Bates Memorial Baptist Church offers COVID-19 testing to underserved communities

On Saturday, Bates Memorial Church offered free COVID-19 tests. The church is hoping to reach more people in communities of color — who have already been hit hard by the virus.”We know there is a need for testing. Jefferson County is in the red,” said Devan King, director of operations.Bates Memorial Baptist Church is hoping to help meet that need by offering more accessible COVID-19 testing.King said, “One thing we bring is walk up and drive-thru testing because we understand that all community members do not have cars for drive-up testing.”This is the second time the church has partnered with Bluewater labs to offer free testing to the community.Dr. Bruce Williams, a pastor at Bates Memorial, said, “We have a love ethic that we live by and the love ethic says, ‘Love God and your neighbor,’ and we think that doing this not only protects yourself but protects your neighbor and protects others as well.”Williams also says several members of their congregation have gotten sick and some have died, making getting tested even more important.“You shouldn’t have to have that experience in order to have sympathy for those who have had the experience and the wisdom enough to follow the protocols for the safety of others.”Williams says that’s why he has listened to Gov. Andy Beshear’s guidance and moved all services online.“It’s not a threat to religious liberty to have the governor tell us what we need to do for the sake of public safety and public health.”More than 200 people were tested on Sunday, and the church plans to hold more testing in the future.

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On Saturday, Bates Memorial Church offered free COVID-19 tests.

The church is hoping to reach more people in communities of color — who have already been hit hard by the virus.

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“We know there is a need for testing. Jefferson County is in the red,” said Devan King, director of operations.

Bates Memorial Baptist Church is hoping to help meet that need by offering more accessible COVID-19 testing.

King said, “One thing we bring is walk up and drive-thru testing because we understand that all community members do not have cars for drive-up testing.”

This is the second time the church has partnered with Bluewater labs to offer free testing to the community.

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Dr. Bruce Williams, a pastor at Bates Memorial, said, “We have a love ethic that we live by and the love ethic says, ‘Love God and your neighbor,’ and we think that doing this not only protects yourself but protects your neighbor and protects others as well.”

Williams also says several members of their congregation have gotten sick and some have died, making getting tested even more important.

“You shouldn’t have to have that experience in order to have sympathy for those who have had the experience and the wisdom enough to follow the protocols for the safety of others.”

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Williams says that’s why he has listened to Gov. Andy Beshear’s guidance and moved all services online.

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“It’s not a threat to religious liberty to have the governor tell us what we need to do for the sake of public safety and public health.”

More than 200 people were tested on Sunday, and the church plans to hold more testing in the future.

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