DAYTON, Ohio (WDNT) – Omega Baptist Church in Dayton is one of many churches and religious institutions that opted against holding services on Sunday.
Although Governor DeWine’s executive order banning large gatherings of 100 or more people excludes churches, leaders at Omega Baptist made the decision to offer online streaming as an option for congregants.
Sunday morning the sanctuary of Omege Baptist, which can hold nearly a thousand people, was practically empty.
Senior Pastor Joshua Ward, a choir, a media team and a few ministers were all that could be found in the building. Hundreds of others joined online through Facebook and the churches website.
“It’s not fear about necessarily what this disease would do but it’s really a decision to do our part as the Omega Baptist Church to try and help slow down at least the spread of this virus in consideration of our congregants and also in consideration of the broader and greater Dayton community,” explained Pastor Ward.
As experts predict cases of coronavirus will increase through April and May, other churches including Omega Baptist must deal withthe challenge of raising money, offferings donations and other gifts that are usually given during service.
“The majority of our giving is collected through in person means only about 30 percent of what we bring in on a weekly basis is collected online at this point,” said Pastor Ward.
Church leaders say right now they have no choice but to keep the faith during these quickly changing times.
“This is an unprecedented time, but an unprecedented opportunity for us to love on one another,” said Pastor Ward. “This was really kind of a faith leap for us but we really just trusted that God is big enough to meet us in our living rooms and at our kitchen tables.”