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Oakwood University Alumni on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Oakwood University Alumni on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on October 22, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for nearly everyone -- healthcare workers, first responders, chaplains, and other essential workers -- has had to face more risks than most. Oakwood University would like to acknowledge and show our appreciation for our alumni who are providing essential services during this time.

Stevie Branch Stennis, '87 - Chaplain
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Oakland, California


"During COVID-19, many times, family members are not permitted to come visit in the hospital because of our precautionary measures. I do what I can to support them. I also come along side employees of the hospital who need emotional and spiritual support in these trying times.

During the early days of the pandemic, I was requested to visit with a patient who had most of the classic symptoms of COVID-19. I suited up in all of the necessary PPE and ministered to the patient and family members. Some days later, the test results came back and the patient was not COVID-19 positive.

Seeing the effects of this deadly virus everyday causes me to take all of the necessary precautions, and to love family and friends deeper than ever.

Oakwood served as a torch that helped me to navigate my way and to see Jesus more clearly.



Today, more than ever, I see Jesus miraculously working in the lives of His people."


Clifton J. McMillan, Sr., ‘92 - Pastor
South Central Conference
Montgomery and Hurtsboro, Alabama


"I have been a full-time pastor in the South Central Conference for 25 years, and have been a Hospital Chaplain for 29 years. I have been blessed to minister as a flex chaplain for over 13 years at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

While on staff at Children's Hospital, I have been able to minister to patients, family members, and staff as they deal with the challenges of COVID-19. Two Sabbath services are held virtually via Facebook Live and by telephone. Five prayer services are provided weekly as well between the two churches.

Maranatha has distributed food weekly in Montgomery weekly since March. For three weeks, over 620 food boxes were shared with the community, then 100-150 families received food weekly.

It has been a challenge not being able to visit members in other hospitals. COVID-19 turned my life upside down for a while.

Oakwood stamped me with the motto "Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve." Godly professors and a Christ-centered student body helped frame a positive worldview for ministry."

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