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Black churches playing a role in administering vaccines and testing for COVID-19

Faith Matters

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Black churches in Shreveport are playing an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

“I think the church has to be in that space as a trusted voice and space in partnership with people who know what they are doing,” said Pastor Theron Jackson of Morning Star Baptist Church.

Morning Star and Galilee Baptist Church also serve as testing locations for COVID-19 in Shreveport.

Jackson says they have to be a place of trust due to past history.

“There is a legitimate history whether you talk about Tuskegee and other places where science has not always proved itself to be trustworthy. And very often the onus is put on the community to trust and I think the science community has got to understand they need to become trustworthy,” Jackson said.

He says that’s why the church has a responsibility educate the community.

“We have to create a culture that’s not just one of emergency medicine, receiving care, but being a part of the development of care is important.”

And Galilee will serve as a vaccination site for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Galilee Pastor Brian Wilson says this will provide better accessibility for community members to get the vaccine.

“Using the facility that God has blessed us with as a location, different medical centers, and organizations, you know, to get those services to where they live at,” Williams said.

Jackson, who also serves on the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, says having the vaccine site at Galilee is a great model for when vaccines are available to more people.

Both pastors say accessibility is important.

“I think education is one way that we’ve been able to reach our community and accessibility. I think all churches, right, do it in different ways. We have some unique circumstances and we’ve been blessed a lot here and I feel like it’s a responsibility for us to use what God has given us to make things accessible and to educate as much as possible,” Wilson said.

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