What began as a five-day revival at Ignited Church in Lakeland has become something of a sensation locally and, thanks to the Internet, in Pentecostal circles worldwide.
Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley has been leading “healing meetings” at Ignited since April 2, attended by as many as 20,000 people so far, and the meetings will continue twice daily through April 27, church leaders say. The meetings have drawn attention for what Bentley and Ignited Pastor Stephen Strader say are miraculous instances of people healed of serious medical conditions.
The evening services usually fill Ignited’s 700-seat sanctuary, and people have been waiting for hours for the doors to open, Strader said. The crowds have included people from outside Lakeland, outside Polk County and even other states. Ignited’s media coordinator, Lynne Breidenbach, said a doctor from England had flown over to attend services after seeing reports on the Internet.
Todd Bentley is a Canadian preacher with a “Toronto Blessing”-type ministry. He works with and/or otherwise promotes false prophets such as Bob Jones and Rick Joyner, as well as such offbeat churches as the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship.