AUSTIN -- From the choir to the pastor and congregation, Saint James Baptist Church was poised in pink, ready to worship Sunday morning.
"We're having the Worship in Pink service to officially kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month here in Austin," said Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Honorary Chair LaTanya Tatum.
Tatum is a woman on a mission. Six years ago she went to the doctor with concerns but was told she was fine. Turns out she had breast cancer.
"When I was diagnosed it was Stage One. And then maybe 30 days later, when my lump was removed, I was Stage Two. I was 29 years old at that time," Tatum recalled.
Breast cancer is more predominant in black women and the tumors are more aggressive. Yet statistics show that black women go to the doctor less than their white counterparts. This is why Susan G. Komen is encouraging more blacks to get out to the doctor with the 'Worship in Pink' services.
The disease has touched many members of the Saint James church family, including Pastor Billy McClendon.
"I've lost two sisters to cancer, one to breast cancer, one to colon cancer. I've lost two brothers to cancer, so yes it's very dear to me," said McClendon.
The pastor said his message for the congregation would be simple Sunday: Get checked and know that whatever the result, there will be encouragement and support.
"Try to encourage people who have been diagnosed or who are surviving that they are never alone. That we have a heavenly father who loves us and He promised never to leave us," McClendon added.
Support from both a church family and a family of survivors, committed to taking on breast cancer.