Pastor loses, but missions win


Church missions are the winners, while Garry Ruff, pastor of Midway United Methodist Church in Jackson County, is a loser. Of weight, that is.


The church raised over $1,000 for missions while Ruff lost weight. Members were asked to give $1 for each pound Ruff lost with a goal of losing 40 pounds in 20 weeks. If he didn’t lost at least 30 pounds, he vowed to match the money pledged.


The project was dubbed Operation Fatzoff, and 30 individuals or families agreed to sponsor him. That meant $30 to missions for every pound lost. Each Sunday morning between Sunday school and worship, Ruff weighed in and posted the result on a chart in the Fellowship Hall. 


At the end of 20 weeks, he had lost 34 pounds for a total pledged of $1,020.  A “yo-yo dieter” all of his adult life, Ruff plans to lose at least 15 more pounds before trying to maintain a healthy weight. 


“I live to eat,” he says, “so keeping it off will be as hard as taking it off. But you can’t keep it off, if you don’t take it off.”