Press StatementFrom Revival Ministries International and The River at Tampa Bay
Publish date: 03/18/2020
From Revival Ministries International and The River at Tampa Bay
In a time of national crisis, we expect certain institutions to be open and certain people to be on duty. We expect hospitals to have their doors open 24/7 to receive and treat patients. We expect our police and firefighters to be ready and available to rescue and to help and to keep the peace. The Church is another one of those essential services. It is a place where people turn for help and for comfort in a climate of fear and uncertainty.
Therefore, we feel that it would be wrong for us to close our doors on them, at this time, or any time. In a time of crisis, people are fearful and in need of comfort and community, more than ever before. Even people who do not attend church regularly, or perhaps never go to church, need to know that there is somewhere for them to go when they need help.
The River at Tampa Bay is doing, and will do, everything in our power to support the efforts of our wider community by cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and take any other recommended measures to protect our people and keep them healthy and safe. If anyone is either not feeling well or would prefer to take the precaution of remaining at home for their own health, we encourage them to do that and to continue to watch the services online.
We feel that it is very important, at this time, that we keep our doors open for anyone who needs prayer or ministry and to make ourselves available to minister hope and healing and comfort to them. We are the Body of Christ and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe God‘s Word to us, which says to trust Him and to not be fearful but to have faith in Him. We are praying—as are our fellow Christians around the world—and we know that God answers prayers.
People everywhere are looking for their leadership - both natural and spiritual - to be calm and strong and to lead them through this. Because we will eventually come through this, as we have in the past. The last thing we need, in a time of crisis, is for people to be spreading false rumors and looking for somebody to attack, or a place to allocate blame. Right now, we need to rather all be working together to get through this.
We hope and trust that all media outlets would be able to hear from the President and his medical advisors and properly and correctly report the information and advice given by them. And to resist the temptation to report in such a way as to exacerbate people’s panic, fear, and anxiety.
A word of encouragement to you, wherever you are: “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His Word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” Psalm 107:19-20