NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The COVID virus and misinformation have Rev. Enoch Fuzz of Corinthian Baptist Church fighting to stop the spread of both.
His solution has been to offer free COVID tests to anyone in the community willing to visit the church and take a proactive approach to keep others safe.
“Any part that we can play in stopping the spread of this pandemic and getting our lives back to normal, I want to be a part of,” Fuzz said.
Fuzz said skepticism over the safety of vaccines and consequences of testing positive have kept some in the Black community from taking these necessary safety measures.
He’s heard all the excuses, but what bothers him the most are those who use God to justify not getting vaccinated. His response has been the same since the beginning of the pandemic.
“You’re lying on God. I know God. I and God are close. God did not tell you don’t get vaccinated,” Fuzz said.
The reverend knows how dangerous misinformation can be and how it continues to devastate minorities and the poor. Some have told him not to host a testing site at the church, but Fuzz argues that it’s the perfect location since it’s a place people already trust.
He also called on Amanda Crawley who runs Tree of Life Outreach, a mobile blood testing center now offering COVID testing. She’s administered tests since Monday, but she’s also given testimony of her own.
Crawley’s husband died from COVID last year after their trip to Miami. He began not feeling well on the way back, but Crawley says they didn’t think much of it at first. They returned and immediately took a COVID test.
The results took a couple of days to return, meanwhile his symptoms remained the same. Once they learned he contracted the virus, Crawley’s husband quarantined himself in their bedroom. The symptoms were no different that night. The next morning, Crawley entered the room to find her husband had died.
“The pain and love for my husband. It brought a mission and so I do outreach,” Crawley said.
Crawley called her husband the “living sacrifice” for how his story drove her to help others better understand what goes into the research experts say we should trust.
“They don’t understand the words used by the CDC and health department. Some just think it’s the government trying to kill Black people off,” Crawley said.
More than three-quarters of those she tested, came back positive for the virus. While the church may be empty in the wake of this recent COVID surge, at least here there’s faith. Faith that normal is possible as long as we take action.
“I’m grateful that our church lets me be in a position where we’re able to respond and be a part of a solution,” Fuzz said.
Crawley will be at the church this coming weekend to offer more tests and answer questions. All are welcome to visit the church at 819 33rd Ave. North.