COVID-19: The Redeemed, Deeper Life, Winners, Others Adjust Crossover Services
All over the world, cross-over services are significant events that usher in a New Year. Cross-over services hold majorly in churches on the night of December 31 every year and Christians usually gather to pray and worship their Maker for the gift of a brand New Year. As a custom, the services start a few hours before 12am and end some minutes after 12am.
But with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted livelihood and ways of doing things, the cross-over services into the year 2021 will be different in many ways as global health authorities discourage large gatherings to curb the spread of the virus.
In Nigeria, state governments like Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Cross River, amongst others have warned churches against holding cross-over services this Thursday, insisting that the 12am to 4am curfew imposed by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 subsists. The PTF also stressed the need to maintain social distancing, use of face masks and hand sanitisers as Nigeria battles the second wave of the virus.
Following these directives, leading Christian clerics in the country have adjusted their cross-over services with many opting for the virtual experience.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Monday, said the church’s cross-over service would start by 6pm.
In a Facebook post on his verified page, the 78-year-old cleric wrote, “God has been so good to us. He has kept us despite the many hurdles of this year. It is time to crossover gallantly into 2021. Be a part of the crossover service and be empowered for the year 2021.”
The post was accompanied by a flyer which has 6pm as the commencement time, while members were encouraged to link up with the service online.
A top official of the church who spoke with The PUNCH on the condition of anonymity said, “There is no physical cross-over service; we are linking with Daddy (Adeboye) virtually.”
Also, the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries led by Dr Daniel Olukoya said the church’s cross-over service would hold physically between 9pm and 11pm while it would continue virtually into the New Year.
A circular dated December 29, 2020, and signed by Pastor Gbesan Adebambo, the church’s Assistant General Overseer in charge of Administration, partly read, “The leadership of this ministry has directed that, in view of the government safety and health regulations, coupled with the imposed curfew between 12am and 4am, the cross-over night service on the 31st of December, 2020, would now hold from 9pm to 11pm on Thursday.”
The Living Faith Church Worldwide aka Winners’ Chapel led by Bishop David Oyedepo has also said the church’s cross-over service would hold between 6pm and 8pm.
A member of the church who craved anonymity confirmed this to The PUNCH. “My pastor announced it on Sunday and he said it was the instruction from CanaanLand,” the member said.