Todd Bentley, who once claimed to activate the power of God by kicking a woman in the face with his biker boot, has announced that he is “booked to spend several days” in what is being called a “revival” at Asbury—a university chapel service that grew into a daily, larger meeting of students and others from all over, seeking to worship and experience the presence of God at the meetings being held.
Earlier this month, on February 8, a chapel service took place in Hughes Memorial Auditorium on Asbury University’s campus in Wilmore, Kentucky, in which a message was delivered on confession and repentance. After the formal service ended, a group of students stayed behind to worship, which eventually resulted in more and more students attending. The services have been attracting many outside of the university campus and from afar, now including well-known false teacher Todd Bentley.
Bentley, a Canadian charismatic minister and professed faith healer who was behind the so-called “Lakeland Revival” in 2008, took to Facebook to announce that he was on his way this week to the campus—encouraging his followers to “catch” it and meet him there.
“I am booked to spend several days in the #asburyrevival in Wilmore Kentucky this week. This is a sovereign outpouring I’m i’m (sic) going to soak in for a few days! Let’s catch it #Spreadthefire Who is hungry for God too,” Bentley posted to his Facebook page.
Bentley was not clear with what he meant by the word “booked” in his posting, which likely was referring to his travel accommodations but raised questions due to its verbiage.
In a message to Asbury University about Bentley’s recent post, the university responded, in part, that “[s]ecurity and leadership are aware” of Bentley’s impending travel to the campus.
Additionally, during a call with Asbury’s Director of Strategic Communications Abby Laub, Christian News Network was informed that Bentley “was not invited to come and speak at Asbury, and the university is being very careful to steward what God is doing here.”
The university also noted that they had been alerted by others who contacted the school due to Bentley’s online postings.
In January 2020, a panel of six charismatic leaders concluded that Bentley was disqualified for leadership or ministry based on “credible accusations of a steady pattern of ungodly and immoral behavior.”
The panel, led by popular charismatic author Michael Brown, said in the statement addressing the controversary:
Based on our careful review of numerous first-hand reports, some of them dating back to 2004, we state our theological opinion and can say with one voice that, without a doubt, Todd is not qualified to serve in leadership or ministry today. There are credible accusations of a steady pattern of ungodly and immoral behavior, confirmed by an independent investigator’s interviews dating from 2008 up through 2019, along with other testimonies dating back to 2004. And while we only took into account first-hand reports, there are many other second and third-hand reports repeating the same accusations …
Sadly, we see no signs of true, lasting repentance. Instead, we see a steady pattern of compromised behavior, including credible accusations of adultery, sexting (including the exchanging of nude pictures or videos), vulgar language, and substance abuse.
Additionally, the panel’s statement noted that Bentley “declined to answer a list of 60 questions” compiled by an investigator “after initially agreeing to respond.” Instead, Bentley required the assigned investigator to submit questions to his attorney, “after which (Bentley) ceased communicating with Dr. Brown or the investigator.”
In 2008, Bentley had separated from his wife, Shonnah, and became romantically-involved with another woman, Jessa, while still married to Shonnah. Jessa, who Bentley would later marry, told Charisma Magazine in a 2009 interview that “it was still wrong for us to have anything romantic, regardless if anything physical happened or not” and that it was “sin”.
During one of Bentley’s events, Jessa was invited to the pulpit to share a dream she had, resulting in violent shaking, which some have noted as evidence of demonic possession, and Bentley citing as “wild fire”.
Bentley was banned from the UK in 2012 by the Home Office, a ministerial department of UK’s government that is described as being “responsible for immigration, security, and law and order,” following pressure from Labour MP for Croydon North, Malcolm Wicks. At the time, Wicks pressured Home Secretary Theresa May to stop Bentley from entering the country as a result of Bentley’s bizarre behavior, including his use of physical force to “heal” people.
In the video widely-circulated online, Bentley stated, “And I’m thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He said, ‘Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face.’”
“And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, ‘Kick her in the face with your biker boot.’ I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.’”
“We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society,” the Home Office said.
Apart from attending, it is unknown what other involvement Bentley may be seeking at Asbury, though his subsequent Facebook posts seemingly indicate that he is using his appearance for self-promotion, citing that he wants to “catch the fire” and “carry” it to his pre-planned so-called “revival” event later this year. Others have expressed their concerns about Bentley online, calling him a “heretic” and a “wolf”, as well as for him to repent and believe the gospel.