INGLEWOOD, CALIF. - Sunday service at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood went on, but largely online.
One of Southern California's largest congregations of 3000 was asked to stay home given the coronavirus crisis.
Bishop Kenneth Ulmer sent out a letter on Wednesday asking everyone to stay home "and join them online." Online services for Faithful Central is nothing new but Bishop Ulmer says many churches are not equipped. Ulmer calls online service a chance for families to come together.
Meanwhile, President Trump declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer. On any normal Sunday 1800 church-goers per service would pack Faithful Central.
Despite the call to stay at home, the church did have plans in place to accommodate any who did show up for service.
Following guidelines (that have now since changed) the church reduced its 1800 chairs to the recommended no more than 50. Chairs were placed five to six feet apart. On Sunday night the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidelines asking everyone to cancel gatherings of over 50 people.
Ulmer's fear is the survivability of smaller churches. He fears if the crisis is prolonged small churches might have to close their doors. His second fear is for children in need and school closures.
The church has a center for children who live in their cars and who are experiencing homelessness. That center is in LA's Skid Row area.