MILWAUKEE — A local church is stepping into the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Thursday marked another day of COVID-19 testing at Abundant Faith Church of Integrity at 76th and Good Hope.
Pastor Robert Pyles opened the church’s doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, partnering with Robert Harris’ Life Changing Ministries nonprofit to conduct the testing.
“This truly is ministry with the neighborhood and making sure people are safe,” Pyles said.
Harris, whose organizations already works closely with healthcare organizations, was approached with the idea. He then took it to Abundant Faith.
“What happened is they came to me and asked if we could do some testing and of course, we were already on top of it,” Harris said.
The testing is not a moment too soon as COVID-19 and its dominant strand, Omicron, remains high and many testing sites across Milwaukee deal with long lines.
The church now does about 500 tests daily with room for more.
“It was easy for me to go to Pastor Pyles and say, hey, here is an opportunity to serve the community. In fact, he was better to see it than I was. He said, we can do this this this and this. He had step three, four, five, and six down packed,” Harris said.
Inside the church, people said they are thankful to see the church using its space in a new way.
“It’s wonderful because this place is huge as you can see, and they have the space to be here for the community,” Warren said.
Just up the road sat long lines for testing outside the Northwest Health Center. Many people in line were unaware of the church’s efforts.
“On top of it, there’s no waiting? Well, I’m ready to get out of this line and go down the street,” said Audrey Hinton before taking off.
In that line was a street team working to make sure people knew the church was there to help.
“What I think we’re doing is allowing churches and different organizations to think outside the box and become more than just a place on Sunday. This is ministry every day,” Pyles said.
The church allows waiting inside of its lobby. It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday at 7830 Good Hope Rd.