Senior Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Citadel Global Community Church (formerly, The Latter Rain Assembly), has announced the donation of two church buildings to the Lagos State Government for use as isolation centres.
He also said a private residence owned by the church in Abeokuta has been given out to the Ogun State Government to quarantine those infected with coronavirus.
The cleric, who made this known in a short video address posted on the church’s Facebook page on Sunday night, berated church leaders criticising the government over the closure of religious centres while markets have been allowed to open.
Bakare warned that such church leaders should desist from the act of criticism and rather support the government’s efforts at containing the spread of the pandemic by making some of their church buildings available for use as isolation centres.
He said, “I will like to bring some ethical corrections to some of the lamentations of certain people within the church over the ban of congregational worship in churches while markets and hospitals are allowed to operate.
“I am so glad that not only churches are prevented from congregating, the mosques also are locked down.
“The government’s order to open the market for a few days is to prevent hunger, especially in the lives of daily earners because the palliatives by the government cannot go to all citizens in their homes right now.
“Not only that, those churches with multiple facilities, rather than their leaders criticising the government should collaborate with them. They must be prepared to offer some of their halls to government as isolation centres, in support of the efforts of the government.
“I am not suggesting what we are not prepared to do; we have already done that in our church – we have offered two of our facilities to the Lagos State Government and the private residence we have in Abeokuta, we have offered to the Ogun State Government.
“Let the church lead in this campaign and support the government, rather than criticising them for all the arduous tasks they are presently confronted with.”
He added that the inability of churches to congregate physically because of the present situation does not in any way mean the church cannot be effective this period.
“There is no distance in the spirit and the church is not the building but the saints of God. So, if we cannot congregate because of the lockdown, we can be very effective in our neighbourhood as our brothers’ keepers and at our various workplaces…
“COVID-19 might have resulted in a lockdown that has made congregational worship impossible for a moment but every home must become more or less a church and every office table and stall must become a pulpit. I am confident that… the church can only be stronger after COVID-19,” he submitted.