Living Faith Church, better known as Winners Chapel, says it held services on Sunday to sensitise and mobilise its members against the dangers of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The church had come under attack, especially on social media platforms, for holding services despite the ban on large gatherings in Lagos, Ogun and some parts of the country.
From the live stream of the service via the church’s YouTube channel, it was observed that thousands of worshippers gathered inside the church auditorium for service.
But in a statement, Steve Ogah, special assistant to David Oyedepo, founder of the church, said the service was actually held with less than half of its regular worshippers.
“It has become necessary to issue this statement to clarify issues surrounding why Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland, the International Headquarters of Living Faith Church in Ogun State, held church service on Sunday, although with less than half of her regular worshippers,” he said.
“For avoidance of doubt, as stakeholders and as a responsible organisation, Living Faith Church fully supports and encourages compliance with all initiatives of government to combat the spread of this dreaded virus.
“However, information has to be strategically disseminated to the grassroot, noting that the Church is a family and not an industry, it is for this reason that enlightenment and sensitization from the Church platform is a most effective way to get people involved in playing their part in terms of prayers and intercessions and not just staying away from Church without knowing what to do.
“As we all know, the Church is made up of both literate and illiterate congregants; many are not in touch with any of the modern platforms of communication and this is what we did yesterday. Indeed, the service was devoted entirely to sensitizing and mobilizing members of the Church regarding the danger of this deadly virus and the need to comply with government directives.
“The Bishop has since engaged Ogun State Government at the highest level to clarify this issue and any misgivings and reiterated the full support of the church for the State Government’s efforts to ensure public safety, towards curtailing the spread of this deadly virus. He appreciates the opportunity of direct engagement and the understanding of the government. Cooperation to safeguard public safety is not just a moral obligation or civic responsibility; the church also considers it a spiritual duty.
“The Church shall continue to engage all necessary logistics to ensure compliance with government directives and continue to pray for speedy divine intervention to stem this deadly virus.”