Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 45–64 | Cite as

The Meaning of Obesity in the Church: A Pastoral Leader’s Perspective

  • Darren D. Moore
  • Jada E. Brooks
  • Ericka N. King


The purpose of this study is to highlight a unique case regarding obesity and weight loss in the Christian church that emerged when interviewing men who had experienced bariatric surgery. Thirty-four-year-old “Pastor Tom” was removed from his position in the church due to his obesity. Through critical reflection, utilizing an intrinsic case study methodology, the authors explore how this research participant constructed meaning around obesity and weight loss. In this study, two major themes emerged: (1) leading by example and (2) becoming a leader. The study includes a discussion of implications for the church as well as teaching, clinical, and research implications.


Meaning Obesity Religion Church leadership 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darren D. Moore
    • 1
  • Jada E. Brooks
    • 2
  • Ericka N. King
    • 1
  1. 1.Mercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland Eastern ShorePrincess AnneUSA

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