Kelley Hoskins, May 26, 2020
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Clergy Coalition, Baptist Minister’s Union, and 24:1 Clergy Coalition will distribute over 125,000 masks to churches planning to reopen in June.
At the request of these groups, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson provided the groups with PPE/masks for congregations in COVID-19 hot spots in the St. Louis region.
Even through many church leaders continue to express concerns that there has not been enough testing and resources provided to black communities in particular, they feel that members going back to places of worship need to be protected in some form.
Churches have been in constant discussions with government health professionals about proper cleaning, social distancing, and other concerns over the past few weeks.
“Church leaders have been struggling with the decision to reopened,” said Reverend Darryl Gray, member of the Clergy Coalition and organizer for the mask distribution.
“There is still much anguish, but churches feel that they are essential to the community, and would like to serve those who feel a strong need to return.”
The distribution for churches in the City of St. Louis is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The distribution site is the Lively Stone Church of God, 4015 St. Louis Avenue. St. Louis clergy have also received request for masks from other congregations outside of the region.
Distribution for St. Louis County churches will be Thursday and Friday, at the Mt. Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, 7823 Racine Drive, Pagedale. Distribution will be from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., each day.
“Our clergy leadership has, and will continue to, advocate for more testing, testing sites at churches, additional resources at our community health facilities, and an aggressive commitment by the government to address the chronic health disparities in black communities,” Gray said.