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COVID-19: CAC members recount experience of more than two months without congregational worship



By 'Gbenga Bankole


"The past two months without congregational worship has not only been weird but unnatural. We grew up dressing up for church as early 7am every Sunday. It was our routine  but it has changed now. The service itself, the worships, hymnal singing that comes as angelic, the sermons, the interpretations (that i always do), the orin ipari isin, akomona, hallelujah meje...the youth meetings, the obinrin rere meetings that we have to wait for our mothers to round off before going home are memories we didn't know we were creating. I look forward to 21st June so we can resume the 'normal."


Those were the words of Ajewole Tolulope, a member of
Christ Apostolic Church, City Of Healing District, Epe, Lagos, Akinyele Region, who recounted her experiences as a result of the ban on religious gatherings by the Federal Government as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.


There is no doubt that nothing can be compared with the congregational worship which majority of Christians are used to. Though, the advancement in technology has made it possible for one to even be on his or her bed and worship online through the social media. Meanwhile, most people still prefer the congregational worship which have been part and parcel of them. Truly, the enthusiasm of congregational worship, particularly in a denomination like ours cannot be overemphasized.


Below is the experience of some other CAC members who shared them through the Facebook page and WhatsApp groups of CAC NEWS:

Ijeoma Grace Owo, Christ Apostolic Church, Umuahia, Abia DCC...

I really missed going to church because of the ban of religious gathering. It was as if something was taken out of me. In fact I just realised that it is a blessed and joyful thing to be in the presence of God with brethren in Christ. Yes, we had services at home but that joy of being with brethren fellowshipping together was there.


Adejuwon Oluwafemi, Mount Triumphant District, Akinyele Region

For the past two months when there has been ban on congregational gathering, I have come to realize more on how powerfully God moves in the supernatural. Though we are unable to gather in multitude, it enables me to create time to seek God personally and individually. Allow me to witness the sweetness in fellowshipping with God personally.  And I really enjoy this as I look forward towards the resumption of the church.


Evangelist Abiodun Ilesanmi Abel, Benin Republic, Christ Apostolic Church City Of Peace Zone Portonovo, Ayeteju District Headquarters

I will boldly say the ban on religious gathering is not the effort to stop the spread of this virus, it's religious gathering that will put a stop to this. Many people have backslidden through this virus, service alone is boring and inconsequential. People are murmuring and dieing because of not praying together and worshipping God. Is there any virus God cannot conquer? The Federal Government should remove ban from religious organisation totally, and see what will happen within two weeks.


Famakinde Mathew, CAC Araromi, Oko, Ogbomoso (Oke Isegun DCC, Akinyele Region)

I see the periods as mixture of various dispositions. 1. The ban on Congregational service has affected those who are not spiritually strong. We have some Christians who depend on others to be strong and vibrant. 2. Congressional vigil has been seriously hampered, and many other experiences that if shared here might be misconstrued.



Lekan Ogunyemi, CAC Oke Aseyori, Ojo Awori Coordinating Councils


Two months without congregational worship has been too bad. Lukewarmness has taken over many of us! Nothing like workers prayer, no face to face sermon! There is no vigil or prayer programme and this is not helping many Christians. When last did we fast? When last did we read the scripture! My advice is that the church of God should be open and the guidance should be maintained.



Adetifa Oluwatimilehin
CAC Revival Center
Ijoka DCC headquarters

The past two months without workers prayer, Sunday school e.t.c has been unusual especially AWON ALASE  SO WIPE (THE AUTHORITY SAID THAT)

BUT THANK GOD WE HAVE BEEN TRAINED FOR DAYS LIKE THIS THROUGH THE SECRET PLACE (PLACE OF PERSONAL ALTAR) WHICH HAS HELPED SO MANY OF US TO KEEP THE LANDMARKS OF OUR FATHERS AND ALSO THE ONLINE MEETINGS OF GENERAL EVANGELIST. WE LOOK FORWARD TO REOPENING OF CHURCHES AND OUR PRAYER MOUNTAINS



OLADEJI AYOMIDE ABRAHAM
C.A.C OKE IYE ASSEMBLY, IYANA IWARE, AKINMOORIN, OYO.

