Members of the Loudoun County religious community did their part Saturday to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are getting to those most in need.
At a vaccination drive, the First Baptist Church of Sterling tried to help hundreds of county residents start their weekends by rolling up their sleeves for a shot in the arm.
“We’re just not preaching and praying Covid away, we’re doing the steps, we’re taking the action,” Pastor Michelle C. Thomas, of the NAACP Loudoun branch, said.
Reluctance, apprehension and access to the vaccine are still hurdles, but the First Baptist Church of Sterling strives to overcome those barriers.
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“The reluctance sometimes is a misunderstanding that there’s a distinction between faith and science,” Bishop Leslie Patterson, of the First Baptist Church of Sterling, said. “There is no conflict in the faith community with faith and science.”
Their critical message to their congregants and community was simple: the COVID-19 vaccine could help them resume their lives.
Four hundred shots were administered at the church, and that was just half of the weekend’s effort. The other half happened at Oak Grove Baptist Church a few miles away. It was founded in 1868 and remains at the heart of the community they’re trying to reach.
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“African Americans are representative of about 7% of Loudoun County, and as we notice, many people in my congregation and congregations around Loudoun, they weren’t vaccinated,” Thomas said.
Medical suppliers, church leadership, the NAACP and volunteers were all part of the drive, which will also go on at other places of worship.
On April 4, the effort will continue at ADAMS Center Mosque in Sterling.