When COVID-19 broke out, the initial reaction on social media was that Black people were immune to the pandemic. It turns out that this disease affects all peoples. Now, Black people in the U.S. are known to be disproportionally impacted due to underlying poor health conditions, And a United Nations report last month said up to 3.3 million Blacks in Africa would die of the disease. Since then, its impact on Black people has been an issue of major concern.
In an effort to address the problem, many African-Americans recently joined Africans and Caribbeans to call for divine intervention against COVID-19 and injustice on Africa Liberation Day, which coincided with this year’s Memorial Day.
The historic online prayer conference was sponsored by the Chicago-based Africa Resurrection and Restoration Ministries (ARRM) and attracted pastors, ministers, and elders from the U.S, and some African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Liberia. Among those who attended were: Pastor Michael Jones I, St. Titus One M.B. Church and President of Pastors Organized With Equity and Respect (P.O.W.E.R); Pastor Robert Chambers, New Testament Memorial Baptist Church; Pastor Antony Vick, M.O.R.E. Jesus Family Fellowship Church, Ypsilanti, MI; Rev. Dr. Joseph Rhoiney, President, Ministry ONE; Marc Henkel, Agape Center Co-Director, CRU Inner City; Rev. Charlene Joy Johnson of Ohio; and Pastor. Ernest Baker Sr., New Hope Christian Missionary Baptist Church, and ARRM’s board chairperson.
Others included: Rev. Dr. Kofi-Nonoo, President of the Council of Ghanaian Churches (CGC), and senior pastor of the Ebenezer United Church; Dr. Gabriel Amoateng-Boahen, CGC vice-president and a retired University of Chicago Chaplain; Rev. Nana Owusu-Bempah, CGC Chairperson and pastor of the Church of the Ghanaian Community, Hyde Park; Rev. James Acquaah, pastor of Ghana Presbyterian Church, Chicago; Evangelist/Bishop A.L. Eziekel of Nigeria; Rev. James Sheldou of Liberia, who is also pastor of the Living Sacrifices Church, Chicago; and Rev. Douglas Onchiri, pastor/overseer of a church in Kenya.
In a collective prayer led by Dr. Nicholas Okaiijah-Thompson, ARRM’s Minister and General Secretary of the Council of Ghanaian Churches, the assembly prayed to the “God of our fathers and mothers for mercy and forgiveness for all sins and unrighteousness Black people have committed.” Followed by a chant, “Oh Lord hear our cry,” the African minister offered a prayer a faith that “no pestilence or COVID-19 that walks in darkness or noonday shall have any adverse negative effect on Black people.”
“We are covered by the Whole Armor of God, by the Blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit,” he declared, indicating later that the Triune God is the source of the resilient spirit of Black people struggling against injustice.
A moving prayer was offered all the way from Africa in the local dialect by Kenya’s Rev. Onchiri for the protection of Black people from COVID-19.
During an intercessional phase, prayers for deliverance, favor, protection, and personal problems relating to COVID-19 were offered by a team of ministers including Eld. Francis Quartey, associate pastor of the Apostolic Church, Bolingbrook; Dr. Dorothy Thmpson, ARRM Minister/Secretary; Dr. Faustina Aryee, a former public health professor; Georgene Acquaah of the Bible Study Group Ministry; Sister Marcia Carter of Arizona; Eld. Mary Ellis; Sister Dorean Miles; and Mother Jean Kimble, all from Chicago. A special prayer for all aspects of healing was offered by Rev. DeAndre Estes, Pastor of the Healing River Christian Center, Chicago.
Later, a thought-provoking keynote address was given by Rev. Dr. George Kugblenu, a Ghanaian associate pastor in South Carolina, ex-University Dean, Ambassador, and the W.E.B. Dubois Center chairperson. He dismissed the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa’s alarming report that over three million Africans would die from COVID-19. The former diplomat-turned minister said the report was “calculated without the God-factor.” He stressed that Africans are God-fearing and the Lord would “not leave us nor forsake us.” Alluding to sin as a contributing factor to the present situation, he chastised the church for neglecting “Biblical Christianity.” The church has not consistently stood up to evils such as same-sex marriages and abortions that contravene divine will, he indicated.
With hands placed on their hearts, Dr. Amoateng-Boahen led the assembly in the personal prayers against COVID-19. In conclusion, Ghana’s Rev. Dr. Noonoo led the group in singing “Land of Our Birth,” an African liberation struggle song, and offered an emotional closing prayer to the chorus of amen.
The meeting ended on a hopeful note as “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind,” stated an organizer.
“Today, you have lit a light. This light now shines before the presence of the Almighty God signifying the total surrender of the Black world. He is saying Welcome home, Cry no more, I have heard you,” said ARRM Minister Okaijah-Thompson prophetically. “Your people will not die prematurely. You will not be extinguished. Out of this meeting, a new Black man, Black woman, and Black youth will rise up.”
The Africa Resurrection and Restoration Ministries (ARRM), which organized the memorable event, is a non-denominational Christian group committed to the Great Commission and the well-being of Black people worldwide. ARRM is open to all people of African ancestry and meets on the Resurrection Prayer Line: 1-605-313-4875, Access Code – 1053675# every Saturday, 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. (CST). The group has reached people from 12 countries including the Holy Land and has chapters in five states in the U.S. The group can be contacted at [email protected] or visit its website www.arrministries.org.