20 September, 2008

Sanford Church Experiences Stellar Growth

I want to begin by saying how much I truly appreciate the opportunity Dr. Brother Slawson has given me to share my testimony of how Church growth can be generated through specific programs.

It all really started about two years ago. It dawned on me how some Church bodies are small, while others are quite large, and Church size may be alterable with specific programs. I sat and asked myself questions like, “Could this Church body be a lot bigger if I were able to implement some programs on a consistent basis?” and “What exactly can be done to grow this Church body?”

I knew substantial growth was possible because my two sister Churches in town were very large. Also, I knew for a fact that other Church bodies around the country had more than doubled in size that were once smaller than my Church body. One Church body had grown to nine times the average.

I set my mind to research the idea wholeheartedly. How did they do it? A consistent behavior that stuck out was pizza parties. One Church body experienced growth through youth pizza parties once per month. So, what if I had 3 pizza parties a week? If one pizza party a month led to growth, why not a pizza party on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night at my house for a solid year?

I attribute at least 150 lbs of my body’s growth to the pizza nights.

Also from my research, I knew some had experienced growth through prayer breakfasts. I began leading a men’s prayer breakfast at IHOP every other Sunday morning. I attribute another 200 lbs of my body’s growth to men’s prayer breakfast.

The rest of my substantial weight gain is, no doubt, attributable to a combination of all the little things I saw others doing. For example, I joined as many committees as my schedule would hold. Committee membership allowed me to sit for hours and discuss a wide variety of topics, and very little movement was required. The only times I had to move this Church body was when I had to get out of my chair to retrieve my own doughnut holes and pastries. (I got this suggestion from the North Beach Diet, which I highly recommend for growth.)

The last 150 pounds of growth has occurred as I have spent most of my days in bed during the last 6 months. Through email, cell phone, webcam and conference calls, I have been able to virtually correspond with virtually everyone virtually all the time. In other words, once growth momentum was in full force, I was able to keep up with all of my duties while in bed, all without losing any of my growth. I’ve really had to do nothing lately, and I’ve still continued to grow.

Now, after many programs, parties, I am very proud to say that, though I started at a mere 180 lbs, I am now up to 850 pounds. I now have the largest Church body in the state of Louisiana.

Sure, I’m not the largest Church. Some of my Church cousins in other states are much bigger. But, most of those have many more resources. I am not able to afford more expensive programs. Most of my growth has had to come through high fat content food obtained cheaply.

I want to thank TBNN for allowing me to share my story today.


Sanford L. Church

Editor’s Note: Sanford L. Church is a faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church in Madisonville, Louisiana. His two sisters, Claire Church and Cherise Church, currently weigh between 550 and 600 lbs each. His largest cousin, Joel Church, currently lives in Lakewood, Texas, tipping the scales at a startling 1422 lbs.


Chris said...


"Pastors, your kids don't need pizza parties and six flags over Jesus, they need to hear the true gospel." -- Mark Cahill

Jonathan said...


"My two sister Churches in town were very large..."

That's it, I'm going to grow this 'church body' right now!


fresnel said...

Well, my gut reaction to this story is to go get my car keys.

Jim Pemberton said...

Now that's the weigh to go.

Matthew 17:13-14

This article presents a spiritual metaphor. We check the fat content of our bodies to help determine a level of fitness. Whether you are a large person or a small person, you will either be flabby and lifeless or muscular and well-worked. The obese are unfit by mere virtue of the fact that their bones, muscles and organs must work hard simply to sustain the fat in the body. The morbidly obese approach death by the demands and pressures of their own fat.

The challenge within the church body: each one of us must ask if we are part of the fat or part of the muscles, bones or organs.

Brother Slawson said...

I appreciate the comments, and thanks for taking time with the thoughtful analysis Jim.

I intended to poke fun at church leaders (of congregations) who desire to grow bigger, regardless of how it affects church health.

As it would be silly to have the goal of growing our own bodies to their maximum, I believe it is silly to have a goal of growing local congregations to their maximum (especially through programs), at the expense of church health.