Nigeria’s Mega Churches Move Services Online, As Oyedepo’s Winners’ Postpones Mothers Day Celebration Indefinitely

The Oasis Reporters

March 22, 2020

Efforts had not been spared in the preparations worldwide by Living Faith Church, also known as Winner’s Chapel a Nigerian based pentecostal Church with branches worldwide to celebrate mothers, but the ravaging global coronavirus pandemic has suddenly put a hold on the event billed for Sunday, March 22, 2020.

In a Memo from the First Vice President of the Mission to All Mission Stations with the subject: RE: MOTHERS DAY CELEBRATION
Date: March 20, 2020, it reads:

Bishop David Oyedepo, founder and president of Living Faith Church.
Breaking Limits Greetings in Jesus name!

In view of the spread of COVID-19 virus pandemic across the globe which has necessitated temporary shut down of activities within Nations of the World in a bid to curb it’s spread, all Stations are hereby informed that the Mothers’ Day Celebration earlier scheduled for Sunday, 22nd March is hereby postponed indefinitely.

Furthermore, all Stations are to comply with any restriction introduced by the government of their Nation, so as not to be seen as contravening the laws of the Land.

Meanwhile, Church members should be admonished to take advantage of the various on-line primary links and other social media platforms below, to watch services in their homes while the situation subsists, believing that an end has come to the spread in the name of Jesus. Amen!
✓ Youtube: Domi Stream
✓ Facebook: @davidoyedepoministeries
✓ Twitter: @DavidOyedepoMin
✓ Instagram: @davidoyedepomin
We should also encourage members to continue to engage the various mysteries of the kingdom to provoke our Covenant of Exemption (Psa. 91:10).
Please pass this information to neighbouring Stations.
Remain ever blessed.

David O. Abioye”.

Consequently, most Church members are likely to stay at home and watch services online for those who have data and electricity for the Nigerian electricity utility board is notorious for supplying more darkness than light in it’s inglorious years of gross inefficiency and massive corruption that has seen more money pumped into the utility board amounting to several billions of naira and dollars with you corresponding increase in electricity generation and supply. An albatross that hapless Nigerian citizens have to contend with.

The case may slightly be different with members of another mega church with global outreach, Redeemed Christian Church of God run by Pastor Enoch Adeboye, another Church that started out from Nigeria’s Southwest but is found in practically all the nooks and crannies of Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.

Adeboye’s tech savvy transmission department have ensured that the Church’s programs are received on easy to dial satellite stations with minimal and pocket friendly set up boxes. It requires no data whatsoever.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG has given a five-point directive on the conduct of worship services in Lagos and Ogun States following instructions prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 persons in the two states.

In the memo issued by the Assistant General Overseer (Admin & Personnel) Pastor Johnson Odesola directed to pastors-in-charge of regions and provinces in Lagos and dated March 18, 2020, the churches were asked to comply strictly with the governments directives.

However, the church asked that congregations of not more than 50 persons should hold their services as normal as it does not infringe the government directive.

RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye

The full memo titled “Slight alteration in the mode of service for parishes in Lagos and Ogun States,” read:

“We refer to the directive from the Lagos and Ogun state governments placing a ban on all religious meetings and gatherings of more than 50 worshippers in Lagos, as part of the precautionary steps towards managing the further spread of the Coronavirus disease.

“In line with this directive from the government, the mission authority has instructed as follows:

1. Parishes that have an average of attendance of 50 members or less can hold their services without any alteration or changes.

2. Parishes that have average attendance above 50 members are directed to make use of their House Fellowship centres to run simultaneous services with the main church.

3. Parishes that have the facility to run more than one service can also do so, under the strict directive that worshippers won’t exceed 50 people per service.

4. One supervising minister and an usher could be seconded to each Centre for the collation of necessary reports (attendance, New converts, Newcomers, etc)

5. All centres are requested to connect to Dove Television to join the live broadcast from the General Overseer during the period.

“You are therefore requested to convey the assurances of the continued prayer of the General Overseer to members, while also encouraging them not to panic in the face of ongoing crisis because God promised us victory over every battle at the start of this year”.

It is believed that many none Redeemed Christian Church of God members would hook up to Dove Television on several satellites, probably including NIGCOMSAT. But it is certainly on nearby South African satellites via INTELSAT that requires a Satellite dish that may cost less than 5,000 naira which is about $15. The receiver ranges between 5,000 naira to 20,000 naira depending on choice.

As more worshippers hook up online, mega churches may design more robust platforms for the collection of offerings because with several people unable to work to support their families, reliance on church support may increase. Those who have the wherewithal would give to Churches, urging pastors to share to the needy.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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