WHAT A GREAT END TIME EXPERIENCE!

 The effects of what pandemic period of COVID-19 caused to the church of God without the congregation worship (two month) has brought many things to the church.

1) Many souls have deviated from the presence of God.

2) It has made one know the true worshippers of God, due to the social distance.

3) The love of God in many souls has waxed cold, because they can't stand on their own to meditate in the word of God.

4) it shows how people move closer to God, without congregation, because many families have been affected.

5) it has turned many ministers of God to something else, because of no proper preparation for the lockdown.



Shadare Oladotun, CAC CITY OF GOD, AGBARA ZONE AKINYELE REGION

Well, it has not been easy without the congregational worship because there is more joy worshipping as congregation, but worshipping alone is boring.



Oyedotun Opeyemi,
CAC Oke isegun IFETEDO ZONE, BABALOLA REGION

I have missed a lot without worshipping and gathering with the congregation. There are happiness and joy while worshipping with the congregation. And also, this period taught me that our God is everywhere and answers prayer anywhere at anytime...
Finally, it helps the body of Christ to develop new technologies and innovative ideas..


Awolowo Paul from CAC Ile-Ayo, 

This past two months has really shown how truly we can survive, and those who claim to love God but didn't show the love to their neighbors. It has really shown passion to the church service but not concentrating on our own personal growth. This shows us that we lack the secret place or altar in our homes. This is a time I see that the world has advanced and those who are on the Lord's side are ready, and I can say things are going online now, and we don't have just a single site or TV stations either in the popular decoders, Dstv, Gotv, StarTimes etc. I really wish we had our President, General Superintendent and General Evangelist in one pulpit conducting service for all. This is to tell us that we need a combined programme that all the children of Apostle Ayo Babalola will gather under one roof both home and abroad. I want to use medium to appreciate our General Evangelist for his social media platforms that keep us still awake for Christ. I pray may God help our leaders in this present time to take us all home in the Heavenly place.


Fagbila Olubukola, CAC Agbala Itura Onireke Oyo State  

I see the period as developmental period for me in moving closer to God that I can stand alone and pray without large congregation.



Barnes Sakin, CAC Reigning Chapel

How I wish it does not end! I had a swell time with my family and in His presence. We sing and dance together. We share the Word of God and pray together as in Ori-Oke type. We conduct vigil every Friday. Our Sunday service last for three or four hours. We collect offering which we keep in an envelope to submit in the church when the lockdown is over. I receive alerts from known and unknown sources. I never lack throughout. It was a period of spiritual rejigging and transformation. How I wish it continues except that I missed the word of knowledge from my District Superintendent, thus says the Lord from women evangelists, the spiritually charged atmosphere during revivals and so on.



Pastor Clement Kayode Olamide, District Superintendent CAC Totoro District, Lafenwa Zone, Abeokuta Akinyele Region


My experience in the two months without congregational worship, somehow looks boring, in these areas 1. Heb 10:25 buttress not to forsake the  gathering of the saints. With that, church is the body of Christ, Yoruba says Enikan kii je awa de. A person cannot beat the drum, jingle bells or be ringing bells alone, the solitary aspect will not be suitable or pleasant. 2. Joint prayer has been our practice right from the days of our Papas or Babas in the Lord.3. Special anthem or numbers from the Choirs with lyrics of 4 parts, was missing. 4. Order of service was missed. 5:Testimony times like Special thanksgiving, vow and pledges were missed is part of the service, 6. Some members coming to church brings some joy and happiness, in the presence of God +Psalm 16:11). I think our authority should help us to appeal to the FG to lift ban stopping our usual Sunday service. Long live CAC Worldwide n the FG of Nigeria.

1 comment:

  1. The Lord will continue strengthening you and the crew generally.Amen

    ReplyDelete