Lin Bennett is pastor with Grace Empowerment Ministry Church; he opened GEM Fitness Studio in February.

Anna Goodwin McCarthy/The Daily Advance

Lin Bennett is pastor with Grace Empowerment Ministry Church; he opened GEM Fitness Studio in February.

Pastor is changing lives through faith and fitness

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

The Daily Advance

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As a fitness professional and pastor Lin Bennett’s goal is to help people attain a healthy lifestyle through the “body, soul and spirit.”

“I want to help to change people’s lives through faith and fitness,” said Bennett.

Bennett began his work with the Grace Empowerment Ministry Church in Oct. 2013 and opened GEM Fitness Studio in Jordan Plaza in February 2014.

“I believe in total health,” said Bennett. “We have to take care of ourselves.”

Bennett, who has been a group exercise instructor for 13 years, said he was motivated to open the fitness center after his father passed away from a heart attack.

“My dad would not go to the bigger gyms,” said Bennett.

“My goal is to reach out to the beginner,” Bennett said of his mission for opening the fitness studio.  “I am really focusing on beginning classes for people who are just starting out.”

The fitness studio offers group exercise classes like Pilates, yoga and core classes, and Bennett instructs a Step and Tone class.

Bennett said in addition to the beginning classes, moderate and advanced sessions are also available at the fitness studio.

Bennett provides a Bible study at the fitness studio with themes that change each month.

“The stronger you are the more effective you will be in life,” said Bennett. “Exercise should be a priority.”

Bennett maintains that achieving total health is about caring for the “body, soul and spirit.”

“If one is neglected all other areas will suffer,” said Bennett.

Bennett said he has talked with people who work out and then go home overeating to deal with stress and problems.

Bennett said people “can find peace” through the Bible Study.

Bennett moved to Elizabeth City with his family eight years ago. Growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., Bennett served as a fireman in the Air Force Reserves.

“I am a very laid back person,” said Bennett. “I walk really slow, talk really slow until the music starts.”

“Once I teach class or preach I become a totally different person,” said Bennett describing his enthusiasm for his work with the ministry and fitness. “When the music starts I get passionate about what I do.”

“My main motivation I do believe is I am a witness to my faith,” said Bennett.

“Exercise is probably the number one thing when we have a hectic schedule we put aside, but it is the first thing we should do,” said Bennett.  “Invest in your health.”

“I love spending time with my family, my wife, Tonia, my daughters, Adoria and Linnyah and son, Josiah,” said Bennett. “I really hope I can help more people through ministry and classes.”

Anna Goodwin McCarthy is a correspondent for The Daily Advance.