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Church event features health fair

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

For the second year, St. James AME Church is combining health and history as it celebrates African-American History Month on Feb. 23-24.

Mary C. Taylor, who is helping organize the event, said the church has celebrated African-American history before, but saw the need to add a health fair to the event.

“There are a lot of health issues in our community,” Taylor said. “The idea of the health fair is to expose people to some of the resources available to them.”

Health and wellness are tied to community history, too, she said. Whether today, or generations ago, some people did not, and others still don’t, have regular access to medical care. In addition, people want to eat the foods they grew up with, which could mean recipes that add fat and salt.

That may not have been a problem a few generations ago.

“Our ancestors were more physically active,” Taylor said.

Sedentary lifestyles mean more heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

The health fair will include health, dental and vision screenings, classes and demonstrations. For example, Lovely Murrell of Cupboard Natural Foods and Cafe will demonstrate how to cook greens, black-eyed peas and other vegetables with less fat and more seasoning. And Brian Glenn, with the Denton Fire Department, will give a talk on CPR and first aid.

There will be plenty of local history authorities on tap, too, Taylor said. The Denton County African American Museum and the University of North Texas will have stories from Denton’s earliest African-American families and Quakertown’s settlers.

The two-day celebration ends Sunday afternoon with a concert of area church choirs, singing groups and soloists. The concert includes a musical skit and traditional songs of the African-American experience.

In a news release, the Rev. Mason Rice, pastor of the St. James AME Church, said local history is rooted in its churches and the program helps people understand from where they came.

St. James AME Church was among the earliest churches in Quakertown.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the church at 940-387-1223.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her email address is .