Metropolitan Interdenominational Church observes National Week of Prayer with all night vigil

Rev. Edwin Sanders at the White House in 2012 speaking during a forum for faith leaders involved in the response to HIV and AIDS.

For the past 21 years, the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church’s signature event during the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS has been Praying through the Night. This year, the national launch for the Week of Prayer will be live streamed from the Metropolitan Church which will be joined by Dr. Pernessa C. Seele, founder/CEO of The Balm in Gilead.

Nashvillians are encouraged to join the congregation of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church for Praying through the Night beginning at 6 pm on Saturday, March 2 and ending with breakfast at 8 am on Sunday, March 3. Each hour of the night is sponsored by one of the church’s Fellowship Circles and will feature many of the leading congregations in Nashville.

The National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS, now in its 30th year, is the inclusive expansion of the highly successful Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS and brings national attention to the AIDS epidemic in the United States and the extraordinary role faith communities can and are playing in AIDS prevention, education, service and advocacy.

Rev. Sanders, pastor of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church said: “One of the things that has made this event most impactful over time is that generally people of different faith traditions are willing to pray together even when there might be various doctrinal positions that otherwise create fragmentation.

“What started as one woman walking around Harlem Hospital in New York City has grown into a time of celebration that includes many thousand worshiping bodies on this occasion. We’re thrilled to have that woman here with us at Metropolitan Interdenominational Church this year, for the 2019 Launch of the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.”

The Metropolitan Interdenominational Church works in these arenas year round through its First Response Center in Nashville on 9th Ave. North where they offer free AIDS testing, education, prevention and counseling to more than 700 low-income clients at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.

“Let’s use this opportunity to gather together across the nation to pray for the healing of AIDS,” said church representatives.

The Metropolitan Interdenominational Church is located at 2128 11th Ave. North in Nashville, a few short blocks from Metro Center. Call 615-726-3876, ext. 21, for more information.

Dr. Pernessa C. Seele

Dr. Pernessa Seele

Dr. Pernessa C. Seele is founder/CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc., a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to prevent diseases and to improve the health status of individuals who are disproportionately affected by high rates of health disparities, especially HIV, hepatitis C, cervical cancer and sexual violence. Now in its 24th year, The Balm In Gilead is based in Richmond, Va., and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The organization provides technical support to over 10,000 faith institutions regarding the implementation of health education and service programs.

Dr. Seele has worked with three U.S. presidential administrations on issues of HIV/AIDS in the United States and abroad. She is known for her extraordinary vision and ability to create national and global partnerships among leaders of various cultures and religious doctrines in areas of health promotion and disease prevention. She is the recipient of numerous citations and honors including being featured on the cover of Time magazine in 2006 as One of the Most Influential Persons In the World. Ebony magazine selected Dr. Seele as one of their Power 150. Essence magazine has honored her with numerous features. In its 35th anniversary issue, she was named one of the 35 Most Beautiful And Remarkable Women In The World. In May 2010, Dr. Seele was selected as 21 Leaders of the 21st Century of Women E-News in New York City.

Dr. Seele is a licensed minister; an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and a lifetime member of The National Council of Negro Women. Dr. Seele received a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science from Clark Atlanta University in 1976 and 1979 respectively, and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle, N.Y. in 2007. She is a native of Lincolnville, S.C.