ORLANDO, Fla. — Worship leader and pastor Nathaniel Bassey spoke about the hope and joy worship leaders can bring to people in times of fear and uncertainty, like what the world is experiencing now with concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
As of Friday, there are over 209,800 reported COVID-19 cases and over 8,778 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
At the time of Bassey's message, the new coronavirus hadn't yet been declared a pandemic and he had only heard of one case in his home country of Nigeria.
Bassey, a world-renowned gospel artist, is known for his musical talents and trumpet paying. When asked what word God had given to him to share with pastors and worship leaders gathered at gospel singer William McDowell’s second annual Deeper Worship Intensive, he offered advice on how to lead others in responding to the new coronavirus strains.
“It may not mean much to you, because here [in America], you have healthcare. You have a system that works and it can contain it. But back home, Jehovah is our [only] healthcare,” Bassey said.
“I was on the plane thinking that perhaps we were born for such a time as this. I've had this word strong on my heart. It's time the sound carriers release the song of deliverance.”
Known for his songs "Imela" and "Onise Iyanu,” Bassey went on to quote 2 Samuel 24:25. The scripture says: “David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.”
Bassey encouraged church leaders to be what he described as living arks filled with the presence of God and to use their voices as "atmosphere shifters."
“The answer to the darkness in the world today, the plagues ravaging the world, is the ark that is spoken about [in Scripture]. So I believe that as sound carriers, God has brought us here and destinies depend on your sound,” he continued.
“Your sound and your life aren't separate. Your sound and your life are one. In fact, according to the New Testament, we are mortal arks of His presence. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So your life and your soul are one.”
Bassey said he considered the new coronavirus to be a spiritual assault on humanity and said the weapons of warfare are not carnal but can be pulled down through God.
“We are the mobile presence. There’s a world that's crying out there. Science isn't helping, books aren't helping, and we have the answer,” Bassey declared.
The Deeper Worship Intensive took place in partnership with North Central University. Each session began and ended with worship led by various artists, including Steffany Gretzinger, McDowell, his protege Trinity Anderson, Travis Greene, and David and Nicole Binion, among others.
The conference hosted attendees who hailed from North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa who were awarded a Professional Education Certificate in Worship Leadership signed by the president of North Central University after completing the course.