TEMPLE, TX — In an effort to return back to normal, Bishop Dewayne McBride, or more commonly known as Bishop D.S. McBride, and his family opened their church's doors.
Except it was Saturday and it wasn’t for a religious service.
“I reached out to churches and reached out to other community people to say hey, let's get in here and get the vaccine done,” he said, referring to the COVID-19 vaccine. “When we did the sign up, it was able to make sure that the people in our community were able to be vaccinated”
The Grace Temple Ministries operated as a vaccine clinic on Saturday, offering shots to nearly 300 people who wanted one.
He said the sign up list filled quicker than they thought. In fact, so many people were interested in getting a vaccine at Grace Temple Ministries that when someone canceled, they didn't have to reach out to someone else before the spot was filled.
Bishop McBride and his wife Mia led the pack by getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine first.
“We're ready to experience life in a more normal way, again, to be free to go into the summer,” Mia said. “My emotions are emotions of relief.”
The couple said leading by example was important to them. They believe by getting the shot, it created a sense of trust between the vaccine and those in the community still skeptical about it.
“There is a sense of, do we trust?” Bishop McBride acknowledged. “I think now the climate has changed a little bit in the community, throughout the nation. I think people are feeling more comfortable, and people are starting to get the vaccine.”
Their daughter, Alexxis, is a community liaison for the church.
She organized Saturday’s vaccine clinic and said she realized there is some skepticism about the vaccine within the community, but says a little bit of digging can help with the unease.
”I was apprehensive at first to take the vaccine with all the misinformation out there,” she admitted. “But after I did my research, and did my due diligence, I realized there was nothing to be afraid of.”
All in all, Bishop McBride says this is just step one when thinking about returning back to normal.
“If you have asked someone who's had COVID and had a bad reaction, if you asked someone who's lost a loved one behind COVID, if you asked the person who's had it and went on,” he said. “I promise you they would say getting a vaccine is the right thing to do.”
Officials will administer second doses of the vaccines at the church on April 9, but in the meantime, Bishop McBride hopes to receive more shots so they can reopen as a clinic for those who need it.