This week the Springfield Baptist Church is observing the Balm of Gilead Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, the largest HIV/AIDS awareness program targeting the African American community.
"We have surrounded the week with such activities as a march, showings for teenagers, showings for adults, videos and stories that relate to the African American community," said Nettie Butler, HIV program manager at Springfield Baptist Church.
The week-long observance includes involvement from several counties, she said.
From 60 to 80 participants traditionally attend the Candle Light March Prayer, which was held Wednesday, March 16 with the walk starting at Bi Lo Shopping Center and ending at the church, 523 Martin Luther King Jr. St.
The church kicked off this year's observance with a radio broadcast on WTWA. Other events included a discussion entitled "Can We Talk?" and the films, "Tracy's Choice" and "Heart of the Matter."
Registered Nurse T. Nwankwo was guest speaker at the church, holding a question and answer session last night.
This year is the third year Springfield Baptist Church has participated in the national observance of the Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS which focuses on faith based HIV/AIDS education and awareness.
Churches play an important role in addressing the crises, said Ms. Butler, and Springfield Baptist offers an ongoing confidential HIV prevention program.
The church also supports those who are HIV positive by offering assistance with utility bills, Ms. Butler said. Recipients must live in the Thomson area and must have the utility bills in their name.
For more information, call 597-9336 from 9-11 a.m.