Steve Van Nattan
Pastor Richard Heard led the Christian Tabernacle in Houston in growth from 250 to 3,000 members. On Sunday, October 20, 1996, a move of God exploded in the church.
I felt the presence of the Lord come on me so powerfully I grabbed the podium, the pulpit, to keep from falling, and that was a mistake. Instantly I was hurled a number of feet in a different direction, and the people said it was like someone just threw me across the platform.
The pulpit fell over that I had been holding for support, and I was out for an hour and a half. . . I almost hesitate to tell you what . . . I literally could not move.
Ive heard about people being pinned to the floor and things like that, but to be honest, I came from a classical Pentecostal background and Ive seen genuine moves of God and Ive seen my share of weirdness. And if something like this happens, and it doesnt happen to someone that I know, that is credible and a person of integrity, I dont discount it, I just have a tendency to let the jury stay out until I know that this has indeed happened to credible people. And, but I could not move. And I saw a manifestation of the glory of God. . . . I saw a vision and I did not see the Lord. I saw his glory. . . . There were thick clouds, dark clouds, edged in golden white and the clouds would - there would be bursts of light that would come through that would just go through me absolutely like electricity. .. . . and that went on for an hour and a half.
I could feel his glory. There was literally a pulsating feeling, as though I was being fanned by the presence of the glory of God. And its still really difficult for me to talk about it. . . .. There were angelic manifestations that surrounded the glory and I didnt know how long I was out. They said later that I was there for an hour and a half. In the meanwhile, all across the building people, they tell me, were falling under the presence of God. Thats not something that has happened much in our church, but people were stretched out everywhere. And the altar. We have three services on Sunday and people would enter the hallways that lead to the foyer and then into the auditorium and they would enter the hallways and begin to weep.
There was such a glory of God and they would come into the foyer and not stop - they would just go straight to the altar - people stretched out everywhere. There was all kinds of angelic visitations that people had experienced. And weve got professional people in our church - doctors, professors. Their bodies were strewn everywhere. And when I felt the glory of God lift, I tried to get up and couldnt. It was as though every electrical mechanism in my body had short-circuited. I couldnt make my hands or my feet respond to what I was trying to tell them to do. It was as though I was paralyzed. And I was able to slowly lift a finger, and one of the pastors saw me and I beckoned for him to come and he got some of the other pastors and they carried me into the office and set me down.
Well, the pulpit, they said, fell over, and its made of space-age plastic. One of the businessmen here in the church - he works in these kind of things and called a supplier in California - and they said it has a tensile strength of 57,000 pounds per square inch, but when he described the configuration, they said it would be double that, about 114,000 pounds per square inch. You could drop it from a ten-story building and that would not happen.
Comment-- Steve Van Nattan: Editor-- All of this activity has NO precedent in the New Testament. On the other hand, if does sound a lot like demonic manifestations which Jesus had to deal with in Gaderra and other venues.