By Kurt Walker
Church congregations across the Holy City were inundated with red during the month of February.
The Medi, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people in need connect to social service organizations in their communities, was the impetus for the red style of dress at 20 houses of worship across Charleston.
Each church chose the Sunday they would participate in programs focused on women’s heart health and disease, and a gospel concert finale was held at Royal Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, February 24.
The original Red Dress Sunday, an event designed to raise awareness about women’s heart health among church congregations, began in 2005 with three African American and Latino churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Before The Medi brought it to Charleston last month, it grew to encompass 180 churches across Maryland, Florida, Georgia, and Delaware.
Greater St. Luke AME Church, which held its Red Dress Sunday service on February 17, featured Audrey Whetsell, founder and CEO of The Medi, and City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg as guest speakers. Charleston’s first lady, Sandy Tecklenburg, was also in attendance and served as the honorary chair of the Red Dress Sundays program.
The finale concert, held in honor of the inaugural Red Dress Sundays, celebrated black history and was produced by Hype Gospel Entertainment and The London Agency, with additional Red Dress Sundays sponsors including Creative Rhythm Media & Music Marketing, WSPO Heaven 100.1 FM, YWCA Greater Charleston, and Knight Printing & Graphics.
The following Charleston-area churches helped protect the women in their congregations from heart disease: First Baptist of James Island, Folly Road Church of Christ, Friendship AME Church, Greater St. Peter’s Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Holy Light Miracle Temple, Greater St. Luke AME Church, Jerusalem Baptist Church, Lovely Mountain Baptist Church, Morris Street Baptist Church, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Olivet Reformed Episcopal Church, Mount Zion AME Church, Nazareth Reformed Episcopal Church, New Home Missionary Baptist Church, Revelation Church of Word and Deed, Royal Missionary Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Mission Church, Summerville Miracle Revival Center, Trinity Holiness Church, and Wesley United Methodist Church of Ladson.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Charleston (SC) chapter and The Links, Inc. actively supported the event by providing speakers for participating churches and other support.
For more information about Red Dress Sundays, slated to be an annual event, visit www.themedi.org/events.