PRESIDING BISHOP’S STATEMENT ON COVID-19
Dear Members of the Church of God in Christ:
After considerable prayer and direct consultation with trusted medical professionals from around the country, the following is our response to the growing concerns over the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease epidemic (COVID-19) that is currently impacting the world:
As a global organization, the Church of God in Christ is providing and adhering to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC – cdc.gov) guidelines, in addition to fervent, believing prayer. We believe that observance of these guidelines will allow for appropriate preparedness in a joint effort to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible, both collectively and individually.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the key symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your health, as well as the health of others, is to stay home.
As the CDC, Health and Human Services Department, and other federal government agencies work diligently to produce a coronavirus vaccine, please be intentional about common health decorum by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, with immediate disposal of the tissue; and by regularly washing your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
Additionally, when assembled for church services or group gatherings, please refrain from asking congregants to shake hands with or hug their neighbor. We are asking each of our more than 10,000 congregations to aggressively monitor the epidemic as it develops and take all necessary and recommended measures provided by the CDC.
We are living in a challenging time. The COVID-19 outbreak is proving to be a fluid situation that continues to change and become more critical, seemingly hour-to-hour.
I have therefore convened a conference call of the elected heads, from various areas of our Church, to discuss appropriate modifications for the National Church as result of COVID-19, which has now reached pandemic proportions.
We happen to be at the threshold of our annual Spring (April) Call Meeting where critically important decisions are made. Out of an abundance of caution, church leaders, through wisdom and counsel, have determined that we will suspend the April Call Meeting for a more suitable, future date. Our goal is to minimize the exposure that at-risk attendees may potentially place on the many who will come in contact with April Call delegates upon their return home.
As more information emerges, we will consider other upcoming events on our 2020 calendar and make appropriate adjustments accordingly.
Lastly, let us continue to pray for the speedy recoveries of all who have been affected by COVID-19. Please also pray for the many healthcare workers who faithfully serve in numerous patient care settings as essential personnel, for our Church, the nation and the entire world.
The Church of God in Christ trusts in the miraculous healing and protective power of the Lord Jesus Christ. As He alone is our Keeper, we will continue to wholly put our trust and faith in Him. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” – (Psalm 27:13).
Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop & Chief Apostle
Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Seventh in Succession