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Pastor goes viral after preaching ‘church is still open but building is closed’ (video)

(Image source: @rwsharpejr via Instagram)

COVID-19 has forced religious communities to adjust when it comes to gathering in person for services.

Reginald W. Sharpe Jr., senior pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, recently went viral after giving a sermon that included a clear message about worship and safety.

“We’re not coming back to church until the Lord — the righteous judge — sweeps me up out of my sleep and says it’s time to come back to the building,” Sharpe said during his sermon on Sunday, May 17.

“The church is still open. The building is closed. We’re still doing ministry every week, but we will not return into this building until the Lord himself wakes me up out of my sleep, slaps me three times, pours water from heaven on my face and warms my feet with the fire of the Holy Ghost, and I have no choice but to jump out of my bed and say, ‘Yes, God!’ You don’t have to call us, you don’t have to email me, you don’t have to DM me. We ain’t coming back up in here until it is absolutely safe.”

A video of Sharpe’s sermon went viral and was posted by comedian Kevin Fredericks, who goes by KevOnStage. In less than a week, the video has received nearly 1 million views.

Sharpe is a Ph.D. student with more than 4,000 members in his congregation, according to WGN. COVID-19 hit two months after Sharpe became a leader at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

View a portion of the video below.