Part of Renowned Black Clergy Effort to Fight COVID-19
BY ANDREA FERGUSON-PETERSON AND REVEREND GLENN WILSON, SR
For more than a century, Pilgrim Baptist Church has stood as a beacon of hope and a symbol of resilience to Newark, New Jersey residents. The city of Newark is thriving and prevailing despite the devastation of COVID-19. To build on this progress, Pilgrim Baptist Church and nine other churches in Newark have joined a historic nationwide partnership with United Way of New York City for the Choose Healthy Life Initiative. This effort provides COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, vaccine awareness, and preventative health education.
Newark churches supporting The Choose Healthy Life Action Plan initiative include; Metropolitan Baptist Church; Bethany Baptist Church; City Hope Ministries; Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church; Jehovah-Jireh Praise and Worship Church Center; Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church; Clear View Baptist Church; Pilgrim Baptist Church; Pleasant Grove Baptist Church and St. Marks Free Will Baptist Church.
Choose Healthy Life was founded by Debra FraserHowze as a sustainable, scalable, and transferable approach centered around the Black Church—the oldest and most trusted institution in the Black community—to address public health disparities. Choose Health Life is co-chaired by Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Calvin O. Butts III. Fraser-Howze said she handpicked the two pastors after working with them in the past on health equity issues. Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Calvin Butts III, and Reverend David Jefferson Sr., Esq., helped launch the effort in five major cities: Newark, Atlanta, Detroit, Washington D.C, and New York City.
Dr. Glenn B. Wilson, Sr., Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, says “consistent testing and vaccinations are needed to be in place to save lives. As faith leaders, we along with the partner churches, have responsibility to guide community members through the testing, vaccination process, and serve as a COVID-19 education resource.”
To help with our COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, with the following: Newark Urban League, Bessie Smith Community Food Distribution Outreach, Warriors Cycling New Jersey/New York, Newark Sarah Ward Pre-School, and Skips Tinnie Learners.