The Covid 19 pandemic was one thing the world wasn’t prepared for at the beginning of the year. The government, scientists, educationists, researchers, entertainers and many other individuals never saw this coming as we all shouted “Happy New Year” at the beginning of the year. However, the pandemic remains one thing that has made a lot of activities around us to be stalled and stucked till now.
Measures have been adopted by the world governments which include ban on physical gatherings, social distancing, washing of hands, use of sanitizers and the covering of nose and mouth with nose mask. All these and many others have now formed the new age and system we are running in which some refer to as the “new normal”.
Despite restrictions on physical gatherings, especially the compulsory ban on religious gatherings in some states in Nigeria and some parts of the world, gospel ministers and preachers have deviced and leveraged on technology and internet to get across to their congregations, connect with their fans and communicate the gospel.
Several churches have had to host their major events and programmes virtually which could have had thousands in attendance if it was a physical gathering, while some artistes such as Mercy Chinwo, Ccioma, Adeyinka Alaseyori released their albums through a live session on their social media pages.
With the debate about whether the church should be reopened or not still going on around the world and in Nigeria, several ministers have not stopped making use of the social media and internet to disseminate God’s word and reach out to more souls during this global pandemic.
Here are 10 Nigerian Gospel Ministers that have made use of the internet to propagate the kingdom during this pandemic and lock down:
- 1. Onos Ariyo : One person that made use of her social media pretty well during the pandemic and lock down is “Alagbara crooner”, Onos Ariyo who had influenced her instagram followers through her live program “Real Deal” with Onos. The Instagram Live Session had featured interviews with several top celebrities in entertainment, ministry and other spheres of life. The openness and simplicity at which the guests share their lives experiences and stories is one of the reasons this session had given birth to several testimonies from its viewers during this pandemic.
Just few weeks ago, the singer had also blessed her fans and followers with a new song titled Goodness and Mercy in which she featured the amazing vocalist, Pita.
- 2. Bouqui : Veteran America based Award Winning Nigerian Rapper, (Bouqui), despite being inconsistent in terms of releasing singles few months prior to the pandemic decided to make use of the period to enlighten and educate her followers by setting up “Bouqui’s place”.Little would have known that the rapper will be a good host but her live show proved otherwise as she engaged every guests that came on the show like she had been doing it for years. The Insta live show remained one of the best organized by a CHH artiste during the pandemic. The unique thing about “Bouqui’s place” is the lack of segregation and disparities in beliefs as Bouqui invited celebrities both from the gospel and secular world to share their inspiring life journey and experiences. Celebrities such as Samklef, Dekunle Fuji, Mike Abdul, Jim Iyke, Kunle Afolayan and many others have all been part of the programme.
- 3.Mike Abdul : The “Spaghetti Records” boss has also been one of the few gospel ministers who influenced many through his social media platform during the lock down. Apart from dropping viral hit singles during the pandemic, he had also been hosting a daily prayer meeting tagged “Let Us Pray” every night on his instagram live. Mike had often been joined by hundreds of followers every night as he continually raised prayers for the nation and the world. Since he started in May, he has been able to influence thousands of online warriors to pray with him every night. Apart from this, Mike had also been part of several online events and has been a guest on several instagram live chat where he shares his stories which have continuously inspired many.
- 4. Wilson Joel : If you are thinking music producers cannot be a good live show host, then Wilson Joel is here to prove you wrong. Perhaps the only music producer who had used the social media platform to influence many during the pandemic. The award winning producer and writer of hit song “Alagbara”, used his his over 58k followers instagram page to enlighten, educate, inspire and encourage many during the lock down. Apart from speaking hard and addressing several societal issues in a godly and careful way, the producer also hosted instagram live sessions where he interviewed many celebrities in the entertainment industry and ministry. Personalities such as Comedian Ali Baba, Ghanaian singer and preacher Sonnie Badu, activist Sega, Laolu Gbenjo, Bukola Bekes, Glowreeyah and many others were guests on the “MusicMagnate” Connect as they spoke on several issues pertaining to music, church and the society.
