MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local church is stepping up to help with continuous COVID testing after saying there are those who remain hesitant about getting the vaccine. Church leaders are hoping anyone unvaccinated or feeling uncertain will at least get tested regularly, and they are making it available.

Bishop Brandon Porter with Greater Community Temple COGIC is going from the sanctuary to the streets to do what he can to keep this community healthy.

“You can keep your your family, your children, mom and dad safe,” Porter said.

Porter says it starts by knowing your COVID status.

“My motivation here is to have people get tested. We need to know where we are with this situation,” Porter said.

That motivation includes money. The church is ready and willing to pay a financial incentive in order to get us back on the path to normalcy.

“Give $20 each for those that get a COVID test,” Porter said.

This mission is so important to Porter that he enlisted the help from an organization out of Chicago. Without hesitation, they traveled more than 500 miles, to set up shop and help the community stay in the know.

“We are going to be doing it every week,” said John L. Alexander, community director of Free COVID Care. “It’s going to be open, it’s going to be a drive-thru so they can drive in and get the rapid test, the 15 minute results and also the PCR tests.”

Several testing spaces were set up at the church, with those overseeing the operation calling this “a step in the right direction.”

“Just know what’s going on with your body that way if you are around someone if you have COVID, you know to step back. If you are negative, you can step a little closer, but you still want to be a little cautious,” Alexander said.

Organizers of the site say more than 500 people were tested in one day. There’s hope even more will take advantage of the newly established drive-thru testing site located in the church’s parking lot.