Local News

Johnston Co. Churches Ready To Battle AIDS

Posted March 8, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— AIDS activists say the number of people with AIDS in Johnston County is growing. Churches are trying to curb the increase.

Members of Clayton's First Baptist Church gathered Friday night to begin the "Black Church Week of Prayer and Revival for the Prevention and Healing of HIV and AIDS." Dr. Janet Wise says as many as 300 people in Johnston County may have AIDS.

"It is eating away at the core of our community," said Dr. William Headd of the Smithfield First Baptist Church. "We want to be revived and know God is the one to revive us again."

Organizers say that the clergy can talk openly about AIDS in a way that politicians and teachers cannot.

AIDS activists are also educating ministers. Some pastors will not baptize people with AIDS.