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Church Health Reader provides resources for you and your church.

About Us

As part of the ministry of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee, Church Health Reader produces innovative resources on health and healing for lay leaders and clergy. We bring you:

  • Feature Articles
    • foundational pieces on health ministry
    • interviews with leaders and thinkers
    • faithful reflections on living with disease
  • Programs and Models
    • examples of local churches and their ministries
    • community ministries to implement healthier outcomes
  • Tools for Ministry
    • Ask Deborah advice column
    • tips for health and ministry
    • recipes for families and larger groups such as soup kitchens and congregational meals
    • tested curricula
    • flyers and downloads
  • Recommended Resources
    • Recommended books, curricula, church resources and more
    • Book lists from notable leaders, thinkers and authors

Our mission is simple: to make you and your church healthier in body and spirit. It begins with each of us making healthier decisions for ourselves and our churches. Church Health Reader is here to help you do just that.

As part of the ministry of the Church Health Center, we believe that healthy living is more than pills and procedures. That's why Church Health Reader is structured around our "Model for Healthy Living" that identifies seven key components of living a healthy life and developing a healthy church. When we bring these elements - Movement, Nutrition, Friends and Family, Emotional, Medical, Faith Life and Work - into balance, we are capable of living out God's promise of an abundant life.

This site is supported entirely by the generosity of our donors.

Mission of the Church Health Center
The Church Health Center seeks to reclaim the Church's biblical commitment to care for all bodies and spirits. Our ministries provide healthcare for the poor and promote healthy bodies and spirits for all.

Our Team

Along with our staff positions, Church Health Reader works closely with members of Faith Community Outreach, Wellness, and other areas at the Church Health Center. We also have interns working with us at most times.

Sarah Ranson
Sarah holds a B.A. in history and received a Master of Liberal Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. She volunteered as a member of the Review Committee of Church Health Reader before coming on staff in January 2012.

Online Editor
Rachel Thompson Davis
Rachel is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She has served as a part of the Church Health Reader team since it's launch in November 2008.

Manager of Resource Production
John Shorb
John Shorb holds a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He served as the editor of Church Health Reader from May 2007 to December2011. He now manages Church Health Reader and the production of other resources at the Church Health Center.

Manager, Faith Community Outreach
Rev. Stacy C. Smith
Stacy is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and received her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She is a regular contributor to Church Health Reader and oversees the subscription and distribution of the magazine and other resources.

Art Director
Lizy Heard
Lizy holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Mississippi. She oversees art direction and design for Church Health Reader and other resources from the Church Health Center.

Review Committee
Mark Bryson
Maureen Daniels, R.N, M.N.
Angela Dixon
Jeff Hulett
Michael McLain, Ph.D.
Rev. Dr. Deborah Patterson
Michaelia Sturdivant, R.N.
Rev. Renee Dillard
Walter Veazey
Barbara Wheeler
Rev. Amy Wilson

The Review Committee of Church Health Reader consists of volunteers from a variety of fields and regions. They use their personal expertise and knowledge of the church to ensure our content is of the highest quality and remains relevant to our readers.

Editorial Board
Ann Langston
Sterling McNeal
Butch Odom
John Shorb
Rev. Stacy Smith
Sheridan Smotherman

The Editorial Board consists of Church Health Center staff.

Contact Us

For editorial inquiries, please e-mail:

For subscriptions and all other inquiries, please e-mail


I just subscribed to Church Health Reader. Will I receive the current issue?
Yes. After you have subscribed, you should receive a confirmation letter and a copy of the current issue within 2-3 weeks. Your subscription begins with the current issue.

How do I submit a question for Ask Deborah?
If you’d like to ask Deborah Patterson a question for her column Ask Deborah, you can email the question to

Do you accept article ideas or submissions?
Yes, we do accept submissions on topics relevant to Church Health Reader. We are particularly interested in hearing about programs in your community that seek to make the church a healthier place. If you’d like to share a story about what your congregation or community is doing, you can contact our editor at

Privacy Statement

Church Health Reader is committed to preserving your privacy and safeguarding your information online. For that reason, we follow a privacy policy that applies to our web site.

We do not nor will we ever sell or share your e-mail information with any third party. We only keep your information for our own use such as email updates, or statistics.

Please note that by using the site, you signify your agreement with this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please do not use the Site.

Our site is not directed toward children under 13 years of age. Church Health Reader does not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under thirteen years of age. If you are under 13 years of age, you should not provide any personally identifiable information through the Site.

Please note that this Privacy Policy applies only to the site and not to other websites to which we link.

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Our Team

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Privacy Statement