As I See It: A Study of African American Pastors' Views on Health and Health Education in the Black Church

Michael L. Rowland, E. Paulette Isaac-Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The Black Church is the only institution that has consistently served the interest of African Americans, and there is no other institution in the African American community that rivals its influence (Camara, 2004). The spiritual well-fare, social support, health, and well-being of its people have been one of its main goals. With health disparities of African Americans still at an alarming rate, the Black Church has used informal education as a means to impart knowledge on health, as well as other non-religious and religious topics. One of the avenues least researched within the Black Church is the pastor's perception of its educational role in health and wellness and its efforts to reduce health discrimination and health disparities between African American and European Americans in the U.S. Since social justice appears as a theme and concern in the traditions of many churches, it is only appropriate that, among other things, the Black Church should address the issue of health education and interventions. The purpose of this study was to explore African American pastors' perceptions of the role of the Black Church in providing health care, health education, and wellness opportunities to African Americans. Many pastors reported their church provided some form of health education and/or health screenings. Their perceptions about the important issues facing their congregants versus African Americans in general were quite similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1101
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • African Americans
  • Black Church
  • Health disparities
  • Health education
  • Pastors
  • Perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Religious studies


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