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News Release - Thursday, March 2, 2000
Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS

Sunday, March 5 through Saturday, March 11, local churches will observe the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.  The purpose of this national awareness program is to educate African American religious congregations and mobilize them to become community centers for education about HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and compassionate care.

The special week is sponsored by the Balm of Gilead, founded in 1989, is the nations largest AIDS awareness program targeting African Americans.  Led by the Black clergy, the week of prayer occurs during the Lenten season.  The week is observed by over 10,000 churches nationally.

The 1999 HIV infection reports for Houston indicate that 59 percent of new HIV reports were in African Americans.  The city and the county declared a state of emergency for the public health crisis on World AIDS Day, December 1, 1999.  The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will initiate a media campaign later this month targeting the African American community with HIV prevention messages.

The following churches will offer special sermons or prayers on Sunday, March 5:

 Alief Baptist Church                               Muhammad Mosque, No. 45
 7602 Kirkwood                                      4443 Old Spanish Trail

 Houston 77072                                      Houston 77021

 11 a.m.                                                2 p.m.

 Donald Burgs, Pastor                           Robert Muhammad, Pastor

 St. Luke Missionary Baptist                  St. Mary of the Purification (Catholic)
 4200 Lockwood St.                              3006 Rosedale

 Houston 77026                                    Houston 77004

 11 a.m.                                               11 a.m.

 Stanley T. Hillard, Pastor                      Rev. Alvin Dixon, SVD

 Riverside United Methodist                  St. Stephen Baptist Church
 4920 Cullen                                         170 Rittenhouse

 Houston 77004                                    Houston 77076

 10:30 a.m.                                          11 a.m.

 M.J. Van Dussen, Pastor                     Paul D. Landrew, Pastor

 Resurrection Lutheran Church              Shrine of the Black Madonna
 5431 West Ridgecreek                        5317 Martin Luther King Blvd.

 Houston 77052                                   Houston 77021

 10 a.m.                                              11:15 a.m.

 Rev. Mary Lewis                                Cardinal Mbiyu Chru

 St. Johnís United Methodist                Brentwood Baptist Church
 2019 Crawford                                   13033 Landmark Street

 Houston 77002                                  Houston 77045

 8, 10 a.m. and 12 Noon                     Call Church 713-852-1410

 Rudy Rasmus, Pastor                        Dr. Joe S. Ratliff, Pastor

 Brookhollow Baptist Church               Forest Lawn Missionary Baptist Church
 5725 Queenston Blvd.                       8101 Wileyvale

 Houston 77084                                  Houston 77016

 8 and 10 a.m.                                   10:40 a.m.

 Ralph D. West, Pastor                       R. C. Bell, Pastor

 Grt. St. John MBC                             New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
 1120 Bookertee                                4310 Mallow Street

 Baytown 77520                                  Houston 77051

 11 a.m.                                            11 a.m.

 S.D. Siverand, Pastor                       Melvin Lewis, Pastor

 Mt. Corinth Baptist Church                 Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
 4901 Providence Street                    4912 Bennington

 Houston 77020                                 Houston 77016

 Call Church 713-674-5667                  10:20 a.m.

 A. Louis Patterson, Pastor                 F.D. Sampson, Sr., Pastor

 The Church at Bethelís                        Family Lily of the Valley Baptist Church
 14442 Fanmeadow                             10711 Dulcimer Street

 Houston 77035                                   Houston 77051

 8 and 11 a.m.                                     8 a.m.

 Walter August, Pastor                         B. James Noel, Sr., Pastor

 San Marcos UMC                               St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
 2615 Market                                       6220 LaSalette Drive

 Baytown 77520                                   Houston 77021

 11 a.m.                                              8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

 Silvirio Sanchez, Pastor                     Paul Ofoha, Pastor

 Windsor Village United Methodist Church
 6000 Heatherbrook Drive

 Houston 77085

 Call Church 713-723-8187

 Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Pastor

 Special events for the Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS include:

 Tuesday, March 7                       Second Baptist Heights
 7-8:30 p.m.                                 810 West 24th St.

 HIV Educational Workshop          Houston 77008

                                                   Rev. James Whorton, Pastor

 Thursday, March 9                      St. Johnís United Methodist Church
 3-3 p.m.                                     2019 Crawford St.

 HIV Prevention in the                  Houston 77002

 African American Community

 Friday, March 10                         Riverside General Hospital
 6:30-8 p.m.                                 3204 Ennis St.

 Candlelight Vigil                          Houston

 Sunday, March 12                       Interfaith Ministries
 6 a.m.                                        George R. Brown Convention Center

 Sunrise Service                         1001 Avenida De Las Americas

                                                  Houston 77010

                                                  Rev. Rudy Rasmus, Pastor,

                                                  St. John's United Methodist Church


HDHHS offers special outreach services to the religious community to assist them in providing prevention education, pastoral support and other services related to HIV and AIDS to their communities.  Churches interested in more information regarding HIV and AIDS should contact Marie Hunter, HDHHS Health Educator, at 713-794-9362.

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