Six DeKalb churches partner with health department to open exercise facilities to public

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DeKalb County residents can now get a work-out at church facilities that have partnered with the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Through a partnership with the Board of Health and funding from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, six DeKalb  churches are now offering fitness classes and open gym hours to the public.

Thanks to shared use agreements, each faith-based organization will open its facility to engage community members in physical activity. Adults and youth can participate in activities such as Zumba, basketball, indoor soccer, weight training and walking groups. The goal of the shared use agreement initiative is to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease by increasing physical activity among DeKalb residents.

“This initiative is yet another great example of making access to physical activity resources easier for residents in DeKalb,” said DeKalb County District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A. “We challenge other communities of faith to join the movement, as we work together to improve health outcomes in DeKalb County.”

According to the Board of Health’s 2015 Status of Health Report, 38 percent overweight or obese can be a precursor to other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Providing access to recreational spaces in communities with limited facilities can help reduce these numbers.

The participating churches are:

▪ Saint Philip Community Development Corporation, 240 Candler Rd., SE,  Atlanta, 404-371-0749

  • D. Moore Community Development, Inc., 4007 Church St., Clarkston, 404-292-5686
  • The Beulah Community Family Life Center, 2340 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur, 678-553-6039
  • The Bridge at Austin, 1989 Austin Dr., Decatur, 770-713-5315
  • Stronghold Christian Church, 724 Rock Chapel Road, Lithonia, 770-322-9010
  • Tabernacle of Refuge Ministries, Inc., 6954 Braswell St., Lithonia, 770-484-3498
For a complete list of facilities and hours of operation, visit healthy/. 
For more information on shared use agreements and other DeKalb County Board of Health wellness initiatives, call 404-508-7847 or e-mail

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