Bishop James Darrell Robinson preached Sunday morning at Yesha Ministries Worship Center in a grey three-piece suit, standing seemingly confident about his message placed on his heart. Yesha Ministries Worship Center located at 2301 Snyder Avenue has remained open during the duration of the pandemic.
As Robinson stood before a small congregation masked up, he started his sermon speaking about fear. The soft blue-colored church designed with white clouds and royal blue chairs gave a warming and calming presence.
Members and non-members of Yesha Ministries have always been privy to watching Sunday service on Facebook LIVE. On Jan. 31, Yesha Ministries Sunday service averaged 209 views, Facebook views, and over 100 comments. Yesha has over 1,200 members.
“The body of the person who is full of fear, gives a better opportunity for the virus to grow,” Robinson said. Robinson gave similarities between the Coronavirus and fear, how both entities are harmful to the human body and thrive when housed in the right environment. “Because fear does something to your immunity, it stops the immunity from working the way it should work,” he said.
Robinson courageously dismisses fear and has opened the doors of Yesha Ministries Monday through Sunday, providing spiritual and physical care for anyone in need. The worship center has partnered twice with The Black Doctors COVID Consortium to offer free COVID-19 testing, participated as a voting site during the 2020 Election and continues to give away masks and hand sanitizer.
Yesha Ministries was founded by Robinson in 1999. Robinson has been preaching since the age of 14. Robinson preached under his uncle Bishop Robert T. Robinson at Philadelphia Revival Temple Church. Robinson stands as the head pastor at Yesha. His mission for Yesha Ministries is to be a community-based church to help mitigate the various issues in the community. Yesha Ministries has worked with Councilman Jordan Harris, Mayor Jim Kenney, and The Charlie Mack Celebrity Weekend. Through the celebrity weekend event, Yesha teamed up with celebrity and Philly native Will Smith for a party for peace weekend.
Robinson says keeping his church members positive during the pandemic is key.
“When the flames of fear are being fanned by anxiety, people lose hope,” he said. “We know that people have to stand in a positive mental state. That’s more than what people ever know.”
Robinson believes fear is a part of an illness in our culture. Sister Margaret Covington, an administrator and usher, has been a member of Yesha Ministries since 2003. Covington, who lives across the street from Yesha said the hospitality at the church is unmatched.
“Yesha Ministries is special because there is a willingness to include everyone who comes in,” she said.
When thinking of her pastor and church bishop, Covington paused for a few seconds before responding. In a mellow voice, she described Robinson from the inside out.
“Pastor Bishop Robinson is a God-fearing man of God,” Covington said. “It’s nothing for him to give.”
Covington has witnessed countless times where Robinson has held funeral services and did not charge families who could not afford the services.
“He would not charge them but instead asked for a love offering,” she said.
In addition to being a giver, Covington said Robinson is kind.
Robinson’s work does not stop there. Yesha House of Healing, a recovery center, is a block-long. It houses women and men and provides services to help people who have fallen off track, to get back on track.