Friday, November 23, 2012
(Last modified: 2012-11-23 23:30:39)
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-A unique program at Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church will culminate in a special event next Sunday afternoon.

Run For God, a discipleship program similar to the popular Couch to 5K training regimen, has taken over the Newport church with a number of small groups training over the past few months. The groups, which involve physical and spiritual training, are gearing up for a 5K on December 2 at 2 p.m. at the Newport City Park. The course will take on the same certified route that the popular Run for the Roosters 5K did in past years.

All proceeds from the 5K will go towards the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, an International Mission Board offering collected by Southern Baptist churches.

"I'm excited about it," said Lincoln Avenue Baptist Pastor Dr. Craig Ward. "It's a good program and we've got a lot a of new runners involved.

"We're hoping to see 45 or 50 people run their first 5K," said Ward, himself an avid runner who takes on 25 to 30 miles a week.

The implementation of the program at Lincoln Avenue Baptist began earlier this summer after Ward and his wife Anne and Lydia Shelton all participated in the Cincinnati Marathon this summer.

Shelton contacted Ward about starting the Run for God program at Lincoln Avenue and since Labor Day, the church has been heavily involved in training. Those who are involved with the program meet at 5 p.m. on Sunday's in the church's youth center. The group, which started with 75 participants talk
regarding their training and small group bible studies each week.

During the week, small groups meet for training exercises and small group bible studies. Small group leaders are Shelton, Rick Morris and Daniel and Ashley Dudley.

Eric Herndon is the race director for the program.

Ward said he thinks the program is beneficial to the church.

"We know obesity is an issue and I felt like as pastor that we needed to give some avenue for our members to be held accountable for exercising," Ward said. "We're really excited about it."

Registration will be held up until race day with a cost of $25, which includes a t-shirt while supplies last. Those who are under age 12 have a registration fee of $10.

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