Leader of Philly Church That Sponsored COVID-19 Testing Is Positive for Disease

Pastor at a pulpit

The leader of a large Philadelphia church that provided COVID-19 testing to its neighborhood has tested positive for the disease.

The Rev. Dr. Alyn Waller, senior pastor of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, said in a Facebook video that he had no symptoms and felt "fine."

He did the test to model the process for his community, as the church opened up testing at its Cheltenham Avenue location Monday.

Waller is now in quarantine, but promised to preach virtually on Sunday and continue to lead Bible study.

The church, which has its West location in North Philadelphia, has been holding services virutally throughout the crisis.

"I believe that this is part of the assignment," Waller said in his message. "I believe I am supposed to go through this with you and with people."

He asked for prayers for himself and all victims of the new coronavirus, and stressed that people should remember to observe social distancing and stay in.

"Hopefully something will be learned from my experience," he said. "Because I think we have tried to be responsible in the way we have lived and used masks and so forth, and yet I tested positive. That is why testing is so important."

Enon's COVID-19 testing Monday was so popular that it was at capacity just hours after it opened.

The testing was done by the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, a group of health care professionals who built a mobile unit to provide free testing to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

The COVID-19 crisis has hit hard in communities of color. In Enon's neighborhood, 35% of the residents who have been tested are positive for COVID-19. And that is without widespread testing.

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