By Lowen Mutambara
Popular Harare cleric and founder of Goodness and Mercy Ministries Prophet Tapiwa Freddy will starting from today conduct church services online following the ban on public gatherings due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Zimbabwe as of yesterday had three confirmed cases of Covid-19 and is under a state of disaster with schools set to close on Tuesday and gatherings of more than 100 people banned as a form of social distancing.
This has seen a number of church organisations, mostly those that attract many followers, either suspending services or finding innovative means to reach out to their congregants.
Prophet Freddy, one of the popular clerics on social media platforms, on Friday decided to conduct his church services online in order to provide people with the much-needed Word of God.
Despite having a huge following on online platforms, Prophet Freddy has over the years presided over church services before a full house at his church premises in Glen View 8 in Harare.
However, with the advent of the deadly Covid-19, the preacher, famed for the “spiritual spectacles”, took heed of the government’s call to ban large gatherings as a way of social distancing.
“This Sunday [today] service and other services to come would be streamed live between 11am and 12 noon,” Prophet Freddy told Standard Style.
The prophet-cum-musician said he would also be conducting online prophecies.
“People with problems can still reach to us and we can assist them through our mobile phones and social media platforms.”
The Harare preacher, who is due to release his fifth album titled Area 1 next month, said he had been assisting a number of people through online platforms, but that these new developments had been necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Goodness and Mercy Ministries’ televangelism through its television channel GMM-TV has been reaching out to thousands of people across the globe for the past three years.
Apart from GMM-TV, Prophet Freddy does sermons on local television broadcaster ZTV and selected radio stations.
Meanwhile, the deputy bishop of the Apostolic Flame Ministries Richard Nkomo told Standard Style that they will have to abide by the government’s decree to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
“We will follow what the president said and we are encouraging our members to pray at their homes and strongly pray against the disease since there is no cure for it as of now,” Nkomo said.
“However, it needs divine intervention and we have postponed our national conferences which we do every Easter holiday.”
St Luke Apostolic Church, which is based in Chipinge, said they had changed their programme in line with the government’s decree.
“We have postponed our annual Passover since the government has banned gatherings of more than 100 people, so the date of this year’s Passover will be announced in due course,” said Peter Makaza, who is the spokesperson of the church.