Memphis pastors combine faith and fitness to stay healthy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You can sweat away the pounds and praise in the process.

Leaders from different faiths are combining faith, fellowship and fitness to lead by example and unite the city.

A Memphis pastor is taking ministry from the pulpit to the bench press.

"We are like iron sharpening iron," Pastor Gary Faulkner with Omni Church said.

Ministers are motivating and speaking life into one another, young and more seasoned.

'I had fluid overflow, and I could barely breath. I was in the hospital for a while, I was weak," Pastor William M. Young Sr said.

Bishop Young is 74-years-old. He says when he first started at LP Fitness he couldn't even walk in the building.

Now, he does two miles a day on the treadmill.

He says starting his morning hanging out with other ministers jump starts his day with joy.

"When people say I should be retiring, I tell them I'm just starting," Bishop Young said.

LP Fitness founder Leonard Pegues doesn't go easy on the group either - after 30 years of training he knows easy does it doesn't get the job done.

"Even when he's yelling at us, he's yelling scripture," Dr. Christopher Davis, with St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, said.

"This is my way of blessing them and empowering them. They are seeds into my life in wisdom," LP Fitness founder Pegues said.

All of the ministers didn't walk in at the same time, but the group has thrived and grown.

"We've had as many as 10 to 12 pastors who have trained with us," Pegues said.

"We motivate each other to work out physically, but we are also motivating each other when it comes to the word," Pastor Gary Faulkner said.

Each minister has their own testimony.

"Two years ago, I stumbled in this place at 247 pounds. I was certainly overweight. I was struggling to do two services, because I didn't have the energy," Pastor Faulkner said.

Pastor Faulkner lost 40 pounds. But like all the ministers say, the bulk of what they've picked up can be measured by them becoming stronger in their mind, body and soul.

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