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Main Street Baptist hosts 2nd-dose vaccine clinic

Main Street Baptist Church hosted another vaccine clinic April 3 to supply second doses to the 350-plus people who received their shots at the church March 6, as well as an additional 150 first doses for those who didn’t make it to the first clinic.

Coinciding with the clinic, the church hosted a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of those who lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past year.

As of April 6, the disease had claimed 2.8 million lives worldwide, 555,792 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s coronavirus research center.

During the ceremony, Main Street Baptist’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. James Harrison, led a congregation of church members and political leaders in a call-and-response litany adapted from the poem “Remember” by Christina Georgina Rossetti, during which he read aloud, “For if the darkness and corruption leave a vestige of the thoughts that once I had, better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.”

To this, church members replied, “We remember the deceased of the Novel Coronavirus … in our community, in our state, in our country, and in our world.”

Political leaders replied, “We own our responsibility to protect and keep safe the people of our land. Help us not be overcome by selfish ambitions to the neglect of the people’s safety.”

“I am just so excited to be here getting my second dose,” said Pastor Melvin Blackwell of Little Zion Baptist Church, “not to return,” to the way things were, “but to move forward.”

Of the people who attended the April 3 clinic, 50 are Little Zion congregants.

“I’m glad that our congregants are here today and also the citizens of Smithfield.”