Thousands of US Christians Move Online to Worship


Thousands of Christians in the country attended worship services online on March 15 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Many religious institutions went virtual to lessen the spread of the respiratory illness.

President Donald Trump declared Sunday as a special national day of prayer and asked citizens to pray for the safety and well-being of those affected by COVID-19, health workers and the nation’s response efforts to the crisis.

You have to choose faith over fear and so today I believe that we’re here by divine assignment. —Pastor Jentezen Franklin

Trump tuned in to the online worship service of Jentezen Franklin, a Georgia-based pastor and one of his evangelical advisers.

“I am watching a great and beautiful service by Pastor Jentezen Franklin. Thank you! @Jentezen,” Trump tweeted.

Franklin’s message, entitled “Choose Faith Over Fear,” was delivered inside the megachurch’s empty auditorium. Health experts advised against holding mass gatherings for the time being.

“All that’s here are empty seats because the building and the seats are not the church. The people are the church,” Franklin said.

The pastor assured every viewer of his Sunday service that despite the chaotic circumstances, God is in control. “Now listen to me carefully, when God shows up in something that seems like it’s out of control it’s to show that He’s in total control and He’s God. And when He’s near, the fear is dispelled in our lives. And today, there’s no need for panic. But we must make a choice. You have to choose faith over fear and so today I believe that we’re here by divine assignment.”

Meanwhile, in Christ Covenant Church in North Carolina, pastor Kevin DeYoung led an online worship service. The church’s website had a bulletin of the liturgy and songs to guide members during the virtual service, reports World Magazine.

The Capitol Hill Baptist Church in D.C. suspended Sunday worship after more than a century—services were last cancelled during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. “Let’s pray for God’s mercy and grace on us and our community in these days,” Pastor Mark Dever wrote. “And for it soon to be safe for us to meet again.”

In West Virginia, the only state without a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Cross Lanes United Methodist Church in Cross Lanes was mostly empty, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Senior pastor, the Rev. Krysta Rexrode Wolfe, advised Christians to use the time to do something productive such as reconnecting with family or sharing groceries with elderly neighbors.

Religious leaders are following government protocol to safeguard their members. In addition to having worship services online, churches have cancelled large weddings, funerals and other festivals. Some groups provide services through phone and social media.

“Our goal is not to frighten anyone, but reduce public gatherings where there is an increased risk of exposure,” said Rev. William Watley to congregants of St. Philip African Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to know what's happening in the Christian community



More like this

Christian Groups Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Bill

More than 80 Christian groups in the US condemned the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In a letter signed by 83 faith-based groups, it called the Senate to oppose the said bill which they claim is an attack on people of faith.

Ukrainian Kids Attend Bible Camps in Hungary

Ukrainian refugee children have enjoyed Bible camp despite being away from their homeland.

Bible Distribution Grew Despite Pandemic

The United Bible Societies (UBS) announced that around 32.6 million copies of the Bible were distributed in 2021, a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year.

Over 3,000 People Accept Jesus at UK Christian Festival

Festival Manchester, the largest Christian mission in the North West of England, attracted 65,000 people, with more that 3,000 Brits responding to the call of Christ.