Defining moments—they change the course of our life. In 1981 our family had a defining moment when Roy and I decided to focus on fitness for our whole family. At that moment, we chose a path to be faithful to take care of our health, to exercise and to eat wisely. Roy started jogging, and we put the kids in soccer. Then he said, “Jeannie, you love to dance—why don’t you join an ‘aerobics’ class?” I did just that, and immediately they asked me to teach. The Body & Soul story begins here.
Not long after this, my friend Nan asked me to lead exercise for a special “Body & Soul Day” at our church. Pulling together my background in dance, my love of music and a large dose of prayer, I borrowed some Christian music albums (yes, vinyl albums—this was 1981) and did some simple choreography. “Body & Soul” began, as Nan invited all of her neighbors to the first official classes, which took place in her basement! Along with some fun exercise, we began to touch their hearts with a mix of faith & fitness and their lives began to change.
Immediately Roy saw the vision that this could grow to reach around the world, so he took steps to set up “Body & Soul” as a non-profit ministry, and got trademarks for the name. He stepped out in faith to raise money to get us started, and God provided in amazing ways.
Since that very first class, exercise has always been the reason we gather in Body & Soul, but so much more is available in our classes, as people of many beliefs come together to be encouraged, explore what the Bible has to say, and find out who Jesus really is. Students work out together, and also find a place where they can talk about faith, discover Biblical truth and make personal changes in the spiritual course of their lives.
For 35 years, I had the privilege of leading this ministry. Body & Soul Fitness has new leadership now, in Amy Stafford, a woman of tremendous vision and talent. And it continues to grow and spread. There are classes across the USA and around the world. We have served over 80,000 people over the course of 35+ years of ministry. Body & Soul is truly a unique program that strengthens both the body & the spirit. We invite you to join us and be a part of a movement that is changing lives, inside and out!
Jeannie and Roy Blocher
Founders, Body & Soul Fitness