Bethel Baptist Church to host COVID-19 clinic

THREE RIVERS — The first African-American Baptist church in the city of Three Rivers will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Thursday, Feb. 25.

Bethel Baptist Church, located at 17852 S. River Rd., will hold the clinic from 1-5 p.m. in partnership with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJ). Appointments through BHSJ will be required to participate in the clinic, which as of Tuesday morning there are still appointments available. Appointments can be made at

Rev. Terry Cropper, senior pastor at Bethel Baptist, said while the church’s clinic is open to the entire community, their clinic especially wants to help reach out to the Black community in all three counties to get vaccinated.

“Many African-Americans identify the church as their safe place,” Cropper said. “We wanted to provide a venue that would allow them to feel safe and that the vaccine is safe.”

Cropper said the Black community is one of the more susceptible demographics to the virus.

“We have lost a high-record number of African-American individuals from COVID-19,” Cropper said. “We want to stop the spread of COVID-19, however we also want to be able to encourage the African-American community and people of color to get the vaccine to help stop the spread of the virus, and to stop so many African-Americans from dying.”

He said it was great to partner with BHSJ for the clinic, and added that it’s important for the Black community, and the entire community in general, to get the vaccine.

“This virus that our country, our world is facing has been so detrimental, and it’s so important that we stop it so we can return to some kind of normalcy back in our daily lives and our world as we know it,” Cropper said. “So many things have changed, so many businesses are suffering, churches are suffering, and people in general are suffering from the virus, so we want to stop the spread of it.”

Masks will be required at the clinic. Those who are frontline state/federal responders, K-12 school and childcare staff, healthcare workers, and those age 65 or older are eligible to make appointments for the clinic. Second shot appointments will be made if people are getting their first shot at the clinic.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or

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