Dunamis Church International observed a physical service in its 100-000 seater capacity Glory Dome auditorium along Airport Road in Abuja.
The church founded and overseen by Paul Enenche and his wife, Becky Enenche, tagged the service “Sensitisation Service” and released account details for “Online Offerings”.
Abuja churches defy FCTA ban
Apart from Dunamis, many churches in Abuja held their normal services with hundreds and thousands of worshippers in attendance, despite the restriction by the FCTA.
Churches monitored by one of our correspondents in Kubwa, Jabi and Gwarinpa areas were filled as usual and their services held for the normal durations.
The correspondent counted more than 20 churches along the Arab Road, Kubwa, which opened on Sunday with the normal inflow of worshippers.
The churches included the Dunamis International Church, and the Champions Church, Chikakore, having some of the largest congregations in the area.
A worshipper, Mr Elijah Martins, said he decided to still go to church despite the FCTA restrictions because he believed Abuja was not as vulnerable yet as the South-West states.
He said, “We have to go to markets and buy food items despite the FCTA order. So, why can we not worship on Sunday? I think Abuja has not got to that stage and we pray it does not. As you can see, most churches are open and there is no panic.
“I may not come the next Sunday if the situation worsens but we are praying it does not get to that terrible level.”
Our correspondent observed that most churches provided hand sanitisers and tried to ensure that people did not engage in physical contacts.
A cleric in one of the churches monitored, Pastor Akinola Oludare, said the Federal Government had voted huge amounts of money to fight the virus, and he believed that if the money was put into proper use, the pandemic would not last long in the country.
Also, the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Abuja, Biodun Fatoyinbo, invited members of his church for a ‘physical’ worship service on Sunday, March 22.
But one of our correspondents learnt that Fatoyinbo, who came under scathing criticisms from social media users, did not broadcast the service online.
Meanwhile, health workers at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada have expressed the fear over the presence of coronavirus patient in their hospital.
One of the doctors who spoke on condition of anonymity said the fact that they would have to cater for the patients shocked them because of the deadly nature of the virus.