As churches continue to stream their services online, President Trump made it known that he will be watching.
On Saturday evening, Trump tweeted, “Palm Sunday is the beginning of a Holy week for many people of Faith and a great day to lift our voices in Prayer. I will be tuning into Pastor @greglaurie at @harvestorg Church in Riverside, California tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. Eastern."
Palm Sunday is the beginning of a Holy week for many people of Faith and a great day to lift our voices in Prayer. I will be tuning into Pastor @greglaurie at @harvestorg Church in Riverside, California tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. Eastern. https://t.co/2eTaKsZVT4— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2020
According to CBN News, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California called “Americans to turn their worry into worship and pray for an end to the spread of coronavirus.”
He noted on social media that his church’s online worship attendance experienced a “nearly 50 percent increase” from a week ago.
Laurie wrote on Instagram, "We had 359,000 people watch our webcast of "Harvest At Home". That number is realistically much larger because in many cases, families and groups are watching together."
Viewership aside, the number of professions of faith were also highlighted.
"Best of all, we had 3,188 people make professions of faith to follow Jesus Christ. If you combine that with last week's webcast, that means we have had 5,000 people give their lives to Jesus Christ," Laurie wrote.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, on April 1, Harvest Christian Fellowship started offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 in its parking lot, making it Riverside’s third testing site.
The church posted on Facebook that they are “pleased to have been chosen as one of the drive-thru testing spots for COVID-19 testing.”
“We want to be as helpful as we can during this difficult season and this opportunity is allowing us to do that."
On Palm Sunday, Laurie addressed his concern of some people’s poor response to the virus “as though this has not been asked of us” and called for selfless consideration as people around them can potentially get infected.
Viewers of the online service were also encouraged to remember, amid anxieties and concerns, “that Jesus’ understands, and he cares, and he wants you to cast that care and give those burdens over to him.”
Despite the church building being closed, Laurie reminded the congregation that they are “the temple of God” in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.
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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.