LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 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, they've pressed on through their unwavering faith.
The church sits on S. Hancock and near the Smoketown community. Its pastor, Rev. Bernard Crayton, said its beginning dates back to 1867.
“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," Rev. Crayton said.
Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio and being a part of a family of ministers, Rev. Crayton moved to Louisville in April 1999 in hopes of becoming a pastor of his own church.
“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," Rev. Crayton said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he's kept up with his members, checking in often.
“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," Rev. Crayton said.
Dealing with the pandemic and protests in the city last summer, the pastor took a call in the middle of the night that tried to break his spirit.
“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," Rev. Crayton said.
"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.”
The pastor said he took a call from a company that wanted to fix their doors free of charge - an act that helped renew his faith.
“Even in spite of that, there are still a lot of good people in this world," Rev. Crayton said.
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.
“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 said.
Rev. Crayton is trying to reassure people of color to get vaccinated.
“It comes from those who are just not trusting the government, 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," Rev Crayton said.
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. It's 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," Rev. Crayton said.
The church is working on renewed faith that you should never give up, regardless of your situation.
“What I have tried to preach every single Sunday is hope," Rev. Crayton said.
"Ending Covid-19 ONE SHOT at a time" vaccine clinic will be on Saturday, March 20 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Little Flock Missionary Baptist Church located at 1030 S. Hancock Street. Walk ups are welcome but if you would like to schedule an appointment, call Delane at 502-381-2354 or Charlotte at 502-494-8411.
Music in the piece was provided by Michelle Sydnor (vocals), James Black (musician) and Steven Kniffley (recording).