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DeKalb Churches Open Exercise Facilities to Public

DECATUR, Ga. – DeKalb County residents who have been sitting on the sidelines now have six low or no cost reasons to get moving.

Through a partnership with the DeKalb County Board of Health and funding from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, DeKalb County 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 County 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 of adults in the county are overweight or obese. Being 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., 404-371-0749


  • K.D. Moore Community Development, Inc., 4007 Church St., 404-292-5686


  • The Beula Community Family Center, 2340 Clifton Springs Rd., 678-553-6039
  • The Bridge at Austin, 1989 Austin Dr., 770-713-5315


  • Stronghold Christian Church, 724 Rock Chapel  Rd., 770-322-9010
  • Tabernacle of Refuge Ministries, Inc., 6954 Braswell St., 770-484-3498

For a complete list of facilities and hours of operation, visit

For more information on shared use agreements and other DeKalb County Board of Health wellness initiatives, call 404-508-7847 or e-mail