Sunday, October 22, 2017
‘First Ladies’ Band Together to Save Lives
By Sentinel News Service
Published May 9, 2013

Dr. Betty Price

Evelyn Perkins

Dozens of L.A.-area Churches in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods will simultaneously host free health day targeting chronic illnesses.

Pastors’ wives have long been considered the backbone of African-American churches, influencing decisions made by their husbands, and assisting in nurturing worshippers who seek personal guidance apart from the precious time that pastors can avail themselves.

It is this commitment to both the spiritual and physical health of their communities that is driving nearly three dozen “First Ladies,” or pastors’ wives, to come together for the second year and open their doors to host free medical tests for illnesses that particularly target African Americans and Hispanics. 

On Sunday, May 19, a record number of churches in and around the Los Angeles area will simultaneously welcome Walgreens pharmacists and health care providers from HealthCare Partners, the California Department of Public Health and other organizations to perform health screenings for high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, breast cancer and other critical diseases, all free to participants.

Program chairperson Dr. Betty Price, former first lady of Crenshaw Christian Center of Los Angeles, says the program is crucial to many of her church members.

“Positively affecting the health of our community is our most important platform,” states Price. “Combining with first ladies from multiple churches to create a city-wide health initiative has brought infinite awareness to diseases that plague our communities, and greater opportunities for illness detection and treatment.”

Evelyn Perkins, the first lady of True Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Inglewood, returns as co-chairperson of the program for the second year.

The First Ladies Health Initiative, which is directed and sponsored by Walgreens, began in Chicago in 2008 as an information-driven luncheon intended to educate churches about health disparities in African-American communities, and elicit suggestions on how to combat the diseases.  The inaugural health day was held in Chicago in 2010.  The overall program was extended to Los Angeles the following year. 

An estimated 18,000 individuals in Los Angeles and Chicago have undergone a combined 63,000 individual health screenings since the start of the First Ladies Health program. John Gremer, director of Community Affairs for Walgreens, says the initiative plays an essential role in the health of the participating communities.

“We are overwhelmed by the sheer number of individuals who have come to rely on the health day to learn critical information about their heath.   Equally impressive is the amount of healthcare workers who graciously volunteer their time to provide the screenings, and then explain the results to participants.  This is a labor of love that truly saves lives,” states Gremer, who has been the driving force behind the program since its inception. 

In addition to the health screenings, various participating churches will offer information on mental illness, including Alzheimer’s, as well as mini-CPR training sessions with representatives from Los Angeles fire departments.  Individuals who would like to have their health monitored may visit any of the participating churches, regardless of membership.   Specific medical tests are determined per church. 

More information on the First Lady Health Day is available at

2013 Participating Churches:

 Amen LA                                                       4550 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Antioch Church of Long Beach                 1535 Gundry Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813

Brookins Community AME                                    4831 S. Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA 90062

Calvary Baptist Church                              1517 E. Alondra Blvd., Compton, CA 90221

Central Baptist Church                               1641 E. Carson Street, Carson, CA 90745

Christ Ambassadors Christian Fellowship         1133 E. Redondo Boulevard, Inglewood, CA 90302

Christ Our Redeemer AME Church                     46 Maxwell, Irvine, CA 92618

City of Refuge                                                          14527 San Pedro Street, Gardena, CA 90248

Crenshaw Christian Center                                   7901 S. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90056

Do Right Christian Church                                    9815 S. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90044

The Experience Christian Ministries                    1226 W. Compton Boulevard, Compton, CA 90220

Faithful Central Bible Church                               333 W. Florence Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301

Faithful Service MBC                                              1416 W. 37th Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90018

First Antioch MBC                                        8725 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Good Shepherd MBC                                             510 W. 53rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037

Greater Love Christian Fellowship                       10963 S. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Greater Mt. Sinai MBC                                12317 S. Wilmington Avenue, Compton, CA 90222

House of God Apostolic Church               1740 W. 59th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Liberty Baptist Church                                1500 W. 51st Place, Los Angeles, CA 90062

Los Angeles Community Church            10611 S. Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA 90044

Love Lifted Me MBC                                                6501 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90043

Maranatha Community Church                1123 E. Redondo Boulevard, Inglewood, CA 90302

McCoy Baptist Church                                802 E. 46th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Ministerios Fuente de Aqua Viva              1105 E. Redondo Boulevard, Inglewood, CA 90302

Morning Star B.C. of Pasadena                980 Rio Grande, Pasadena, CA 91104

New Guiding Light MBC                             2068 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103

New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church               402 E. El Segundo Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90061

Park Windsor Baptist Church                                1842 W. 108th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Peoples Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church     3635 W. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90043

Redeemer MBC                                           1631 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007

Shield of Faith Christian Center of Pomona      1750 W. Holt Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768

Southern Missionary Baptist Church                   4678 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016

True Friendship MBC                                  7901 S. Van Ness Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90305

True Gospel MBC                                        7723 S. Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA 90044

Ward AME Church                                       1177 W. 25th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007





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