- 5. Paul Adefarasin : The over 6 ft tall senior pastor and founder of House On The Rock was also part of the ministers who used the social media pretty well during the lock down. Despite his church House On The Rock (HOTR) being one of the top churches when it comes to internet presence, their presence further increased during the pandemic as the Church and preacher takes over every media. With the restrictions on physical religious gathering still active in Lagos State where the headquarters of the church is located, the preacher and church has leveraged on the use of internet most especially the social media to continually engage with their audience nationwide. The annual programme organised by the church which could have been cancelled was held virtually with the likes of Mensah Otabil, TD Jakes, joined the preacher on their social media platforms to bless lives and spread the kingdom message during this pandemic.
- 6. Eunice U.: Another beautiful worshipper and sensational gospel minister who made use of the pandemic period and lock down to influence lives through her social media page is Gospel Recording Artiste and Worship Leader, Eunice U. The “Your Presence” crooner has been a blessing to lives on her page as she hosted an interactive live session titled “Revealing His Presence” where she was joined by Dare David, Sofi Mendez, Tonia Shodunke and The Tanzanian Twins. The Maranatha Awards USA nominee for Best Praise/Exaltation Song for 2020 is also the host of “Morning Dew”, an instagram live worship session which holds every Sundays where she draws many to the kingdom through her messages and songs.
- 7. Tope Alabi : Award winning indigenous gospel singer, Tope Alabi who was named among the “Top 10 Most Followed Instagram Gospel Artistes” has been remarkable in terms of using her platform to bless the over one million followers on her Instagram and Facebook page. The singer hosted several praise sessions and prayer meetings which birthed several testimonies during the lock down. Earlier at the beginning of the pandemic, the singer had to settle to a virtual edition of her annual worship concert “Praise The Almighty” which gathered over 10,000 online viewers on only instagram. After then, Tope had also hosted “21 Days Family Covenent Praise” and several online worship concerts as she continues to spread the gospel with her social media influence.
- 8. Nathaniel Bassey : Award winning singer and worshipper, Pastor Nathaniel Bassey had always been a familiar face with the internet and social media as he always conducts prayer and praise sessions often on his page. This didn’t wean down even during the pandemic as the “Olowogbogboro” singer on most nights continued to do same for the nation and individuals. His annual “Hallelujah Challenge” took a new turn this year as it was organised twice during the lock down. This gave birth to several testimonies and miracles as the minister continues to make use of his close to two million followers on instagram page to draw many to God.
- 9.Woli Arole : It will be utter injustice not to include the Gospel Comedian, Toyin Bayegun popularly called “Woli Arole” whose Instagram Live Platform, “Chat Room” has been an inspiration to many through the numerous numbers of celebrities that have been part of the live show. Arole’s Chat room was rated as one of the Best Social Media Instagram Live Show during the Pandemic. In 2 months, the comedian was able to have invited over 100 personalities from different spheres of life and have been able to gather millions of views and impressions in two months. With several personalities from both the gospel world and secular world coming to share their journey to success, the platform has really been one that had reached out to many with the message of truth this season.
10. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome: The televangelist and preacher can’t but make this list after making so much impact and also making the headlines of news during the pandemic. The LoveWorld Inc founder was a subject of criticism during the lock down as he leveraged on the internet and social media to reveal the fiasco going on around the world. The preacher was able to speak against the vaccine which was suggested to start with Africans as he also spoke against the installation of 5G and its relationship with the Covid 19. His “Global Days of Prayer” was at a time said to have reached out to billions of people online as the preacher never waxed on his intention to take the good news to every part of the world.
Ova Skillz : The rapper through his instagram live “Thursday hangout” with artistes has been a blessing to many.
Poju Oyemade : The preacher who is also used to the internet is also one of the ministers whose platforms reached out to many during the pandemic through his educating programmes and his biblical teachings.