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450 Baptists walk & run for wellness in Phoenix

PHOENIX (BP)–More than 450 participants met at 6:15 a.m. to beat the Phoenix heat on a one-mile walk or run around the Phoenix Civic Plaza in a June 17 wellness event sponsored by the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Annuity Board President O.S. Hawkins welcomed the walkers and runners and thanked them for participating in the “first annual ‘Run for the Son’ walk/run.”

“The Annuity Board has made a commitment to Southern Baptists to promote healthy lifestyles and physical fitness,” Hawkins said. “With the ‘Run for the Son’ we are making a statement that physical wellness and spiritual wellness are both important parts of living a healthy lifestyle.”

Doug Day, Annuity Board executive officer, thanked the companies that cosponsored the walk with the Annuity Board for providing T-shirts, breakfast and the services of Arizona Road Racers to coordinate the route. The Principal Financial Group, UnumProvident, Medco Health Solutions, GuideOne Insurance, Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Fortis Benefits Insurance provide services for the Annuity Board’s life and health products and also provided financial support for the walk.

After an opening prayer by Hawkins, Annuity Board staff member Cheryl Graf led walkers and runners in a short warm-up. At 6:30 a.m. Curt Sharp, executive officer, fired the starting pistol and the event began.

Hawkins was joined on the Run for the Son by Jack Graham, pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church and president of the Southern Baptist Convention; James T. Draper Jr., president of LifeWay Christian Resources; Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; William Crews, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; and Kenneth Hemphill, national strategist for the SBC’s Empowering Kingdom Growth emphasis.

After finishing the walk, participants were served a breakfast of yogurt, fruit, bagels and granola bars. Hawkins signed and distributed free copies of his new book, “High Calling-High Anxiety” for the participants.

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  • Wendy Ashley