How Much Is Your Life Worth: A Reverend, COVID-19 Testimony, and a Revolutionary Church.
Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller is a spiritual innovator and a religious force to be reckoned with. He has served as the senior pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church for 25 years. With a congregation of over 15,000 members, Reverend Dr. Waller has led the growth of the church, paving the way for Enon’s expansion; in 2006, Enon opened an additional church campus, equipped with a chapel, computer lab, 5,000-seat sanctuary, classrooms, a Family Life Center, and a large backyard. Through 75 ministries, Enon Tabernacle hosts three weekend-worship services, prayer opportunities, community wellness events, health and wellness initiatives and more.
In addition, Reverend Dr. Waller founded a record label for Enon, and has produced various gospel albums. He headlines gospel events at venues such as the Mann Music Center, and performed on stages with gospel giants such as Fred Hammond, Mary Mary and the Clark Sisters. Reverend Dr. Waller has also preached in countries like South Africa, where Enon has established a church location, and South Korea. The extensive development of Enon Tabernacle, whose vision is to be ‘A Place Where People Can Encounter God,’ morphs the concept of a sanctuary to be an all-inclusive, social entity.
As a philanthropist, Reverend Dr. Waller’s contributions to the fight against COVID 19 are immense; he partnered with the Philadelphia Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to open a COVID-19 test center. Interestingly enough, his service gifted him with a powerful testimony, through a peculiar experience with the virus. Reverend Dr. Waller shares his story with FunTimes, and has a very special message for the general public.
Why did you assemble a testing center at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church? We had testing because there was not enough testing being done in the United States, particularly in communities where Black and Brown people are. We recognized that there was a gap, and these doctors, led by Ala Stanford, started the movement. I felt it needed to come to Enon because we are at the center of our community, and we wanted to be a blessing to people to help with the testing.
How do you interpret your discovery that you had COVID-19? I was very surprised because I didn’t think I had been exposed. I did not have any symptoms. I simply wanted to take the test to show people how easy it was. So when they called me and told me I was positive, it was the last thing I ever thought would happen. It caught me by surprise
How do you explain your treatment procedure for someone who was asymptomatic? There was no treatment. I’ve just been in isolation for the last three weeks, in my basement. I’m eating well and drinking a lot of fluids. That’s it.
What does this experience mean to you? What it means to me is that the virus is running rampant, we still don’t understand all of the implications of how it is transmitted, and that we need to take this very seriously. Everyone needs to listen to the stay at home order and govern themselves accordingly.
What do you want people to consider about COVID-19 as different states around the U.S. prepare to re-open the economy: I think that we need to consider that this is a virus that we don’t fully understand, and that for the majority of us, this will be a simple event, but for a part of our population it is lethal, like our children. There seems to be this new manifestation in children, and its killing them. We should be very careful not to put money above life. While we know that at some point we will have to run the risk of infection by opening up the country, we cannot run the risk until we understand the risk, and right now we do not understand the risk because we have not fully comprehended the virus.
What is your advice for church leaders who insist on in-person services in the wake of COVID-19? I think that at this time it is irresponsible to insist on in-person services. We have a lot of online and social media that can help us with this, and we will get back. We are going to win, we just need to take our time to get back to it.
I want to emphasize that God will judge every generation by how it treats its seniors and its children, and right now they are the most vulnerable in our society. If we move quickly to reopen and endanger our seniors and our children, we will be judged by God.
Reverend Dr. Waller is a testament to the potential for positive growth that lies in community building, the ubiquity of COVID-19 and the importance of sacrificing for the greater good. We thank him for sharing his story, and for his service. Children are the future of our world, and our elderly have paved the way for us. If we can seriously take their lives into consideration when making decisions, we may be inspired to see ourselves as part of an inherently connected system in which we depend on each other to survive. Learn more about Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church by visiting their website www.enontab.org or Facebook at Enon Baptist Tabernacle Church. Connect with Reverend Dr. Waller on Instagram at @dralynewaller.
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