Alvin Stafford faced a critical challenge when he became pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church last November: Los Angeles was in the midst of its second COVID-19 wave.

Being the pastor of a Black church in Watts gave him a front-row seat to the pandemic’s devastation. Several members of the congregation lost their jobs. Many got sick, and 12 died from COVID-19.

Stafford knew he had to act to protect his new community.

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