In a bold move that mirrors the goals of his predecessor, the senior pastor Atlanta’s Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, took an HIV/AIDS test during Sunday morning service.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the church that the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King once preached his ministry of non-violence, says shame is part of what’s stopping people from being tested, and that the faith community must work together to change that.
I’m very convinced that if Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive today, he would be very focused on the issue of H.I.V. & AIDs. We’ve got to fight the unholy trinity of slience, shame and stigma.
Warnock took the test as part of the National Week of Prayer for Healing of AIDS. He stepped away from the pulpit, sat down and took a rapid oral fluid test called OriSure in front of the full congregation.
Twenty minutes later, he announced that the results were negative.
Warnock challenged other clergy to follow his lead, and after the service Ebenezer provided free and confidential tests to church members. I commend him for taking the first step in breaking the silence within the faith community.
This move deserves a standing ovation. Let’s see how many other Pastor’s follow his lead…