Testing result of leadership with persistence
By Fran Farrer
CHARLOTTE, NC - After hearing the aggressive spread of the pandemic, also known as “COVID-19,” Rev., Dr. Ricky Woods, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church West in Charlotte began feeling concerned. With over 70% of his congregation being over the age of 60 he knew testing was paramount for this population.
With the limited number of hospitals having the capacity to test thousands, Woods knew his congregants could be at risk, and he’d rather them be at peace. Mobile sites had only been provided in Matthews, Huntersville and Concord, but no one had mentioned Charlotte’s northwest side which is highly populated with people of color.
After meeting with several community relationship groups and making several un-returned calls from health providers, Dr. Woods was finally able to pull together a group of concerned Mecklenburg County elected officials to include, but not limited to Mecklenburg County Manager – Dena Diorio, Gibbie Harris, Gene Bush with Novant, and County Commissioner Chair, George Dunlap.
When thanking him for his aggressiveness in assuring his congregation and community would have an opportunity to be tested, Dr. Woods said, “Leading is about Leading,” and added, “If more people stop trying to be great doing God’s work, they would be great.”
Dr. Woods efforts have led to other area pastors to offer their property for testing; among but not limited to; Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion, Weeping Willow A.M.E. Zion, as well as churches in the Hidden Valley community.