Broadly speaking, that's an apt communal approach, says the Rev. Dr. Scott Morris, the physician-founder of Church Health Center Wellness, which operates pay-what-you-reasonably-can medical clinics for the uninsured and working poor and similarly priced memberships to its two-story, state-of-the-art gym, 10 minutes' drive from downtown Memphis.
Every member gets a monthly consultation with a trainer and nutritionist at Church Health, where blood pressure gauges are on the gym floor. Center staffers run the tests and keep files of members' fitness trajectories.
"We expect the people to work this program," says Morris, a family practitioner and pastor of Memphis' St. John's United Methodist Church. "This is not a place to come and get on the treadmill with your headphones on. There are probably 10 people here at this very moment who weigh 300 pounds. ... We also probably have more success stories than I can count."
Church Health has a mind-body-spirit ethos, says Morris, the doctor who diagnosed Henley's diabetes. It considers the everyday financial, social and cultural concerns that can and sometimes do factor into obesity.
Collectively, the Henley clan has dropped 97 pounds thus far. (Henley's youngest daughter, a college freshman, leads the pack, shedding 50 pounds. At 5 feet 8 inches tall, she used to weigh 230 pounds.)
"The data shows that Memphis is one of the most obese cities in the nation. When I look around, I see that. I saw it on myself," Henley says.
"Even now, I'm still overweight and I'm still working at this. ... We saw what could happen within our own family, then we took it to our church, to other churches. The Bible says 'People perish for lack of knowledge.' Sometimes we're just ignorant to things. ... That ignorance is part of what we're trying to change."