The Pen

Olive Heiligenthal, Nabeel Qureshi, and Bethel Church: Still Dead

From Albert Mohler to the Washington Post, the death of Olive Heiligenthal is making news across the spectrum. Olive, the two-year-old daughter of Bethel Church Redding worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal died unexpectedly last Saturday night. Compounding the tragedy has been the vain, and well-publicized, attempts of Bethel Church’s congregation to resurrect the child through prayer. After a week of appeals to Heaven, and to the surprise of no discerning Christian anywhere, the little girl remains dead. Bethel announced late last night, after news outlets had closed for the weekend, that it was ceasing its attempts to resurrect Olive.

Also still dead is the late Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi. Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity and author of the popular book Seeking Allah Finding Jesus, died in September 2017 after losing a battle with stomach cancer. Qureshi famously sought healing at Bethel. After he died, his widow reported that she prayed over his body for resurrection until it was buried.

The late Nabeel Qureshi

At the time of Qureshi’s death, I wrote the following:

The tragic story of Nabeel Qureshi should shine a spotlight on Bill Johnson, Bethel Redding, and the greater apostolic-pentecostal movement. Whether they are demon-possessed, charlatans, or both, Johnson and his ilk take advantage of vulnerable people, often when they are at their most vulnerable. 

Today, I reiterate that statement, adding the tragic story of Olive Heiligenthal. The fact is that this kind of event is nothing new for Bethel. It actually has boasted of a “dead raising team” founded by a former Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student. If there is a silver lining to the black cloud that is the death of a two-year-old girl it is that it has served to shine further light upon the sham that is Bethel Redding Church. Bethel Redding surely knows that. In a story that broke at Pulpit and Pen just a few minutes ago, it was revealed that Bethel Church actually hired a professional Hollywood PR man to manage this latest publicity crisis.

The evidence is clear; Bethel Church is a dead church, devoid of the Holy Spirit. It was dead when it was founded by fake Apostle charlatans and it remains dead today. Now is the time to assess your own church’s association with Bethel. There is a good chance your choir or praise team sings songs produced by the heretical sect that is Bethel. Bethel Church Redding, quite simply, is an industry, a very big business.

As faithful Christians await the resurrection promised by God, the one that began with the Lord Jesus Christ, let us think wisely about what and whom our churches support. As lost people scoff at this latest embarrassment in the visible church, let us meet their skepticism head on with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus indeed died for our sins and he is indeed alive. If we trust Him as Lord and Savior, we too will experience a resurrection to eternal life.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant