The VIPP Report: A Louisville church bouncing back after unrest in the city due to Breonna Taylor and pandemic

Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church uses their faith to motivate its members and the community they serve

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Louisville

In Today’s ‘Your Story’ organizations and churches are starting to help get the COVID-19 vaccines to those in need. Even though, Little Flock Baptist Church has faced some setbacks due to their unwavering faith they press on.

In the Smoketown community sits the church on South Hancock. It’s pastor Rev. Bernard Crayton tells me of their beginnings which dates back to 1867. 

Rev. Bernard Crayton “By newly freed slaves.  The church was originally on Ormsby back in that time. They actually put the building on trees and rolled it here to the site on Hancock Street. It’s been a fixture in this community every since. It has a rich, rich, history.”  

Growing up in Cleveland Ohio.  Being a part of a family of ministers.   Rev. Crayton in April 1999 moved to Louisville in hopes of becoming a pastor of his own church. 

Crayton says “I never been to Louisville, I’ve been through Louisville but applied for the church Little Flock Baptist Church and when I got here, I knew this was the place I was supposed to be. It’s been a great blessing for the past 22 years.”

With COVID-19, he tells me how he’s been keeping up with his members to see how they are doing? Crayton: “People call in on the prayer line.  I have anywhere from 60 something people that will call in.  It’s not only my members but people from all over. I mean all over the United States.”     

Dealing with the pandemic and protests in the city last summer.  The pastor takes a call in the middle of the night that tried to break his spirit.  He tells me what was said, “Well, that was just unbelievable. One our members passed by the church and said the church doors had been shot out and I was going, WHAT!. That was right during the time when tensions were high in the city. I just couldn’t believe, I don’t know  why but I just couldn’t believe it happened to our church. When I saw where the front door windows had been shot out and bullet holes in the foyer. It really took me back.  I had a lot of people not only the black community but the white community in this city. That came and wanted to do whatever they could.”   

Turning to his faith, the pastor took a call from a company that wanted to fix their doors free of charge. Whichh renewed his faith.  Crayton said, “Even in spite of that there are still a lot of good people in this world.” 

So even though the doors of the church remain closed for services.  Little Flock wanted to find a way to help. So, they will open their doors  Saturday to help its members and the community.  Crayton says, “Saturday we are having our own pop up clinic. We have partnered with Norton Healthcare. We have been talking reservations but walk ins will be available.  Anyone who wants to come.”

Rev Crayton is trying to reassure people of color to get vaccinated.   He says “It comes from those who are just not trusting the govt. Historical things that have happened. It comes from misinformation. It comes from lies. It comes from conspiracy. And we’re trying to break all that down to make sure that people of color understand how important it is especially African Americans understand how important it is to get your shot.”

People of faith have been asking for a sign and the pastor believes this is it. “If you’ve been praying to God about a healing praying this will go away. God has given us the answer.  Its right there in front of us.  And what you need to do is just trust him. Call in and get your shot. That’s how I see it.  That’s how I really see it.”  

The church is working on renewed faith that you should never give up regardless of your situation. 

Crayton says “What I have tried to preach every single Sunday is HOPE.”

Ending Covid-19 ONE SHOT at a time vaccine clinic“ will be on Saturday, March 20th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church located at 1030 S. Hancock Street.  Walk ups are welcomed but if you would like to schedule an appointment call Delane at 502-381-2354 or Charlotte at 502-494-8411. 

►Contact Your Story with Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story click the link ->

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/outreach/vaccine-clinic-at-little-flock-missionary-baptist-church-louisville-your-story/417-ffbdf381-6cd5-4266-96ab-9dbb57b0c81a

The VIPP Report: A retired pastor talks about two things many places of worship are dealing with during COVID-19 which are ‘faith’ and ‘finance’

Did you ever wonder what it takes to keep a place of worship open?  From services, events to meetings from both its members and the community.

In times of uncertainty many depend on their faith to get them through difficult times.   It’s the one place we were taught in this generation that the church is the one institution you could depend to be open.

Many understand that extreme measures were needed to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, but many religious organizations will need to turn to more than their faith but now finances or should I say the lack of finances.

Congregations across Kentucky were already struggling with the increase in expenses and the decline in membership and visitors. Now, in these times will many survive the shutdown?

Without the constant of tithes, offering and donations many across the Commonwealth they must seek funding just to keep their doors open.

With so much on everyone’s plate churches are missing the collection plate being passed. I’m sure anything you can give will help them in ways you have no idea.  Many are still trying to assist members and many of the church’s leadership are reaching into their own pockets to keep some programs going.

Whether you go to your place of worship once a week, once a month and/or once a year bills still need to be paid.

IMG_6666Rev. Alex C. Shanklin, retired pastor as pastor of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church located in the Smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY.  Prior to retiring Shanklin and members of the congregation paid off their mortgage and held a mortgage burning ceremony on February 28, 2016.   Shanklin served as pastor for 35 years.

 

The VIPP Report: Handling the pandemic

Many were able to maintain some type of normal routine while some have had their lives and livelihood turned upside down. 

Brain fogs, panic attacks and sleepless nights worrying about the well-being of family and friends have been draining. 

How is your mental health? I have tried yoga and could not concentrate long enough to keep it going.  I started reading but only read in spurts.  I listen to music, all genres to help calm my soul. I found writing down my feelings and then crumbling it up and throwing it away helped instantly but have no long term benefits. 

We are so bogged down with a ray of emotions and with no expiration date for this timeline on the pandemic and social unrest. 

What have you’ve been doing in the past year to keep your sanity?