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Abstract The use of churches as recruitment sites of African Americans into health promotion activities is a popular theme in the 1990s literature. This research measured the impact of previous exposure to cancer on participation in an educational program and a free prostate cancer screening. Cues to action from the Health Belief Model provided the conceptual framework. Over 500 men attended a prostate cancer educational program at their church. Men who participated in the educational program and completed the questionnaire were given a voucher that they could take to their doctor of choice for a free prostate cancer examination. Having a member of the congregation who was previously diagnosed with cancer was a significant cue to attendance at the educational program (P= 0.03). Recommendations for future cancer screening in churches are given.