Sampson County leads the way in Faithful Families promotional video

By: By Chase Jordan -

A new promotional video is giving the world a glimpse of how spirituality and health is being connected in Sampson County.

In the winter, a film crew visited Cedar Point Disciples Church in Newton Grove to film a class for the Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More program. It was shot in cooperation with the North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH) and North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

The Faithful Families program, led locally by nutrition educator Lethia Lee focuses on promoting health eating and physical activity in communities of faith. It addresses problems of obesity through education to help individuals, families and communities. Sampson County is serving as a pilot for the program.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of any pilot,” Lee said. “A pilot is something that’s never been done before. It’s a great honor and it should be a great honor for Sampson County.”

The promotional video may be viewed by visiting or

“People all over the state will be looking at this and knowing that it came from Sampson County,” Lee said while talking about the inspiration. “We have people in Sampson County that can do exciting and innovating things to help other people.”

For the next step, Lee and other associates are looking to expand the program soon by connecting with another church. She’s proud to have Sampson County serve as an example.

“I feel that faithful families is the way to go,” Lee said. “If you can reach people of faith. Then they tell other people about what they learned and they spread the word. That way we’ll have more healthy people in Sampson County.”

Travis Greer, regional worksite/faith coordinator for the Robeson County Health Department, was one of several officials participating in the video. As the regional coordinator for the ODHDSP (Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention) grant, he works with several counties in the effort. In 2014, DPH received funding for the implementation of a program to help reduce health disparities among adults. Faithful Families is one of the strategies being used by ODHDSP. Greer said the program also has the opportunity to reach people from different backgrounds and faiths.

“It gives people great social support as far as learning how to eat healthy, move more and get more physical activity,” Greer said. “It’s a great program that focuses on the individual behavior by providing tools and resources on how to cook smart and shop smarter.”

He hopes the video, which was produced from many hours of shooting, spreads the message. Created by Professional Communications, the video is a little over 3 minutes long and gives a review of the program and featured the faces of Sampson County residents. It captured cooking demonstrations, exercise movements and Lee making a presentation.

“It’s applicable for anyone across the state to watch it and get links and resources for a facilitator that can do this program in their faith community,” Greer said.

For more information about the program, contact Lee at 910-592-7161, Ext. 273 or by email at

Health officials looking to expand health, faith-based program

By Chase Jordan

Russ Gill of Professional Communications, films Lethia Lee for the Faithful Families program. Gill of Professional Communications, films Lethia Lee for the Faithful Families program.