Nurse Shanna Swimelar, right, checks a resident's blood pressure Saturday during Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ's Free Medical-Mission Outreach Day held at the church’s annex #2 building. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)
Nurse Shanna Swimelar, right, checks a resident's blood pressure Saturday during Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ's Free Medical-Mission Outreach Day held at the church’s annex #2 building. (Sarah Robinson | Times-Journal)

Church event focuses on community’s health

Published 8:17pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

After three weeks of preparation, the Lord’s work was done Saturday, according to Pastor John Grayson.

Saturday, Gospel Tabernacle Church Annex No. 2’s parking lot was filled with people looking to benefit from the church’s Free Community Medical-Mission Outreach Day. With some help from various sponsors, the church was able to provide free food, clothes, vision screenings, medical services, haircuts, school supplies, books and much more.

“We don’t want to be the church that always has its hand out,” Grayson said. “We want to be the church that gives back. We want to help somebody.”

Church member and nurse Paulette James was one of many health care providers to check guests’ blood pressure and glucose levels and instruct them on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

James said they wanted participants to know their health status, so they’ll know what issues they need to present to their doctors.

“We’re making people aware of diabetes and high blood pressure, because it’s prevalent in this community,” James said. “We want them to be aware of different health tips they can do to take care of themselves, such as eating right.”

Medical equipment was either purchased by the church through community donations, brought in by health care professionals volunteering or came from the church’s nursing unit.

The City of Selma, E3 Ministry from Pelham, Sarrell Dental Center of Selma, Sunlight Center and Walgreens were among the businesses and organizations who helped sponor Saturday’s event.

Initially, Gospel Tabernacle would host these types of charity events alone, but various business and organizations started to offer their help.

Selma resident Mary Logan was one of hundreds to benefit from Saturday’s event. Logan said Grayson is a man of God who is truly concerned with God’s word to help others.

“Pastor Grayson and his congregation are very generous to the community,” Logan said. “They help a lot a people in the community.”

While it may be strenuous to organize events like Free Community Medical-Mission Outreach Day, the reward of seeing so many profit  from the event  makes it all worth it, Grayson said.

“The joy is overwhelming to serve and be a blessing to people like this,” he said. “It just brings us gratitude to be the hands, mouth and feet of God.”

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