The Last Supper (for a while)

Photo on 2-4-15 at 1.40 PM

Robert Earl Houston February 4, 2015

by Robert Earl Houston

Baked Potato.
Arnold Palmer.

And tonight, my wife Jessica and I observed the last supper. As of tomorrow evening, I will be undergoing a medically supervised diet. I will be sharing my journey here on The Wire to help encourage someone who has been struggling, as I have, with weight and weight-related complications.

I’ve seen preachers . . . no . . . GREAT preachers, OUTSTANDING preachers, PROLIFIC preachers, only to see their lives cut short by obesity. When I started in ministry in 1978, preaching my first sermon, I wore a size 28 suit. Today, I wear a size 48. It’s time for a change.

I’ve been a diabetic since I was 23 (I’m 54 now). I’ve had high blood pressure issues, physical issues, etc. especially in the last 3 years. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself – and that church pastor dining lifestyle that has claimed and shortened the life of many a pastor.

Late night eating.
Fast food eating.
Church dinners heavy in cooking oil.
Soda pop, soda pop, soda pop.
Sweet potato pies and cakes.
Luncheon meetings.
Dinner meetings.
Breakfast meetings.

So, as of tomorrow, I am becoming proactive about my health – with the support of my wife, family, church family, and extended family and friends. With a combination of medical supervision and exercise (in stages). One of my best friends, Pastor Christopher Waters, pastor of the Thankful Baptist Church in Augusta, GA, has been on a journey of good health in the last year. He has lost 60 pounds and has a goal of losing another 40 pounds this year. He’s challenged many of his friends (me included) to begin a regimen of healthy living.

I’ve tried the diets, cut back on sweets, stopped the soda. So now I take the next step, a physician-supervised regimen based in Lexington, KY provided by Health Management Resources. It means I will be exclusively dining on their shakes, foods, health bars, and vitamins, for the next 15 weeks.

If all goes well, I will lose somewhere between 60-100 pounds.

I shared my plan with the wonderful people of First Baptist Church. After church they were so encouraging. One member in particular said: “Pastor, I am so proud of you. We want you around for many years.”  That’s the goal.

The good news is that as this process starts, after meeting with the physician today, I’m already off of three medications and a serious reduction in my insulin medications (by at least half). Tomorrow I have my first extensive session and education – a four hour intensive.

So by the time I hit 55 on May 16, 2015, I will experiencing great health!  Your prayers and support are appreciated!  I encourage other pastors and preachers to join me in a journey toward good health – and church members, I encourage you to encourage your pastor on a journey as well.


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10 responses

  1. God bless you brother….ill be praying with you and for you.

    Pastor Wayne

  2. Way to go pastor. Your an inspiration already!

  3. | Reply

    praying for u man

  4. Prayers lifted. You can do it!!!

    Tracy (from Mccoy)

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Minister John Smith | Reply

    Hey brah,,man wow..look,yo brotha smith is going in this for you,(prayer).. I pray in Jesus Christ mighty name for your healing and strength, plus I pray that God would do something extraordinary in your life and ministry,, amen.. Also right now I need strength to lose 25 pounds man,,so trust me, no weapon formed against us shall prosper, but we can’t cause our own demise.. Be blessed nah,,yo brotha in Christ Jesus

  6. Praying for you.

  7. Strength and peace to you!
    Might I also say . . . one’s unhealthful diet does not always show up in their being overweight. Some of us who eat “bad” food don’t gain a pound. Nevertheless, the body (and spirit) suffers in the long run. Thank you for your model.

  8. Morning Pastor, My name is Rev. Julian Anthony Bond and I would like to encourage you as well to keep you spirits high and smile a lot. You will smell everything during this time but remember my spirit is high and smile. A keen sensation simply thinking clearly and changing your diet helps. In Washington DC we were feeding the homeless Vegan meals and they loved it! In addition, I would bring dishes for Bible study and as you can imagine a Black congregation was looking for our soul food but my cooking had great taste and none of the grease etc. My spirit is high when I talk and preach health and I smile a lot cause I know it makes a difference….especially when some expect you to eat just whatever. You are Gods workmanship, so let him pour into you and keep you to be used! If I can assist with any suggestion…just let me know. I still eat fried chicken but only my own. A recipe with rice flour and canola oil. May God Bless you, your family and congregation and pray you know your never alone!

  9. Pastor Houston,

    I will be praying for you as you embark on this courageous, life-saving journey. You are not only saving your life, you are providing a leadership model for your family, congregation and community. You are not alone dear Brother. May I suggest that you connect with the Healthy Preacher Movement and share your journey. This is an organization that is dedicated to supporting those in ministry who are transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. May GOD continue to bless you, your wife, your family, your ministry and your congregation. Be well, be whole.

    Douglas Moore
    Lay Minister
    Fountain Baptist Church Summit, New Jersey

    Healthy Preacher Link:

  10. Pastor Houston, I commend you on your journey towards good health. And look forward to you keeping us in the Christian circle. Praying for continued blessings and success in your endeavors.

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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