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The Falls Church Anglican: The Long March to Healing Ministry Excellence

Rev. Kathleen Christopher, Monthly Healing Service

In 2007, Fr. Wright brought in the Rev. Kathleen Christopher as an assistant in the pastoral care ministry. She had both the experience and the credentials for that ministry and had a special love for the healing and deliverance ministry. Soon after arriving, The Rev. Christopher met with Chuck and Nancy Cook to talk about the healing prayer ministry and found that they all shared the same passion. When the three of them asked Wright if the Rev. Christopher could work closely with that volunteer ministry, he readily agreed, assigning her oversight over the healing and intercessory prayer aspects of the pastoral care ministry.

 

Kathleen Christopher’s Story

Kathleen Christopher was born into an Irish Catholic family and attended Catholic schools through college, earning a BA in Classical Languages from St. Louis University.[15] She had a deep love for Jesus since childhood and recalls that in her childhood she was in church “six days a week.”[16] But in her teen years she was drawn into the occult. At first naively playing with the Ouija board, she became progressively more involved in Eastern and metaphysical beliefs and practices, i.e. “New Age” spirituality. For her, Jesus faded into the background as one of the “ascended masters” who had reincarnated sufficiently to achieve perfection.

Upon graduating college, Christopher married and had two children, going on to acquire an M.A. in Classical Archeology from the University of Pennsylvania. With that background, she got a job at the Smithsonian Institution as an archivist and for ten years served as the reference archivist for the National Anthropological Archives where she worked especially with Native Americans and their cultural records.

Unfortunately, Christopher was also struggling with severe depression, primarily related to trauma that she had experienced as a child. She began psychiatric counseling which did some good, but still entertained thoughts of suicide, and her sleep was plagued with terrible nightmares.

No nightmares and a wonderful sense of peace. … This began her renewed walk with Jesus.

To this point, Kathleen Christopher and her family had been attending a Catholic church, although she personally identified more with Eastern and esoteric beliefs. One Sunday, however, they decided to visit a nearby Episcopal church which their neighbors attended and to which they had frequently invited them. At Holy Communion, Christopher experienced the intense love and presence of Jesus. She exclaimed to the Lord “I don’t even believe in you!”[17] But she began attending regularly, and joined its Bible study group. The assistant pastor, who happened to be a woman, invited her to attend a church retreat and she accepted. That was 1995.

Rev. Kathleen Christopher, Wednesday Evening Healing Prayer Class.

At the retreat, the priest, the Rev. Jane, sensed Christopher’s depression and suggested she talk about it. Late that night, the two sat on a bench by the beach where Kathleen Christopher began to tell her story, including a description of the persistent and vivid nightmares which were filled with horrifying creatures. Listening a while, the Rev. Jane said, “I think those are demons—would you let me pray for you?” Christopher argued about that as foolish “medieval superstition,” but finally agreed to have the Rev. Jane pray over her. In a conversational voice, with no drama or manifestation that sometimes occurs in deliverance ministry, Jane prayed, commanding the demons to leave. After the deliverance prayers Christopher asked, “Is that all?” Jane answered, “Yes,” she made a sign of the cross on her forehead and spoke the baptismal promise found in the Book of Common Prayer, “Kathleen, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.”[18] The Rev. Jane later commented that this was her first experience with deliverance ministry, but that she had obeyed a prompting from the Holy Spirit.

They both returned to the retreat house and went to bed. When Christopher awoke the next morning, she discovered that she had had no nightmares and had a wonderful sense of peace. The depression was completely lifted! This began her renewed walk with Jesus. She renounced her metaphysical and occult past. Over the next few years, she would be introduced to teachings and publications on Christian healing and deliverance, and attended conferences and workshops by the MacNutts’ and others.

Christopher felt a call to ministry which was confirmed and supported by her new church and the Episcopal Diocese. She entered Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal) where she received a Master’s in Divinity in 2000. Due to her experiences in the metaphysical and occult movements, Christopher discovered that she had special wisdom and gifting in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance. She went on both domestic and foreign missions, including to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and in Uganda and Kenya were she ministered healing and deliverance prayer. Ordained to the priesthood in 2002 by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Kathleen Christopher served in various parishes between 2002 and 2007, primarily as an assistant pastor, but did not find much interest in healing prayer among the churches she served.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2020

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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