Church offers different kind of service during COVID-19 pandemic

Reverend Eric Thomas of St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church said he was grateful to be able to open the doors of his southwest Atlanta sanctuary for a different kind of church service during Holy Week. His church, along with St. Phillips AME and Jackson Memorial Baptist Church partnered with Walgreens to provide thousands of Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses. Rev. Thomas told FOX 5 more than 1,500 doses were administered at his church in March. He said he found it appropriate that this phase of the immunization program happens to fall on the Christian Holy Week.

"I think it's perfect to be giving shots in the sanctuary on Good Friday. I think the church has learned our job is beyond just the preaching and teaching, but also the church making things available to those we actually serve within the church community and the community in which we are planted," Rev. Thomas said Friday. "Once somebody gets the shot and they share back with their family and friends that they got vaccinated, then other people come," he added.

Leonard Fritz is one of the many people who received their second vaccine doses on Friday. He is not a member of the church but appreciates the service being extended to the broader community.

"It's so easy and convenient and it really helps. My concern is that everybody gets the shot so that we can return to normalcy because there are too many people dying from this," said Fritz, as he waited in one of the pews next to his wife Brenda.

Walgreens staff will continue to administer the second round of vaccines on Saturday.

"We've been isolated for so long and not being able to see family members and now we can feel more comfortable. We'll be keeping our masks on, but we're more comfortable knowing we're vaccinated," said Jewell Hendrix of Atlanta.

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