The Living Faith Church Worldwide, Ota and Dunamis Church International, Abuja held Sunday services.
This is happening despite the orders of the Ogun State Government and the Federal Capital Territory Administration restricting the number of persons in any gathering to 50 to curb the community transmission of the novel coronavirus.
According to statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, as of Sunday, there are 27 cases of the virus in Nigeria, with four in Abuja, 19 in Lagos, two in Ogun and one in Ekiti and Oyo States.
The PUNCH reports that the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Daystar Christian Centre, Mountain of Fires and Miracles Ministries, amongst a few other megachurches complied with the not-more-than-50-congregants per time rule of the FCT Administration and various state governments across the country, with many of these churches conducting online services.
However, the Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, whose headquarters is located in Ota, Ogun State, David Oyedepo, held a ‘physical’ service on Sunday.
One of our correspondents, who monitored the service via the church’s YouTube channel, observed that thousands of worshipers gathered in the church auditorium.
The congregation sang and prayed to God to stop the plague of the coronavirus in Nigeria and other countries of the world.
Oyedepo led the congregation in prayers preceding his sermon titled “Winning the war against coronavirus”.
He said, “According to how we have prayed, the siege is over. The same way Ebola went away, this is going away. The same God that helped us that time is still alive, he will help us again.”
The church had in a memo dated March 20 and written by the First Vice President of the LFC, Bishop David Abioye, asked branches of the church all over the world to comply with restriction orders in their locations.
However, our correspondent gathered that another memo was issued late on Saturday asking members to come to church service.
The first memo read, “In view of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe which has necessitated the temporary shutdown of activities within nations of the world to curb its further spread, all stations are hereby informed that the Mothers’ Day celebration earlier scheduled for Sunday, 22nd March is hereby postponed indefinitely.”
But a second memo, which was also signed by Bishop Abioye, read, “Following recent release from the office of the CAN National President as per attached, our regular Sunday service(s) shall hold tomorrow (Sunday) across various states of the nation.
“To this effect, every assembly should take necessary precaution.”
In a document sighted by newsmen and signed by CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola Bade, the Christian body said “pastors should allow people to worship and use the occasion to create awareness” on the virus while maintaining recommended precautions by health authorities.
Furthermore, newsmen report that Dunamis Church International observed a physical service in its 100-000 seater capacity Glory Dome auditorium along Airport Road in Abuja.
The church founded and overseen by Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky Enench, tagged the service “Sensitisation Service” and release account details for “Online Offerings”.
Newsmen also report that the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Abuja, Biodun Fatoyinbo, invited members of his church for a ‘physical’ worship service on Sunday, March 22.
But newsmen learnt that Fatoyinbo, who came under scathing criticisms from social media users, did not broadcast the service online.