Vicksburg church and doctors partner to improve community health

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Faith Christian Center in Vicksburg partnered with local doctors and medical groups in the area to help their congregation get healthy mentally, spiritually, and physically.

“We want to bridge that gap and understand the impact of treating the whole person. Body, mind, and spirit because you can’t have one without the other,” Dr. Justin Turner of TurnerCare said.

Church and city leaders, along with doctors, worked together in Vicksburg Sunday to bring total health awareness to one of the largest people groups in the south — the church congregation.

“The faith-based community has been the cornerstone of building and shaping communities. And pastors now, getting back to their congregations in churches, helping individuals to become healthier, helping individuals to get the vaccine,” COVID-19 Health Literacy Project Director for the city of Vicksburg, Felicia Kent, said.

Vicksburg and Jackson church members attended the “Survival of the Fittest” event to hear facts about COVID-19 and how to live a well-rounded and healthy life.

“We are actually tripartite beings. We’re three parts where we have a physical body, okay, we have a soul, which is our mind, our intellect, our thinking, and we also have a spirit. So sometimes when one aspect is lacking, it affects the whole unit or the whole body,” Pastor Ollie Hardaway said.

Dr. Justin Turner with TurnerCare in Jackson said it’s important for more people to receive information about the virus and how to balance the three aspects of their lives.

“We hear in the Bible Belt, and we talk about praying about it, you know, give it to God, give it to God. But God wants to give some of that responsibility to us as well. Because faith without works is dead, we got to do what we can, and let God do what we cannot,” Dr. Turner explained.

And since the beginning of the pandemic, city leaders say they’ve tried to partner with churches to do just that. Now, two years later, they are seeing results.

“Because of our faith-based partnerships, we’ve seen an increased number of vaccinations in Warren County. When we started the project, it was only about 17%. And now today is over 50 plus percent,” Kent explained.

Dr. Turner added that because cases are slowly beginning to rise once again, to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations and boost shots this summer.

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