Religious leaders join fight against COVID-19 in rural Mississippi

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 8:45 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On this Valentine’s Day, The General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi is showing love to rural residents who experience challenges due to their zip code.

The Mississippi Department of Health has teamed up with the faith-based organization and its network of more than 300 churches to distribute COVID-19 test kits throughout the Delta and southwest Mississippi.

On Monday they loaded the kits onto vans and trailers outside Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson and sent the kits to areas in need of the resources during this pandemic. Rev. Reginald Buckley is the president of the convention.

“We understand that it’s important the people who live in the zip codes, people who live in these areas, are not left out and that they are not bypassed when resources are made available,” said Buckley. “We want to make sure and do our part to make sure the resources get to the people who need it the most and who are in desperate need of testing.”

Dr. Robert E Kimble couldn’t agree more.

“The Delta really is in need of a lot of attention that can lift a lot of people.”

Kimble is the pastor of New Hope First Baptist Church in Greenville and traveled to get the free tests for his congregation and community. He says initiatives like this one are just another step to closing the healthcare gap.

“A lot of our members, and people in the Delta in general, deal with getting access to good healthcare, being able to see the doctor in a timely manner,” he said. “In the Delta, a doctor may see anywhere from 50 to 60 people a day and it’s hard to see a provider.”

Buckley says the goal is to distribute more than 20,000 test kits in those communities.

“We believe those gaps should not be so wide, those disparities should not be so wide. Whenever we can have state and communities of faith work together to make sure Mississippians are best served, that is always the optimal solution.”

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