As the number of coronavirus case continues to be on the rise in Nigeria, major churches have started shutting down their parishes.
They include the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG),. The RCCG had on Thursday, announced adjustments in their programmes in line with the order of Ogun and Lagos governments to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Lagos State government had announced the suspension of social and religious gatherings of over 50 persons on Wednesday.
Apart from the cancellation of all services in all its parishes in Lagos and Ogun states, the MFM directed that all house fellowship meetings at any of the centres be postponed till further notice.
In response to the government’s order, the RCCG directed its parishes in Lagos and Ogun states to limit their attendance to 50 persons in one service.
MFM Assistant General Overseer (Administration) Pastor Gbesan Adebambo communicated the church’s decision through a memo titled: “Interim arrangement for ministerial services in Lagos and Ogun states MFM Regions”.
“No services including deliverance ministrations must hold in any of MFM branches at all levels in the Region under your supervision until further notice.
“Likewise, all house fellowship meetings at any of the centres are postponed till further notice.
“All members are to engage in 30 days Personal Prayer Retreat, beginning from Sunday 22nd March 2020 to Monday 20th April 2020 and the prayer booklet would be made available free.
“Church premises should not be opened to members/worshippers for services. However, pastors/ministers must be positioned at the church entrance gates to attend to the uniformed members, anoint them and hand Personal Prayer Retreat booklet over to them.
Personal Prayer Retreat prayer points can also be downloaded from the MFM website.”
He also said that there will be an online ministration video streamed from the International headquarters covering the period of the interim arrangement.
RCCG communicated the alteration in its service schedules through a memo signed by Assistant General Overseer, Administration and Personnel, Folorunsho Odesola, to pastors in-charge of regions and regions.
Pastor Odesola said parishes that have an average attendance of 50 members or less can hold their service without any changes but that those with over 50 members should run simultaneous services with the main church through their house fellowship centres.
“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.
“All centres are requested to connect to Dove Television to join the live broadcast from the general overseer during the period.”
RCCG and MFM have thousands of parishes across Nigeria hosting hundreds in attendance for Sunday services.