A strong spirit: ‘Save Our City’ hosts health screenings, prayer sessions in Muskegon Heights

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By Tony Wittkowski | Reporter | MLive – Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI — A former Muskegon resident took the time to visit her hometown to spread the power of both prayer and health.

The First Ladii, who now resides in Atlanta, helped promote the event called A Prayer for Healing and Musk-Care Free Health Screenings that featured 10 services held at Johnny O. Harris Park in Muskegon Heights from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21.

Partnered with the Mercy Health Muskegon’s Wheels of Mercy and Community Health Project, Muskegon Heights city officials and the Smith Ryerson Park community center, the First Ladii joined forces with other religious leaders as part of an 11-day campaign called “Save Our City.”

“A lot of people are ill and don’t know that they are ill because they can’t afford insurance,” she said. “This way, they can find out if they need to go to a doctor right away.”

The event attracted about a dozen people, who had the option of being screened for depression, HIV, AIDS, as well as get vision, diabetes, pulmonary function and blood pressure tests.

According to the First Ladii, God gave her the vision to hold the campaign, as well as the intent to return to Muskegon. The reaction has been anything but a surprise for the Atlanta resident.

“People have been happy about what we are doing,” the First Ladii said. “When we first came, a guy came up and he wanted prayer. He said after we prayed for him, he felt the lift come off of him. That’s what we are doing this for. We want to pray over people.”

Others within the community have begun to see the impact this 11-day campaign has had on willing participants.

Senior Pastor Johnnie L. Brown Jr. of Greater Works Kingdom Church will be taking over responsibilities next year and knows the intent and message behind the Musk-Care Health Screenings has gotten through to the community.

“Even though the numbers were small, you have to think about everything that’s been happening in our city,” Brown said, referencing to the fatal shooting that occurred Thursday morning. “I believe there are a lot of people who are humble for help. Some may not know how to get the help they need. We offer them God, we offer them Jesus Christ.”

The mix of prayer and health screenings has helped serve a duality of purposes for “Save Our City.” Both the First Ladii and Brown know the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“As much as you want your spiritual man to be strong, you want your physical man to be healthy, too,” Brown said.

Tony Wittkowski is a staff reporter at MLive Muskegon Chronicle. Email him at twittkow@mlive.com and follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 21, 2014)