Marcie Plott didn't even realize she was exercising. She began walking often with her young daughter, exploring their community and walking to friends' homes.

Marcie Plott didn't even realize she was exercising. She began walking often with her young daughter, exploring their community and walking to friends' homes.

"When I started walking, I lost 40 pounds," she said.

Likewise, her friend Polly Moore began her own program to continue to lose weight and train for the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus May 5.

When their church pastor, Dan McLaughlin of the Faith Fellowship Church, was recently hospitalized and encouraged to exercise and stay active, they had an idea.

"We're starting a new walking group April 2 in Johnstown called Walk by Faith," Moore said. "It's a fun, fitness, and fellowship program of Faith Fellowship Church."

She said the group is open to all community members and will meet to walk two mornings and two evening per week.

"We'll try to hit all schedules at least once or twice a week," Moore said. "We'd love for people to walk all four days if and when they can, but everyone's invited whenever they'd like to come."

She said the group will meet at the Johnstown High School track Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m.

"We're fair-weather walkers, though," Moore said. "We don't walk if it's 40 degrees or less, or if it's raining."

Moore said she, Plott and McLaughlin all wanted to stay active, and they thought that the more people who would like to join them, the more fun they'd have. McLaughlin's health scare convinced them to keep each other accountable in terms of their health.

"Also, one of the things we really believe in at Faith Fellowship is making a difference in the community," Moore said. "So we feel like, if we can give community members a fun, free place and time to be part of this healthy activity, it can be great for the whole community."

Johnstown High School Principal Kim Jakeway was very supportive of the idea, she said, and of allowing the group to use the high school track.

"We're doing it all for Dan," said Plott, who added that a Jeremy Camp song called "Walk by Faith" inspired the name of the group.

Also, she said, the Walk by Faith group will work in harmony with another Johnstown/Alexandria area walking group sponsored by resident Danielle Stewart-Hughes.

"She actually started her walking group last year," said Plott. "They usually do their walking at the bike path on Wednesdays and Sundays starting in April. Anyone is welcome to join her group, as well."

Both groups have Facebook pages.

Plott said Walk by Faith's goal is to make regular exercise a fun and enjoyable activity for everyone.

"We'll walk and we'll talk," she said. "We won't even realize we're exercising."