreck left Dent, a 12-year Army veteran, with a serious knee injury that led to two knee replacements, a systemic infection, 20 surgeries, a near-fatal seizure and an above-the-knee amputation of his left leg.
Dent was filled with self-pity, but his church family wouldn’t let him stay in that place for long.
“Their response was so positive,” Dent said. “No one felt sorry for me.”
Interested in promoting health and wellness in your faith community?
Norton Faith & Health Ministries is offering a free information session for health care professionals and others interested in learning about the promotion of health and wellness in faith communities.
Promoting Health in Your Faith Community
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Marshall Women’s Health & Education Center
Norton Medical Plaza 3 – St. Matthews, Suite 108
4123 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, Kentucky
Call (502) 629-2700 to register.
Continuing education credits will be offered.
They provided the perfect prescription of love and encouragement that completely changed his attitude.
After the church pastor saw Dent living a health-conscious lifestyle with a positive spirit in the midst of adversity, he asked him to begin a health ministry.
A health ministry promotes whole-person health and healing — body, mind and spirit — within a faith community. It can be organized in whatever way best meets the health and wellness needs of the congregation and neighborhood.
Dent gathered a team and started slowly, handing out health pamphlets. The ministry flourished and now includes guest speakers, health fairs, screenings, congregational safety information, emergency preparedness, healthy meals at church, spiritual retreats and contributing to community food and clothing pantries.
Health ministries often are led by faith community members who have a deep spiritual calling to serve others through the promotion of health, healing and wholeness. A professional health or ministry background is not required, although some health ministries are led by licensed registered nurses.
Dent’s spiritual leadership and service also have included mentoring new or pending amputees at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and students at the West End School. He also teaches Sunday school and hosts fitness classes.