Home / What it do with Luepage 4

What it do with Lue

First Ladies Combat Health Issues in Black Community with Ministries, Screenings, Events

By McKenzie Jackson/California Black Media

With March being Women’s History Month, California Black Media and Los Angeles Focus collaborated to feature the work of Los Angeles based first ladies that focus on health outreach ministries and their communities.

During a gathering, 13 preachers’ wives from predominately African-American

Los Angeles-area churches discussed fashion, what it means to be a church leader, and other topics pertaining to being the first lady. Many said it was important for them to have a leadership role in tackling health challenges that exist in their congregations because they want church goers to be free of ailments like cancer, diabetes, and mental health calamities.

Southern St. Paul Church First Lady Rinnata Thompson said church folks lift themselves spiritually, but sometimes forget to take care of their bodies

“The Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the God,” she said, “and that doesn’t mean just spiritually. That means if we are walking around tired, sick, may fall out with a stroke that we can’t give God our best because our body is not at its best.”

Regina Taylor, a first lady of Park Windsor Baptist Church, said helping congregation members lead healthier lifestyles begins with food choices. She said her church members are always eager to let her know about their dining decisions.

“They say, ‘First Lady, I have a salad’ or ‘First Lady I’m eating healthier,’” said Taylor, who established a health ministry at Park Windsor three years ago. “When different groups within the church have events, we try to serve healthy food.”

Unhealthy eating habits are one of the many wellness issues that plague the African-American community. CDC numbers reveal that Black Americans have a high propensity for obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and the American Heart Association says African-Americans are more at risk of being afflicted by heart disease or stroke than any other race.

In California, 6.9 percent of African-Americans do not have health insurance, per 2015 numbers from Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange. Also, as of last June, Blacks have the lowest enrollment numbers of any race in Medi-Cal or health plan coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

The leading church ladies at the L.A. Focus event said they combat health problems and the low amount of health coverage plaguing their pews with health ministry work.

Holman United Methodist Church First Lady Judi Wortham-Sauls said her church’s health ministry has a diabetes awareness group, exercise classes and organizes blood pressure and other screenings. A sodium awareness program began at the church on Monday. Wortham-Sauls also said she and her husband, Rev. Kelvin Sauls, try to lead by example.

“My husband and I are very serious about our own health,” she said. “We are both on weight reduction programs. Our own personal health awareness makes us want to bring it to the congregation.”

Faithful Central Bible Church First Lady Togetta Ulmer said she puts an emphasis on physical activity. She tells members to exercise at least 20 minutes a day and eat in moderation.  Ulmer said on May 20 she and Faithful Central members are going to bring workout mats to the church and instructors will teach them meditation, exercise, and healthy eating.

“Just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you are healthy,” Ulmer said.

Thompson, a co-chair of a first ladies health initiative in Los Angeles, organized a project on March 26, that focused on health professionals from various wellness groups on over 30 church campuses across Los Angeles. The vendors conducted vision screenings, HIV/AIDS screenings, dental checks and other health evaluations for church and community members.

“We just want to tie the spiritual and physical together,” she said. “These screening are free for those in the community.”

“The Historical” Weller Street Baptist Church First Lady Kera Tullos said one Sunday a special offering was held at her church to raise funds for breast cancer patient that needed to pay for a mammogram.

“I’m just trying to provide beneficial things to people,” the first lady said. “It means a lot because people’s lives matter.”

Since the Medicaid program (called “Medi-Cal” in California) expanded its eligibility criteria for enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, more than 13 million low-income Californians have gained access to healthcare according to the California Budget & Policy Center.

Wortham-Sauls said access to healthcare is needed now more than ever in the Black community because African Americans historically not done what is needed to take care of themselves health-wise.

“So, now we need to get it correct,” she said. “Our struggle with diabetes and hypertension. We see people dropping dead on a regular basis. There is no reason to lose anybody if there is help out there.”

 

“You Uncircumcised Philistine!”

LouBy Lou Coleman

Now you may be wondering just who am I talking to? Well I’m talking to you if you are defying God by being disobedient to His laws and commands. You uncircumcised Philistine! Child of Satan! Going around boasting, “It’s my prerogative … I don’t need permission… Make my own decisions. I can do what I wanna do…” [Lyrics – Bobby Brown]. You fool! Your life is in God’s hands and hangs by a thread of sovereign grace. Don’t get it twisted! Your life; a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” [James 4:14]. It is a sad day and clear evidence of the apostasy. Defying God!  What a shame!  God gave His only begotten Son to die for us miserable wretches… “Yet, we spit in His face by rejecting Him. “The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.”[Daniel 5:23] You arrogant, vain, ungrateful and selfish Philistine. [Romans 1:21].

Why do you disobey God? Why do you openly defy God? Why do you show contempt in the face of His warnings? The short answer is sin and human weakness. Yet, you feel compelled to dig deeper. What are you thinking? Let me remind you that when God told Adam not to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad He also spelled out a penalty should they choose to disobey: death to the offender. You got that? Death to the offender! Think of what the creation of this simple rule must have meant for all of God’s heavenly sons. For it showed for the first time what God’s sentence would be for those who willingly chose to rebel against Him… returning to nonexistence. When Lucifer, your daddy, had so much as the thought of, “I will not serve,” he was immediately cast out of Heaven and into Hell. God is all-powerful and formed the universe with a thought [Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Genesis 1]. He is perfectly good and cannot sin nor lie [Psalm 32:19; Psalm 145:9; Titus 1:2]. Moreover, he can bring terrible destruction upon man with a word [Psalm 18:7-15; Lamentations 1:8, 9]. I tell you God cannot tolerate disobedience, and he has made this abundantly clear. God’s people suffered at the hands of the Edomites and God completely destroyed them [Obadiah]. God said that Egypt and their allies would suffer, and it happened [Ezekiel 30]. God said that Ammon would cease to exist as a nation and it came true [Ezekiel 25:1-7]. The Philistines suffered the wrath of God and ceased to exist [Ezekiel 15:15-17]. God promised, on more than one occasion, the destruction of Jerusalem as a result of Israel’s disobedience, and it always happened exactly as prophesied. I tell you we may not always clearly understand God’s laws, but out of humility, we should accept and follow them.  He is GOD! 

“But if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:15].

I remind you, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” [Matthew 6:24].

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” [Deut. 30:19]