Waxahachie, Texas — January 31, 2013 — In March 2012, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Ricky Van Pay was endorsed as the first Assemblies of God (AG) chaplain to triathletes. Van Pay is also the founder of Iron One Fitness Solutions.
Van Pay says, “We are pastors to people who don’t have a pastor and need one. Endurance athletes often don’t attend church because of their race and training schedules. We realized that hardly anyone is reaching out to this group of people and saw chaplaincy as a way to do it.”
In 2010, the Van Pays founded Iron One Fitness Solutions. The ministry coaches pastors and churches in physical health and weight loss. Van Pay says, “There aren’t very many people talking to churches about physical health, even though obesity is an epidemic in America.”
According to the Pulpit and Pew Study from the Duke School of Divinity, 78% of evangelical pastors are overweight or obese. Van Pay says, “Christians have made food their drug of choice. People are literally committing suicide with a fork and a spoon.”
He continues, “It shouldn’t be this way. Christians should bear the fruits of the Spirit, one of these being self-control. God created our bodies, and we should steward them.”
Iron One Solutions offers the three-fold solution of coaching huddles for pastors, wellness programs for church staff, and church wellness campaigns. During online coaching huddles, pastors receive twelve weeks of online coaching and accountability. Church fitness campaigns launch with a weekend of messages and coaching clinics.
Iron One Solutions also provides free one-on-one consultations working them in between services and a coaching clinic to help those within the church that need a kick-start with their goals. Over 100 people have already received consultations since Jan. 1, 2013.
Van Pay enrolled at SAGU in Fall 1998. He graduated in May 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in youth & student ministries. During his senior year, Van Pay was the youth pastor at Grace Assembly of God in Dallas, Texas.
SAGU professors Bruce Rosdahl, Garland Owensby and Larry Hester mentored Van Pay outside the classroom. “My encounters with these professors outside the classroom were even more meaningful than some of my classroom experiences, because they took time to invest in my personal life and provide direction.”
Van Pay encourages SAGU students to “sharpen their practical life skills.” He says, “Learn about finances and practice budgeting. Develop communication skills such as working with different personalities and conflict resolution. Make physical health a priority. Find mentors who can coach you in these areas.”
The Van Pay family lives in Boulder, Colo. Van Pay married his wife Amy, a SAGU alumna, in 2002. They have three children, two boys and a girl: Camden, 8; Cale, 5; and Ainsley, two months.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927 and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.