Charlotte pastors helping Florida pastors get vaccine for members

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 6:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Pastor of First Baptist Church West - Dr. Ricky Woods - says the method that local Charlotte Black churches are using to get vaccines to their church members is working. The method is so successful it is catching on.

So far, the churches have assisted in getting more than 7,000 vaccinations for church members and people living in their communities. A group of pastors in Tampa has reached out to Woods for leadership.

“There is a possibility we will have a team from Charlotte that will go down to talk with them,” First Baptist Church West Pastor Ricky Woods said. “To answer any questions and possibly see what we can do to assist with building out this model.”

Woods says the Florida pastors were concerned when the vaccine started to be distributed - their church members were missing out.

“High-income areas were primary areas,” Woods said. “Underserved and low-income areas had been neglected, were continuing to be neglected and only being done in spotty areas quite honestly, so that was some of the frustration they were feeling.”

Woods told the Florida pastors that Charlotte started a relationship with healthcare providers pre-COVID. Pastors were building relationships so when the health crisis hit - there was already a bond. Woods believes that bond helped get shots in the arms of people who probably would not have gotten vaccinated.

“All they had to do was show up,” Woods said. “And they knew where to show up. They show up in places within their community - show up in places where they knew how to get to and show up in places where they trust.”

Woods hopes things will work out with the Florida pastors and a relationship develops with the healthcare industry down there. He believes churches can lead people in the community through challenging times and give them the peace and help needed.

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