Home Christian News Former Bethel Pastor Addresses ‘Wild Rumors’ About Grave Sucking and Gold Dust

Former Bethel Pastor Addresses ‘Wild Rumors’ About Grave Sucking and Gold Dust

Many people responded with encouraging comments, saying they were praying for Olive’s resurrection, but others voiced concern at the request, suggesting that Olive’s parents were in denial about their daughter’s death. Five days after Olive died, Bethel announced that the miracle people prayed for had not occurred and the church would be holding a memorial service for the little girl.

Lloyd addressed this situation in her summary of the rumors about Bethel Church, saying:

The most grotesque by far, was the suggestion that we were hiding little Olive, the daughter of one of our worship leaders who had died during a December evening in 2019. According to hearsay (one can never find the real culprit to these wild imaginings) Olive was healthy and we were about to perform some theatrical resurrection trick in five days’ time. When day five came around, I wondered if compassion would finally replace the artic [sic] coldness of gossip, while we now cradled grieving parents in our arms. I was not so much perturbed by the suggestion as I was by those who chose to believe it.

Lloyd then moved on to discuss the idea that Bethel promotes “grave soaking” or “gave sucking,” a practice where someone lies on the grave of a deceased person in order to receive that person’s anointing of the Holy Spirit. Lloyd denied that Bethel encourages this practice, saying this rumor is connected to a picture posted online 15 years ago. Lloyd is likely referring to a since removed photo of Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, lying on the grave of C.S. Lewis, an image that has certainly perpetuated the controversy

Lloyd also addressed claims that Bethel Church members experience supernatural manifestations of God’s presence, including gold dust falling from the sky. This does happen, she said, linking to this video of the phenomenon. “The gold dust we still can’t explain, even after my thorough hunt for hidden air vents, or drum kits marinated in glitter, (both such things absent from the sanctuary),” she said. “After hour-long interrogations by friends and family, I gave up explaining.”

Nevertheless, Lloyd maintains, “If this was a church that endorsed necromancy, abuse or magic tricks, trust me, I’d be the first through the exit. But not before asking questions. We must always ask questions. And the church always needs to be open to giving feedback…As we invite those with accusations to join us for communion, as we ask them to just visit and see it for themselves; there are only so many times we can explain that which, at times, got out of hand. How thankful I am that in a world filled with sham and trickery, I encountered a place that didn’t desire to be right but that still encouraged risk.”

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.