BALTIMORE — Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This scripture speaks to the work of Bishop Duane Johnson, pastor of Speak to my Heart Ministries and his wife and co-pastor Cynthia, in their unrelenting quest to go beyond the walls of their church in Park Heights to save lives.
Bishop Johnson and his wife have attempted to do this through HIV/AIDS awareness, free health screenings, and other events. On Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Speak to My Heart Ministries located at 3903 W. Belvedere Avenue in Baltimore will host a Community Outreach and Health Fair. The theme of the event is “Harvest Time.”
“We are doing everything we can to reach souls,” said Bishop Johnson. “Proverbs 11:30 says that ‘he that winneth souls is wise.’ Our community has issues regarding health and getting to the services it needs. We want to be a ‘one stop shop’ in the Park Heights community for people to get their spiritual and health needs met.”
He added, “The church was basically everything to us as a people. However, we have gotten modern and sophisticated, and strayed away. In doing so, the church has forgotten about meeting the needs of everyday people. A lot of people living in suburban communities have access to health care and resources. But, many folks in our community are dying from a lack of knowledge, and we want to help change that. This event is a great way for people to connect to resources and services.”
The free event will offer free immunizations, HIV testing, health, vision, Tuberculosis, and diabetes screenings. LifeBridge Health, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control, the Red Cross, the American Diabetes Association, Fitness Evolution, Park Heights Renaissance, and the House of Ruth are among those slated to participate in the event.
Cynthia Johnson is a registered nurse and a breast cancer survivor.
“As a RN, I have worked in hospitals, and see the things that are going on with our people,” she said. “Our mission is to reach the whole person. This is what we are called to do. There are so many disparities in our community regarding health. Those disparities exist due to lack of knowledge and resources. Money, resources and grants are all out there to help them to live healthier.”
She added, “We want to help our people to do better. My husband I often wonder about those who don’t have insurance. We want to get the word out that there is all kinds of help for all kinds of illnesses. We hope to empower our community to take charge of their health and their spiritual health, and to connect with our neighbors.”
The event will feature Zumba, food, a moon bounce, and will also showcase the various ministries of the church. Health, gospel music, and other products will also be sold. Free school supplies will be given to individuals who arrive early, and health and other information will be available.
“Through this event, we want to meet the health and spiritual needs of the entire family,” said Mrs. Johnson. “It is also a wonderful opportunity to fellowship and meet the people in the community. This will be an outreach to connect with our community face-to-face, and to show them we care. We also want to offer hope to those who are living in darkness.”
She added, “We are not a traditional church, but a holistic ministry. Ultimately, we want to touch people’s lives in multiple areas and impact lives. We want to go beyond the church and reach people where they are. It is going to be a great event.”
For more information visit www.stmhonline.com.