× Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education U-Report E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian SDE Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Apostle John Kimani of Kingdom Seekers Fellowship Nakuru preaches to an empty church yesterday. The service was live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

But congregants yesterday had to seek different, unorthodox means to get their spiritual nourishment.

On a normal Sunday morning, churches would be abuzz with activity as songs of praise and worship envelope the sanctuaries.

But congregants yesterday had to seek different, unorthodox means to get their spiritual nourishment.

Church compounds were deserted and musical instruments silent as a directive banning gatherings was effected in efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Worshippers resorted to following televised church services while others took to social media, especially Facebook.

SEE ALSO: Hell for man forced to spend night alone with his wife’s corpse

A spot check by The Standard in Nairobi revealed that except for the Holy Family Minor Basilica where John Cardinal Njue presided over Mass, the doors of other churches remained firmly shut. Njue’s was a virtual sermon as the church was empty. A few priests assisted with the Mass.

Evangelical Alliance of Kenya Nairobi chapter chairman Peter Njao said after the government banned social gatherings, they had turned to technology to reach their faithful.

“We are using Facebook, Zoom for committee meetings, and recording services to share via WhatsApp. This has created a situation where you minister to almost every family together at once,” said bishop Njao.

In Nakuru, the Kingdom Seekers Fellowship that has a sitting capacity of 8,000 was empty apart from church founder John Kimani and eight choir members during a service that aired on the church’s TV station and social media platforms for two hours.

Hunger for God

SEE ALSO: Safaricom closes TRM shop after staff catches Covid-19

“Even without a congregation our desire to meet our hunger for God is still alive. God desires that we think of our intimacy with Him,” said apostle Kimani.

Kimani said he supported the closure of churches, noting that technology would come in handy to reach the masses and give them hope amid the pandemic.

“This is not the first shake-up in the world. There may be even more shake-ups worse than the coronavirus to come but Kenya is a godly nation. We are being tempted but it is not beyond us,” he said.

At the 3,500-seat Deliverance Church in Nakuru, it was only Elijah Mwangi and his media team who were present to ensure members got their spiritual nourishment at home.

“We communicated to our members in time that we shall be ministering through social media. We had hundreds of them participating in the one-hour service,” said pastor Mwangi.

SEE ALSO: Atwoli dismisses claims luncheon defied Covid-19 rules

He said that by suspending Sunday services, the church would play a big role in ensuring that the spread of covid-19 is contained.

“The darkness in our land will soon come to an end. We need to pray even harder and stand with each other at this hard time. The measures taken by the government need support from all at an individual level,” said Mwangi.

He described the scourge as “a blessing in disguise because it has brought many families together.”

“The family altar has been strengthened. Many parents and their children who hardly had time for each other have come together. The whole world is currently united like never before.”

Churches across Nyanza also remained shut as religious leaders resorted to other means to preach the gospel.

SEE ALSO: Tana River girls in dire need of sanitary pads as World marks menstrual hygiene day

Bondo Anglican Church Diocese Bishop David Kodia conducted a 20-minute service on his Facebook page that was followed by hundreds of church members and friends.

“Today, I have opted to deliver my sermon through Facebook because of the times brought about by covid-19 across the world,” said Kodia.

Prayer groups

There were no services at the St Teresa’s and St Joseph’s Catholic churches in Kisumu as bishops and priests shared their sermons through WhatsApp prayer groups.

“The arrangement has worked well. The church has reached us through social media. I have the sermon and homily on my phone,” said Bonfredrerine Odhiambo.

SEE ALSO: Pope calls for end to 'pandemic of poverty' after virus

Archbishop Washington Ogonyo Ngede of the Power of Jesus Around the World Church also delivered his sermon through a live stream on his Facebook page.

Kisumu Archbishop Philip Anyolo said although there was no physical congregation, Catholic faithful were urged to have “a spiritual union.”

The prelate said while other churches were encouraging their faithful to send offerings via mobile money transfer, the Catholic Church was encouraging its members to share what they would have brought to church with the less fortunate.

Head of Anglican Church of Kenya Jackson ole Sapit, in his pastoral letter, encouraged members to give and support the church through digital means.

Archbishop Sapit told congregants to “help disseminate messages of hope in the form of sermonettes, Bible verses and other encouragements through affordable and appropriate platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.

On Saturday, the Seventh Day Adventist Church aired a service to its followers through its Hope Channel Kenya television station.

The service was conducted by President of the Western Kenya Union Samwel Misiani who urged the faithful to remain strong and trust in God.

The coronavirus pandemic, he said, would be overcome through self-discipline and prayers

covid-19 Coronavirus

Read More