[07.28.08] Todd Bentley, leader of the Florida Healing Revival, announced last week that Aug. 23 would be his last day in Lakeland, Fla., telling his followers that God had instructed him and his staff to “move, walk the land, [take] the Ark of God’s glory” to the nations.
”Since the beginning, we’ve sensed that there’s nothing ordinary about this outpouring,” he said in a statement. “It’s something new and fresh, with much movement to it . … We’re sensing that this revival is meant to move, it’s our time now to walk it throughout the land, to move the Ark from the cradle and into the harvest fields.”
Another leader from the outpouring confirmed Bentley’s upcoming departure. “We are excited and prepared,” said Stephen Strader, senior pastor of Ignited Church, the 700-seat converted storefront on the north side of Lakeland where the revival broke out nearly four months ago.
Strader indicated he was in the process of forming a “Lakeland Alliance” to help the revival continue after Bentley leaves. He reported four other local churches are already signed up and that he expected more.
The latest news came after 111 days of meetings that have had to relocate numerous times to accommodate crowds in the thousands that were in search of a physical or spiritual touch from God. Documented proof has been difficult to come by, but Bentley and others say thousands have claimed to be healed as a result of the meetings.
Bentley described his departure as a needed transition for propelling the revival into the future. “This in no way means the end of revival, it’s just the beginning,” he wrote. “The Lord has shown me many more potential wells to uncap in the days, weeks, months, and perhaps even years to come.”
GOD TV, which has broadcast the Lakeland meetings live in 214 nations almost every night since April 11, also announced that its live broadcast coverage would end Aug. 23. Graeme Spencer, the network’s head of production, said it would continue streaming the Lakeland meetings live on its Web site and would also attempt to broadcast as many of Bentley’s itinerant meetings as possible.
Bentley said God has told him to visit a total of 38 cities, most of them in the U.S. He has already held “impartation” services in places such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Ky., and Concord, N.C. He is scheduled to travel to the African nations of Uganda and Sudan in late August and early September. ——Paul Steven Ghiringhelli