Home Weird Doomsday 'prophecy' believers adamant coronavirus predicted in 1986 by preacher

Doomsday 'prophecy' believers adamant coronavirus predicted in 1986 by preacher

staronline@reachplc.com (Sophie Bateman)

A section of evangelical Christians are adamant a preacher predicted the coronavirus pandemic more than 30 years ago.

That’s despite no evidence that David Wilkerson ever spoke or wrote the words that believers have been quoting since Covid-19 began spreading around the world this year.

The American evangelist was the founding pastor of the non-denominational Times Square Church, which he claimed the Holy Spirit told him to open while he was walking down a New York City street one night.

He was also known for his passionate sermons and several books, which he published before he was killed in a car crash in 2011.

Evangelical preacher David Wilkerson died in a car crash in 2011

Wilkerson has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity during the pandemic due to a rumoured prophecy in which he seemed to predict coronavirus decades before it struck.

The Christian-Zionist organisation Jerusalem Prayer Team quoted the alleged prophecy in a Facebook post in April which went viral, attracting more than three million likes.

“I see a plague coming on the world and the bars and church and government will shut down,” Wilkerson is alleged to have said during a breakfast meeting with religious commentator Dr Mike Evans in 1986.

A well-circulated religious quote allegedly said by Wilkerson has little basis in fact

“The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit.

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“And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world.”

YouTuber Paul Begley, himself an evangelical preacher who believes the Bible predicted the end of the world and it’s coming soon, also name-checked Wilkerson’s prophecy in a recent video about the ongoing conflict in Israel.

“Well [Wilkerson] was right, the plague has come and it’s Covid-19,” Pastor Begley told his 337,000 subscribers.

Pastor Paul Begley recently quoted the alleged Wilkerson prophecy in a live stream

“It hit New York City first and shook that city to its core. Now it’s spreading across America and around the world. It came out of Wuhan, China, and it has done exactly that.

“It’s shutting down the taverns, the bars, shutting down the churches and shutting down the government’s function. Exactly what he saw has come to pass in 2020.

“The next phase is the repentance phase, and that’s what I prophesise is gonna come. A time of great repentance where the churches will finally get sick of being told they can’t worship, and there will be a great move of God and a great time of revival where people can be saved.”

Believers are adamant that Wilkerson’s prophecy foretold the coronavirus pandemic

Despite the widespread enthusiasm for the prophecy in certain online religious communities, there’s little evidence that Wilkerson ever made such a prediction.

Fact-checking organisation PolitiFact asked Times Square Church — which is still in operation — about the quote after it began to go viral.

“The church is not aware of Pastor David ever writing that in any of his books or sermons,” a spokesperson replied.

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It’s not the first time Wilkerson’s alleged prophecies have been called into question.

Wilkerson made several claims during his lifetime that he had predicted future events
Wilkerson made several claims during his lifetime that he had predicted future events

Before his death, the pastor claimed to have foreseen the 9/11 attacks weeks before they occurred and says God told him to prepare sandwiches for the survivors.

He and other members did indeed make more than 2,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but they were made on September 11 2001 after the planes had already struck the towers of the World Trade Center.

Wilkerson is also known for his 1973 prophecy regarding the future of the United States in which he claimed to have foreseen a “worldwide recession caused by economic confusion”, as well as “nature having labour pains”, “rebellion in the home” and “a flood of filth and a baptism of dirt in America”.

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