Saving Lives is a university-community faith-based health literacy and wellness program developed for congregations in rural and urban areas in the South.


18% of the black or African American population under 65 years are without health insurance coverage.


57.6% of black or African American 
women 20 years and over are obese.
and 37.9% of black or African American
men 20 years and over are obese.


14.6% of black or African American
persons of all ages considered in fair or poor health.

Southerners are especially susceptible to obesity and obesity-related illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. This program is designed to empower faith-based leaders and congregational members to engage in activities that will enhance their overall physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Researchers and community partners have joined to develop and execute the health literacy model. The process is to build communication, trust and capacity, with a final goal of improving and sustaining healthy living by all participants in ways that relate to their faith. The focus is on underserved populations. The key pillars of the program are:

  • Working closely with pastoral leaders that are committed and involved in the project.
  • Working in faith-based environments that promote healthy eating and wellbeing.
  • Training church advocates to motivate congregational members to eat a healthy diet, engage in physical activity, and maintain their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

The Center for Community-Based Partnerships

  • Capital Hall
  • (205) 348-7392
  • (205) 348-7366