An impassioned prayer by American televangelist Kenneth Copeland, whose Canadian office resides in Langley, claims the United States will soon be eradicated from COVID-19.
On March 11, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Copeland claimed to heal the disease in viewers of his TV show, asking them to touch the television set as he prayed for them.
“It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again,” spoke Copeland to his TV viewers.
As of Saturday, there were more than 300,000 people diagnosed with the life-threatening virus in the U.S. and 8,000 deaths.
Copeland said God told him “COVID-19 will be over much sooner than [the TV audience, watching] thinks” – as a result of praying Christians across the country.
Copeland’s spiritual notes and other forms of messaging about God, health, and prosperity, are sold to consumers through the Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) website.
The Canadian franchise of KCM is headquartered at 20135 93A Ave.
When Langley Advance Times asked KCM Langley’s executive director Joe Weiss about Copeland’s predicting the near eradication of COVID-19 the employee said he remains “optimistic.”
”We’re just trying to encourage people during this time,” Weiss added.
When asked about the minister alleging he’s healing people with COVID-19 during his show, Weiss responded “It’s not Copeland healing people, it’s Jesus. I realize that not everybody agrees with that. That’s fine.”
“We respect that everyone has different views and respect that not everyone respects us for those views,” Weiss finished.
Langley churches seek to ‘love their neighbours’ by flattening the curve
But to predict a timeline for the global pandemic has not been the response of ministers in Langley, who would never dream of charging their congregants money to listen to their sermons.
Pastor Mark Clark of Village Church, which started in 2010 in Surrey and now has locations in Langley, Coquitlam and Abbotsford, said the Christian desire “is of course that God will heal people [who are suffering with COVID-19].”
“But we don’t need to be physically present to pray and ask for God to do that,” he said.
As of March 11, Clark – along with 70 other employees of Village campuses which see more than 300 people gather Sundays – have been working and praying from home to limit the spread of the virus.
“When you look at the numbers and how closely [COVID-19] moves. We, as a group that gathers and seeks to care for others, can do that best by isolating ourselves.”
He admits it’s a weird time because church is often thought of as just a place where people meet.
“But our philosophy is that the church isn’t a building – it is seven days a week of people helping and loving in their community.”
“Lets help out those vulnerable to this disease – flatten the curve, be the church. This is what it means to love,” Clark finished.
North Langley Community Church worship pastor Cory Alstad spoke of the same in a podcast.
“Sometimes the temptation for Christians is to over-spiritualize and say ‘Forget it, we’re not going to worry about the virus. We’re still going to meet,’ and I say ‘Yeah, I don’t think you are actually loving your neighbour’.
“The best thing we can do if we care about people is to take this [pandemic] seriously,” Alstad said.
Pastor Brent Chapman of SouthRidge Fellowship, in Murrayville, encouraged his congregation March 13 with the following words:
“It is during moments like these where God calls the church to shine… Meet the needs of those around you, and by doing so, share the hope and the faith you have with them.”