When you think Easter Sunday service, you may imagine taking part in the traditional sunrise service where the pastor reads the scriptures detailing the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ. Well, members of Celebration Church were in for a surprise this Resurrection Sunday as their pastor Stovall Weems instead told them that he met with Jesus on Friday night. Celebration Church is a global megachurch based in Jacksonville Florida with its attendance hitting around 12,000 people weekly.
“I had a message to preach to you about the resurrection, and it was an awesome message, but instead of preaching about the resurrection, I want to tell you about my meeting WITH the resurrection” Stovall begins. Church members encourage the pastor to continue crying out, “yes!”
He asks the church to settle in and “think of this like a big living room, and please keep your movement to a minimum.”
After reading Mark 16:1-16, Weems says,
“I want to talk to you about the experience that I had Friday night where I met and I saw our risen savior.”
“Now listen, listen. I understand the consequences that come with making a statement like that, OK? I have been walking with God for 28 years. Our church, Celebration Church here in Jacksonville, we have multiple locations around the world. We’ve been here in Jacksonville for 20 years, nothing like this has ever happened to me. I think the longevity and integrity of our ministry speaks for itself. And so I know when people, when I heard someone say they met Jesus or they saw Jesus immediately my weird antennas go up,” he continued.
His wife nods in agreement as Weems says this occurred on Good Friday, and that he was “a wreck, sobbing and couldn’t sleep which went on into Saturday.”
“Thank goodness you came to church today and not Saturday night because in trying to describe, like emotion and I was a wreck, but in trying to describe it was just difficult to put in the right language”
“But I realized that today there’s no way that I could have preached a message about the resurrection, when I was WITH the resurrection Friday night.”
“The first thing that I was taken back with is like Jesus’ personality. This is how Jesus was when He was on the earth. I heard His voice … the cadence of His voice. I can sense His mood. I can sense His presence like He has a personality. He was fully God but many times we forget the man Christ Jesus. He came as a man so He has His own unique personality so what’s overwhelming is that He was new in that way but at the same time I felt like I’ve known Him forever. I can’t describe the closeness that I felt with Jesus. He didn’t look at me, I never saw the front of his face. He was wearing a white garment. He had brown hair,” Weems said.
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Although Weems said that he “never saw the front of his face” some have posted criticism saying that no one can see Jesus “face to face.” Quoting a church member as saying “Today Pastor Stovall Weems claimed to have seen Jesus face to face, and heard His voice audibly with his ears. Something that is an absolute impossibility in the Church Age according to the Bible.”
“We were warned about false teachers and prophets – well here is another one… The Bible teaches us that when Jesus returns all eyes will see him….” one commented.
Pastor Stovall Weems – www.celebration.org: 13,151 ppl at Easter services w/1,013 salvations! Heaven rejoices for new souls in the Kingdom!
— MaryLovesLife (@maryloveslife) April 13, 2009
Must have been one wild Good Friday party at the Weems casa. pic.twitter.com/PXfUPrMZ0w
— Amy Smith (@watchkeep) April 3, 2018
According to Celebration Churchs’ Twitter, Weems is sharing part two of his encounter with Jesus with his church tonight.
You don’t want to miss this Wednesday! Pastor @stovallweems will share Part 2 of his encounter with Jesus. Hear more details from his experience at this weeks #RevivalWednesday! #Awakening2018 #Revival #Jacksonville
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ARENA, ORANGE PARK, JULINGTON CREEK // 7PM pic.twitter.com/J9SdjvPNdL
— Celebration Church (@celebration_org) April 3, 2018