Rev. Paul Jakes is the pastor of New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church in Chicago and the community liaison for the New Age Services Corporation. Rev. Jakes is also a member of the NAACP and encourages many around the country to get safe and get vaccinated.
Rev. Jakes talked with rolling out about the role vaccinations play in the Black community, how he feels about the vaccine, and why social activism in health is important.
What role do vaccinations play in the health of the Black community?
I think that the role of vaccinations in the African American community is looking out for the best interests of our families, our neighborhood, and the city in which we live.
It must be intentional to have vaccinations and it must be information and education in order to heal the land. There’s a passage of scripture that says, ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal the land.’ Therefore, we must turn away from ignorance. We must turn away from selfishness, and do everything that we can in order to make sure that we are vaccinated, and also our family members as well.
How did you feel when there was no vaccine versus now having the vaccine?
I believe that I felt very unprotected. I felt very vulnerable, and I felt as if I was in a bad state. But when I got it, I felt so much better. I felt that I could run on a little bit longer, and I can actually be around some people because my aim as a pastor is to be among people and check on the sick and do things that are necessary.
There were several funerals that I did and I had to do [them] with not only one mask but two. So I was trying to make sure that I was protected. But being vaccinated gave me a third layer of protection.
Why is social activism in health so important?
Social activism is essential for people who have less than. We always have to be very mindful, and we must do all that we can do.
I remember when the virus first broke out and we needed statistics on what was happening in the African American community. That was one of the first questions that I asked the mayor’s office to provide for us.
It’s very important that we make sure we provide information and education to the masses of our people in our congregations and the community where we live.