LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A church is often viewed as a place for prayer and worship but as First News at Nine’s Jessica Mendoza explains, a church in the Chippewa Valley is playing a role in the vaccination efforts.
Jacobs Well Church in Lake Hallie has been serving the community in a variety of different ways for twenty years. Although it couldn’t have been predicted by church leadership, they say what they’ve been doing for the past four months is right on track with their values.
“We’re all looking forward to the day we can walk into the church without a mask on but were not there yet!” said lead pastor Paul Berthiaume.
Not there yet, but much closer to that reality now, as the church hosts hundreds of vaccinations each day.
“It’s a little bit of work but a whole lot of benefit. It’s a gift we get to participate in it. We love to serve the community and this is good for everybody,” says the pastor.
Prevea Health Executive Director, Jenny Benrud says the church’s physical qualities and location have been just what they needed for the clinic.
“We chose Jacob’s Well because of the space available we are able to socially distance people, make sure they feel safe and also get a lot of people through in a decent amount of time.”
Berthiaume told WEAU,
“We didn’t design the building to have a vaccination clinic but it turns out that the really well designed building for children’s ministry and youth ministry actually couldn’t have been more perfect for a vaccination clinic. We didn’t have a plan but we have a feeling God had a plan.”
According to Benrud they wouldn’t be able to operate at this capacity if it weren’t for the church’s generosity.
“They have been very wonderful to work with they opened up their space to us and treat us like family and whatever we need we have been able to do,” Benrud says in one day they vaccinated 801 people.
Since February 1st, more than 26,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered at this clinic.
In Lake Hallie Jessica Mendoza First News at Nine.
Every Saturday, after the clinic finishes up, the rooms get converted back into a space where hundreds of people gather on Sunday morning.