Local churches team up to offer free COVID testing to residents in need

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dozens of people lined up outside the Mt. Olive AME Church Saturday morning for free COVID-19 testing.

Pastor Mark Crutcher says he and two other church leaders organized the testing after realizing there was need in the community.

READ: Saturday’s coronavirus update: Florida reports 4,044 new COVID-19 cases, 88 more deaths

“In our community many of us serve folks that don’t have jobs with good healthcare,” Crutcher said.

Two other churches, Carter Tabernacle CME Church and God Is Able Ministries, helped organize the daylong event.

READ: Eau Gallie High School temporarily closes due to COVID-19 cases

Pastor James Morris of Carter Tabernacle CME Church says the coronavirus pandemic has affected him personally.

“We’ve had relatives of members of the church that have been affected. Personally I lost two of my first cousins, we were closer than close,” Morris said.

VIDEO: City of Orlando promotes programs to help struggling downtown businesses

Pastor Stovelleo Stovall of God is Able Outreach says for many there’s also a financial reason they wanted to make this happen.

“I just got a call that some of the members of my church had to pay 75 dollars to get their child tested because someone on the job had tested positive,” said Stovall.

Organizers say that depending on how well Saturday’s event goes they may hold more free testing events in the future.