Into the Whirlwind

My first week on the job included an exorcism and suicide.
Into the Whirlwind

The morning after I became senior pastor, I received a phone call that shaped my entire ministry.

I ended up senior pastor by default: the former pastor had moved on, and the church had neither the money nor, I think, the will to conduct a search for his replacement. So they turned to me, a still wet-behind-the-ears youth pastor, and asked if I'd take the position. At first I balked, and then I agreed.

My first crisis came a week later. My insides tighten, 22 years later, as I sit to write about it.

The morning after I officially became the pastor, a man from the church called about a strange matter—his neighbors, a young couple with their first child, had asked if his "priest" performed "exorcisms"? They said an evil presence inhabited their home, striking terror, causing havoc. It had a pernicious fixation on their infant daughter.

I agreed to visit with the couple in their home. I invited a man with some experience in such matters to come with ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Black Church Is Atlanta’s Original Community Organizer
The Black Church Is Atlanta’s Original Community Organizer
Long before Raphael Warnock’s Senate run, the biblical call for freedom for the oppressed stirred Atlanta Christians to social action.
Editor's Pick
What Pastors See as the ‘New Normal’ for Preaching After the Pandemic
What Pastors See as the ‘New Normal’ for Preaching After the Pandemic
COVID-19’s ministry disruptions are generating lasting insights.
close