By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFRO
The First Baptist Church of Glenarden has been hosting health fairs for 25 years and to mark this year’s occasion, the Rev. John K. Jenkins and his first lady didn’t mind doing the Cupid Shuffle, by Lafayette, Louisiana singer Cupid, in a pulpit normally reserved for more serious expressions of worship.
Last Saturday the Jenkins kept in step with fitness queen Donna Richardson who went from dancing to preaching at the Upper Marlboro church where more than 2,000 people came out and took part in health screenings, cooking demonstrations and even did the Cupid shuffle “in the name of Jesus.”
“We are trying to help people live longer and better,” said Reverend Jenkins who added that over the years the annual event has actually saved lives. “We have had people discover that they had cancer and because it was detected earlier enough it prolonged their life and we are grateful to God.
In keeping with the theme-Bold Radiant Reflection of God- Mellissa Johnson, director of the church’s Health Ministry, was proud to be dressed in a glitzy silver pantsuit that she said was inspired by Luke 11:36 which reads “If your whole body is full of light and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
“God’s Light reflects on us and we reflect that light back to earth,” Johnson said. “We want everyone to come and see the light so that we can show God’s light to the world.”
From the “Man Cave,” where men were being screened for prostate cancer, to a section for women to be checked for breast cancer, to every part of the main level of the church, there was some type of health related event. In one section people could even walk through an air filled colon to look at polyps that could be inside their small intestine.
“You have to make a commitment,” Richardson told the gathering. “How can you take care of business if you are sick in bed. Make a commitment to start. Isn’t gluttony a sin?”
But Stanley Johnson, Chief of the Prince George’s County Division of the Maryland National Capital Police showed that working out can be fun. He and his son were giving out golf lessons near the main entrance to the building.
Kimberly Covington, a nurse in the Prince George’s County School System, said events like the health fair is good for young people. “It is so important to show them what they need to be and not just tell them. Whether we are eating properly or living for Christ it is about living your life holistically in the correct way.”