Pastors Donnie McClurkin, Rev. A.R. Bernard, and Carlos Whittaker to participate
LOS ANGELES – In the wake of an upsurge in COVID-19 fatalities across the United States, Pray.com will host Protect America — a faith-based conversation to promote life-saving vaccines with Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Director of National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins. The national online and radio event broadcast will be available starting Thursday, September 2 at 12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT on Pray.com.
The discussion between Dr. Collins and Pastor McClurkin will focus on ways Americans can protect their health, provide facts about COVID-19, and deliver a faith-based perspective on vaccine uptake.
The goal of the event is to increase awareness of the recent FDA approval and increase understanding of the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in communities that have shown a higher rate of vaccine hesitancy.
“As we continue the fight to end this pandemic I am encouraged to see efforts like the ‘Protect America’ event come together and I applaud Pray.com and faith leaders for sharing their platforms to encourage vaccination,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States. “Vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our loved ones from COVID-19 and save lives.”
Pastor McClurkin will be joined by Reverend A.R. Bernard, Carlos Whittaker, and other leaders of the faith community to deliver a vital message about the life-saving measures available to protect oneself, one’s loved ones, and one’s community from COVID-19.
“We praise God for this opportunity to be able to share vital information that people need in this very precarious time,” Pastor McClurkin said “I want to help our churches see that science is a wonderful gift given to us by God, and it’s not that we are trusting government, but that we are trusting something that God has given us.”
Pastors A. R. Bernard and Carlos Whittaker echo those sentiments. “I pray we will reach out to God and embrace his wisdom and guidance, and let faith guide us — not fear — as we take the necessary steps to not only protect ourselves but to protect others in our communities,” Pastor Bernard said.
“This isn’t a left or right thing. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing,” Pastor Whittaker added. “Loving your neighbor as yourself has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with God’s power. I still believe wholeheartedly that healing is available for us through the blood of the cross and the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but I also know that God has created minds and science and humans to come together to achieve miracles as well.”
Pray.com Co-founder Mike Lynn shared his appreciation for the participants to be able to come together for this discussion and for Pray.com to be able to host it. “Pray.com is here to create a world where everyone leaves a legacy of helping others,” he said. “We’re committed to providing a platform for faith-based discussions around topics such as this that can help protect and improve people’s lives.”
Pray.com is the world’s No. 1 app for daily prayer and Bible-based audio content, reaching more than 10 million people worldwide through its mobile app and website.
Pray.com was launched in 2017 with a mission to grow faith and cultivate community. Pray.com is the No. 1 app for daily prayer and faith-based audio content and is the easiest way to incorporate prayer into your daily life. Pray.com provides encouragement and inspiration through Daily Prayers, Pastor Podcasts and Bedtime Bible Stories.
About Dr. Francis Collins
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is the only Presidentially appointed NIH Director to serve more than one administration. In this role, Dr. Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project. Dr. Collins is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (UK) and was also named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity.
About Pastor Donnie McClurkin
Donnie McClurkin is an American Gospel singer and minister. He has won three Grammy Awards, ten Stellar Awards, two BET Awards, two Soul Train Awards, one Dove Award and one NAACP Image Award. He is one of the top selling Gospel artists, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.
About Reverend A.R. Bernard
Alfonso R. Bernard, Sr., is the pastor, founder and CEO of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York. Bernard has served as the president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians. Bernard founded the Christian Community Relations Council (CCRC) and is currently on the board of directors for the Commission of Religious Leaders (CORL).
About Carlos Whittaker
Carlos Whittaker is a People’s Choice Award winner, a former recording artist signed to a major label, a social media maven, and currently spends the majority of his time writing books and speaking on stages around the world.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.