General Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare has stood out as a respectable voice in this dire period of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading the charge against the disease as a religious leader, his actions and statements have helped to educate, motivate and energise the willingness of many to make better decisions about COVID-19.
In his sermons, he has portrayed the need to preach the right message about the disease and has proven and dared to be different from several other religious leaders who have continuously called for the reopening of churches and mosques. For the Abeokuta-born clergyman, worship can be done from anywhere, and he has typified this by his actions.
Foremost on the list of his good deeds is his decision to donate his church halls as an isolation Centre to the government. This has been met with plaudits, as he set an example and urged others to tow that path, as their token of support to the efforts made by the Nigerian government.
“After all, it was to the safe custody of the Inn Keeper that the good Samaritan in the parable of The Good Samaritan kept the wounded man left for dead on the way to Jericho,” he said.
“The Inn Keeper is the pastor, the Inn is the church, the wounded man is the sick world, and the two denarii are wages for two years because a day with the lord is like a thousand years.
“I recommend that our church halls be made available to the government as isolation centres, and those of us who could afford it should be there to support the government.
“I am not suggesting what we are not prepared to do. We have already done that in our church. We have offered two of our facilities to the Lagos state government and the private residences we have in Abeokuta we have offered also to the Ogun state government.
“Brothers and sisters, we should all thank God that there is no distance in the spirit–lockdown or no lockdown and that the church is not the building but the saints of God, that is the body of Christ,” he said.
The CGCC is offering the LASG parts of our current Church facilities at Akilo Road, Ogba, to be used as an isolation center for Covid-19 cases. The CGCC Medical Missions will onboard LASG officials to ensure the best utilization of this space #Thread #MyBrothersKeeper pic.twitter.com/QyDLOF2mx5
— The Citadel Global Community Church (@TheCitadelGCC) May 10, 2020
A Vice Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 election where he was current President, Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate, Bakare makes strong political stances and is known to speak against powers that be, when it is of utmost necessity.
“I’m so sorry for our country at this juncture; I’m so sorry that we are pressurising the government to open churches and to open mosques; you want calamity upon calamity. The church has not been closed; nobody can close the church.
“Yes, it is true that buildings are closed but the church is marching on. No one can close the church. And government can shut down the buildings; they cannot force us to go back because I’m not going to endanger the lives of our people,” he said in one of his comments.
In his disapprovals of the statement of a foremost Nigerian religious leader on the reopening of churches, Bakare explained why markets are opened and churches and mosques are banned in some states.
“I would like to bring ethical correction to some of the lamentations of certain people within the church over the ban of congregational worship in churches across the land, while markets and hospitals are allowed to operate,” he said.
“The government’s order to open the markets to operate for a few days is to prevent hunger, especially in the life of daily earners because the palliatives from the government cannot go to every citizen in their homes right now.
“Those churches with multiple facilities, rather than their leaders criticizing the government, they should collaborate with them. They must be prepared to offer some of their halls to governmental authorities as isolation centres in support of the efforts of the government,”
Bakare, a University of Lagos Law graduate was called to bar in 1981. He served with Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, Rotimi Williams and Co Solicitors before going on to establish the Tunde Bakare & Co (El Shaddai Chambers) in 1984.
He was a Pastor at the Deeper Life Bible Church and the Redeemed Christian Church of God before starting the Latter Rain Assembly.
Pastor Bakare, 66, presides over Global Apostolic Impact Network (GAIN) – a network of churches, ministries and kingdom businesses committed to advancing the Kingdom of God on earth.
He is the President of Latter Rain Ministries, Inc. (Church Development Center) in Atlanta, GA, USA, a ministry committed to restoring today’s church to the scriptural pattern. He was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree by the Indiana Christian University under the leadership of his mentor, Dr. Lester Sumrall in 1996.
In his comparison of the Coronavirus pandemic to Noah’s situation in the bible, he said; “Noah did not jump out of the ark; he sent the raven first to test the ground. The raven never returned. He sent the duck twice; on the third occasion, it did not return. He knew it was safe to go out but he still stayed there until God said, ‘Noah, come out!’
“He (God) locked him in and He brought him out. Let’s be patient. And they now want to start carrying people to their gravesides and be praying for their families. Let’s stay within until that time when the calamity is over.
“Noah was on a lockdown for 150 days. Noah was not trying to prove his anointing by coming out to swim in the flood”,
“So if we cannot congregate because of the present lockdown, we can be very effective in our neighborhoods as our brothers’ keepers and our various workplaces, for those involved in essential services and other daily earners that are permitted for now to go about their trade or business for a few hours of the day.”
For using his contributions to the battle against COVID-19, through speeches and donations of his church halls and private residences as isolation centres to the Lagos and Ogun State governments, Pastor Tunde Bakare is our Nigerian hero of COVID-19/#AledehCOVID19hero of the week.