Despite Backlash For Some Not Suspending In-Person Services Amid The Coronavirus, Many Churches Are Live Streaming To Protect Parishioners
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen many posts on social media condemning churches that were still having in-person services amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, I haven’t seen many posts celebrating the churches that transitioned to live streaming to protect their parishioners.
Criticism of any large public gatherings is warranted as it goes against health officials’ advice to stop the spread. Yet, there are many churches whose leadership was responsible and took heed.
The preference of many to harp on those who gathered in-person, yet not celebrate those who found innovative ways to connect to their congregations – and an entire world in peril for that matter – speaks to the innate tendency humans have to focus on what’s wrong instead of praising what’s right.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 33: Dr. Gina Paige
Jamarlin talks to Dr. Gina Paige about African Ancestry, the company that used DNA to pioneer a new way of tracing African lineages and helped 500,000+ people reconnect with their roots. They discuss whether acquiring a knowledge of self and reconnecting with the motherland is the key to scaling African-American cultural optimization and economic empowerment in America. They also discuss whether folks with resources can be “about that life” with no curiosity to visit the motherland.
Beyond live streaming services, many churches have launched worship through Zoom, conference calls, text message chains, etc. Why aren’t more people highlighting them?
Michele Beatty, one of my former supervisors, once told me not to bring her any problems if I didn’t also provide solutions. It was a potent reminder that it is my responsibility, and yours, to stop complaining and start changing the things we can..
As believers know, it’s not the building, but the people, who are the church. So, I’ve decided to highlight seven churches you can worship with from your home during this coronavirus pandemic.
COOL Church – Based in Miramar, Florida
COOL stands for “Created Out Of Love.” Since it launched in 2019, this church’s gigantic heart for people has been on full display. True to its name, COOL Church lovingly wraps its arms around the community, both locally and abroad. It is dedicated to “Building Strong Families To Build Strong Communities.” COOL is led by husband and wife team, Terrance and Johanne Wilson and a team of servant leaders.
When social distancing was recommended, COOL cancelled its in-person gatherings at the Miramar Cultural Center and began live streaming to reach parishioners. Services are broadcast live on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Sundays at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Wilsons also lead an online prayer on Instagram on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and have other live programming throughout the week on their channels.
IMPACT Church – Based in Atlanta, Georgia
Committed to doing church differently, Impact Church was launched in 2007. It prides itself on being inclusive, committed to holistic salvation, doing Christ’s work in the world and smashing the status quo so people can “live differently remarkably beyond anyone’s imagination of what’s possible.” Impact is led by a team of pastors, including Lead Pastor Olu Brown, Dawn Wright, Orlando Evans and more.
Impact was live streaming services before the coronavirus pandemic. Services are normally streamed at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. However, since suspending in-person services due to coronavirus, Brown and his team have updated their streaming service time to 10 a.m. on Sundays.
You can connect with them online on Facebook @impactdoingchurchdifferently or Instagram @impactdcd. You can also visit impactdoingchurchdifferently.org for updates and information.
Christ The Rock Community Church (CRCC) – Based in Cooper City, Florida
Christ The Rock Community Church (CRCC) was officially formed in 1993 after previously being Christ The Rock Church. Its mission is “to lead people into an ever-growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ in Cooper City and beyond.” CRCC is led by Senior Pastor Darrell M. Owens, along with a leadership team comprised of staff and a Board of Directors.
According to its COVID-19 Update, services will be streamed live Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook. CRCC will also offer “Selah Moments” via Facebook Live to encourage viewers at 12 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
You can connect with them @crcconline on Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo and Twitter. They also have an app and podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify and Soundcloud. You can also visit them at crcconline.org for updates and information.
Greater Saint Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church – Based in New Orleans and Atlanta
Greater Saint Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church has deep roots in New Orleans. Originally founded as Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in 1937, the church has long been a beacon in the Big Easy. Its mission is “to be a word-centered ministry designed to ‘Bridge the Gap’ between Calvary and Pentecost.” With multiple locations, the church is led by husband and wife team Pastors Debra and Paul Morton.
Though the church was already equipped with live stream services, they welcome all users to log online to worship at 10:30 a.m. CST on Sundays and 7 p.m. CST on Wednesdays. Viewers can watch on Facebook @GreaterStStephenFGBC, YouTube or their online watchnow page. It also has interpreters for deaf viewers. The church also hosts a prayer line on Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. CST. The number is 504-383-0995.
You can also connect with them on Twitter @GSS_FGBC, Instagram @gss_fbc or their website gssmin.org.
The Brook Miami – Based in Miami, Florida
The Brook Miami was planted in 2015 after Pastor Muche Ukegbu, his wife Diamone and their three children were called from Atlanta to do ministry in Miami. A family-centered, multi-cultural church, The Brook is committed to ‘growing a people, from all people, to be passionate for God,’ They invite people who attend their gatherings to “Drink Deeply. Live Passionately. Thirst for More.” It is led by a team of pastors and servant leaders, including The Ukegbus.
The church was already live streaming, but announced it would suspend-in person services as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19 on March 13 via Instagram.
Services are streamed at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Viewers can watch by connecting with them either on Facebook @thebrookmiami or on their livestream webpage. Previous broadcasts are also available on the website.
You can connect with The Brook Miami’s online community @thebrookmia on Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit them at thebrookmiami.org for updates and information.
The Potters House at ONE LA – Based in Los Angeles and Denver
A self-described multi-generational movement, The Potter’s House at ONE LA “is a place where all people can encounter God, faith, and community in an authentic, relevant and uplifting environment.” It is led by husband and wife team Pastors Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts.
One LA already had a very active online ministry, but said in a COVID-19 Update on its website, it would suspend in-service gatherings “out of our great care for you and unity with our city’s compliance with the Governor’s order …” adding, “You can expect LIVE worship, LIVE prayer, powerful ministry and faith stirring messages to be shared.”
Services are streamed at 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. PCT on Sundays. The church also has a Denver branch that it streams at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for Sundays. They offered a step-by-step guide on how to watch online.
Rhema Chapel International Churches, HQ – Based in Nigeria
Affectionately called the “Home of The Blessed People,” Rhema Chapel International Churches, HQ is a multi-layered ministry that believes in the divine counsel God’s Word provides. According to its website, the church “remains fully committed to helping build the man, family and ministry through the instrumentality of the word of God, and the apt help of the Holy Spirit.” It is led by Rev. George Adegboye.
Rhema Chapel announced it would make all of its services available online on March 27 through both video and audio streaming. Services will start at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively. You can view services on Facebook @rhemachapelhq or on their website’s livestream page. You can also listen to the service online at mixlr.com/rhemachapelhq.
To learn more about Rhema Chapel, you can connect with them on Instagram @rhemachapelhq, Twitter @HQRhemaChapel or visit their website rhemachapelonline.com.