Messages from First Place Members


Dear Nancy,

I know that the Lord had me in mind when He gave you those words of encouragement. I am approaching the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death; unfortunately, I returned to old habits and have been binging for the last few days. My First Place group is nearing the end of our first session. I thought this would be a good time to step aside and let someone more worthy take over. Your words are the encouragement I needed to get back up, dust off, and get going again.

Terressa Hennigan
Hillcrest Baptist Church
Jasper, Texas

P.S. Our group lost 269.25 pounds in the first 12 weeks!


First Place is more of a personal journey than it is a weight loss program. If I had joined for the program rather than the weight loss, I would have been more on track. I suppose weight loss is a type of circumcision though. It is God carving my body out to be something beautiful in His image, as He also carves my soul.

Linda Russeau
South Lansing Christian Church
Lansing, Michigan



God brought together five leaders, a group of ladies and one man. From this group we have seen miracles in each life. Two ladies, who have gone to church all their lives yet were never taught to read their Bible, were so blessed by the study.

My husband, who had his own law practice for 18 years, has been called into ministry “more” full-time, and is now a pastor at our church. I thank God for using you at First Place to bring to our church a ministry that is blessing many. I also thank God for your words of encouragement today. They have helped to “recharge my weak battery.”

Since starting First Place, my husband has memorized 221 verses. He was inspired by your tape, “The Habit That Transforms Lives.” He walks around the house and the neighborhood reciting verses. Periodically, he will ask me, “How many verses did that girl say she has memorized? I’m gonna pass her.” It is truly a riot to listen to him.

Well, it seems you are having an impact on my husband. Wait a minute, the phone just rang. My husband just called to inform me that he is up to 223 verses.

Sincerely and in His Service,

Barb Petrillo
First Place Group Leader
Christ’s Bible Church
Pennsauken, New Jersey