About Helen Baratta
Helen is a take charge leader with a high degree of stamina and strategic insight. Hard working, Helen takes greats satisfaction setting and achieving goals. Her strong core values and belief define her purpose to influence others to embrace change and say “Yes” to all God has planned.
She is the Director of Development for First Place 4 Health, as well as an author, speaker, coach, a triathlete, and certified fitness instructor for Body and Soul Fitness. 2006, obese and unable to walk without pain, she surrendered to the Lord and He transformed her life. Since then, Helen has shed and maintained a 116-pound weight loss.
She is author of the book "Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s Way", "First Place for Health My Place for Leadership" and contributing author of five nonfiction books, including Live Life Right Here Right Now!, Better Together, Wellness Journey of a Lifetime, A Joy-Full Season, and Inspire! Women’s Stories of Accomplishment, Encouragement and Influence.
Helen’s ministry experience started at Crossroads Church in Oakdale, PA. She served as a Small Group Leader, Coach, Network Leader, Associate Campus Pastor, and then joined the staff as Small Group Director and then Equipping Coordinator. She came to faith through the prayers of a small group and passionately encourages everyone to reach out to those who are far from God.
In her previous 30-year career, Helen successfully managed Health Claims and Customer Service departments for three companies (one a Fortune 500), overseeing hundreds of employees and multimillion-dollar budgets. She has a BS in Management and Consumer Studies from University of Maryland and serves on the board of Unconditional Ministries, Inc.
Helen and her husband, Vince, raised two sons and now live the dream on the Big Island of Hawaii. When she isn't hiking the lava fields you can find her navigating the waves on her stand-up paddle board.
Safe on the Big Island -The geography of the northeast side of the Big Island of Hawaii provides protection. Helen lives without risk to the eruptions that devastated the southeast side of the island. The Big Island of Hawaii is 4,028 square miles. Kilauea’s lava eruptions, explosions, and earth quakes is transforming 10 square miles in the Puna district. Helen is helping those evacuated and whose homes have been destroyed, through her church both financially, serving, and donating items. Please pray for those in the Puna district of Hawaii that are going through a very difficult time.
I spent my twenties and thirties refusing to acknowledge God after I walked away from Him at age 14 when my parents divorced. I spent years trying to numb the fond memories of Sunday school, Bible camp and life with Jesus when I was a child and pre-teen. Even in my rebellion, the Lord continued to pursue me with relentless love. I wasn’t yet ready to accept God’s love, or even to love myself in a way that honors God.
In 1998, my new friend, Jane, invited me to church. I refused. Was I still mad at God about my parent’s divorce? Could there be something at church that would fill the void I knew was there? Jane didn’t give up. After two years and numerous invitations, I joined her at church. During the service that day, I rediscovered the immense love that I felt as an 11-year-old girl in a Baptist church, where I first met and accepted Jesus. I realized what I had been missing: a relationship with Christ Jesus. He loved me—no matter my size, shape, state of mind, or the things I’d done in the past.
I wish I could say that I immediately and effortlessly joined God in the plan He had for my life, but that’s not how my story plays out. I still had a “sizeable” amount of personal growth to do. I would come to learn that following His plan required listening and obedience—two of my weakest character traits. In 2006, obese and unable to walk without pain, I finally surrendered to the Lord and He transformed my life. Since then, I’ve shed and now maintain a 100+ pound weight loss. I encourage others to embrace change and say “Yes” to all God has planned.