Focus on Haiti at several Chicago churches

January 17, 2010 3:34:30 PM PST
A Haitian-American church on the South Side worshipped Sunday morning with loved ones victimized by the earthquake very much in their prayers.Many members of the congregation at Grace Haitian Alliance church have lost loved ones in the earthquake.

Church Pastor Jean Lelite says he has a cousin he fears did not survive.

Today was the first Sunday service since the quake. Church members said they were trying to help each other through their grief.

At another Chicago church, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Sunday that he would head to the earthquake zone.

Sharpton attended services at Christ Universal Temple on Chicago's South Side.

He said he felt a "moral imperative" to fly to the quake-ravaged country on Martin Luther King Day. Sharpton also said not going to Haiti would be hypocritical to his memories and to his acceptance of Dr. King's cause.

Sharpton will lead an annual MLK Day celebration in New York City Monday before departing for Port-au-Prince.

Also on the South Side, Salem Baptist Church joined the Haitian relief effort with a $25,000 donation.

The church's pastor, the Rev. James Meeks announced the donation at services Sunday.

The money will go to the group "Hospitals for Humanity," which will charter a plane to the island Tuesday with 20 volunteer medical professionals and medical supplies on board.