NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For 142 years, Shiloh Baptist Church has stood strong during the Lynching Era, Jim Crow’s segregated south, and now a pandemic that has killed one million Americans. Dr. Keith Ivan Jones has served as pastor since 2008.

“It’s been those moments of depression that have done more to bring churches together,” said Jones from the building that has housed the Shiloh community since 1949.

Together, church members are on the front lines as the epidemic of gun violence is claiming lives.

“In the wake of the shootings in Calvert Square, you can see us [the congregation] walking from door-to-door, just trying to encourage people. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure have also reached epidemic proportions in the region’s underserved communities. Those communities are also dealing with a constellation of social ills that are associated with generational poverty.      

“We serve people who may not even come into the doors of the church but we see that, nevertheless, as our mission field.”

Saturday morning, the church will open its doors for a marketplace where families can pick up free household items. The church will also provide free health screenings and COVID-19 shots.

“We will be giving the Covid bi-variant booster shot; so if you need shots or a booster, this will be the place to be tomorrow [Saturday].

Regina Mobley: 100 years from now what will people way about community day at Shiloh baptist church?

Dr. Keith Ivan Jones: We made a difference we made an impact we didn’t just talk about it but we did what we said.

Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.

Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.

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