First ladies at local churches to host HIV testing event

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To help Black churches address the stigma of AIDS, Jamell Meeks, wife of Rev. State Sen. James Meeks of Salem Baptist Church, will lead the wives of nearly 40 African American pastors, along with several Black female ministers, in holding an historic HIV

To help Black churches address the stigma of AIDS, Jamell Meeks, wife of Rev. State Sen. James Meeks of Salem Baptist Church, will lead the wives of nearly 40 African American pastors, along with several Black female ministers, in holding an historic HIV testing event in their churches on September 26, following Sunday services.  Of the participating churches, nearly 75 percent are offering HIV testing for the first time.

Screenings for high blood pressure will also be conducted.

Mrs. Jamell Meeks, who chairs the annual "First Ladies Luncheon" initiative, comprised of more than 100 church First Ladies from throughout the Chicagoland area, spearheads this Health Day. Salem Baptist has over 4,000 members.

Other participating First Ladies include: Tara Jenkins of Fellowship Baptist Church, Margaret Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church, Corliss Moody of Quinn Chapel AME, Beverly Walker Donley of Stone Temple Baptist Church, Regina Crider of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Lisa Porter of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Georgette Finney of Metropolitan Apostolic Church, and Rev. Vicki Johnson of Come Alive Ministry of Faith.

“We believe this is the first event of its kind involving churches throughout the area,” says John Gremer, Director of Community Affairs for Walgreens, which is sponsoring the event.  Additional sponsors include the Chicago Dept. of Health, the Illinois Dept. of Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and Danielle Ashley Communications.

“Too many people in our communities are suffering heart attacks, strokes, complications from diabetes, or going untreated for AIDS because they are not even aware they have these medical conditions,” says Jamell Meeks of Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.  “We decided enough is enough, and are making these vital health screenings available to everyone.”  

“Having these screenings available on the same day at locations around the area makes it an event that will be hard to miss,” adds Tracey Alston, President of Danielle Ashley Communications. “If someone’s church isn’t participating, chances are the church down the block or around the corner is, so no one will have to miss out on any of these life-saving health screenings.”

Although Danielle Ashley is reaching out to churches, the agency also is encouraging churches to contact them at (312) 640-9550 so that more churches can participate in this health initiative.

Participating churches

Salem Baptist Church of Chicago 752 E. 114th, Chicago, IL 60628 Beautiful Zion M.B.C. 1406 W. 64th Street, Chicago, IL 60636 Mt. Carmel MB Church 740 E. 42nd Street, Chicago, IL 60653 True Foundation Transformation Church 8801 South Normal Ave., Chicago, IL 60620 Temple of Glory 311 E. 95th Street, Chicago, IL 60619 Fellowship 4543 S Princeton Ave., Chicago, IL 60609 Gethsemane  C.O.G.I.C 6959 S Elizabeth, Chicago, IL 60636 Valley Kingdom Ministries International 1102 E. 154th St, South Holland, IL 60473 Apostolic Faith Church 3823 S. Indiana, Chicago, IL 60653 Mt. Calvary Baptist Church 1257 W. 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60643 Holy Jerusalem M.B.C. 1621 E. Lincoln Highway, Ford Heights, IL 60411 Atonement Covenant Church 7001 S Laflin, Chicago, IL 60636 St. Thomas Episcipocal Church 3801 S Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60653 Come Alive Ministry of Faith 2204 E 73rd Street, Chicago, IL 60649 The Christ Way M.B.C. 1210 E. 62nd St., Chicago, IL 60637 Stone Temple Baptist Church 3622 W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago, IL 60623 Quinn Chapel AME 2401 S Wabash, Chicago, IL 60616 City of Refuge 200 Dellwood, Lockport, IL  60401 Canaan MBC 1701 W Garfield, Chicago, IL 60636 Zion Temple Church 7010 S. Union, Chicago, IL 60621 Third Baptist Church of Chicago 1551 W 95th St, Chicago, IL 60643 St. James Ministry 11750 S. Lowe, Chicago, IL 60628 Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church 4100 S. King, Chicago, IL 60620 Southlawn United Methodist Church 8605 S. Cregier, Chicago, IL 60617 Greater Lily Baptist Church 4823 S Princeton, Chicago, IL 60609 Englewood Mennonite 832 W 68th St, Chicago, IL 60621 The Christian Temple Missionary Baptist 6344 N Kimbark, Chicago, I L 60637 St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church 116 N Leclaire, Chicago, Il 60644

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