It seems Christianity is going through some rough times right now. Recently Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley, leader of the now infamous Lakeland Revival in Florida, stepped down from ministry because he is divorcing his wife Shonnah.
Now Australian Christians are sorting through failings from one of their own. Pastor, singer and songwriter Michael Guglielmucci admitted his well-publicized claim to terminal cancer was a big hoax.
Many remember Guglielmucci’s performance of his popular song, “Healer” while connected to a breathing machine. Many shed tears as he offered his testimony of being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Believers across Australia are devastated and asking many questions.
Featured on Hillsong’s latest album, “This Is Our God,” Guglielmucci’s song received widespread exposure in the Body of Christ, debuting in the number two spot on the ARIA charters earlier this year.
According to close family friend Mal Fletcher posted in his blog, “Even his mother and father, close personal friends of my wife and I, were unaware of the truth of the situation.”
Some are wondering if those at Guglielmucci’s former church were aware of his fraud. Planetshakers Church Spokesperson Mark Penny said Guglielmucci has not been with the church Planetshakers for the last 18 months.
“We are devastated by the elaborate hoax that was orchestrated. There were no fundraisers conducted, however, when Michael left the church eighteen months ago a special offering was taken up in honor of his services to the church. We do this, as church pastors are not paid large wages and it is a way of our church showing appreciation for tireless support our pastors show our congregation. Michael has agreed to make reparations to any person who gave money due to his sickness. We have asked for an audit of his accounts to determine what money has been received,” Penny said in the statement.
Representatives from the Australian Christian Churches, Assemblies of God Australia, (ACC) met with Guglielmucci and immediately suspended his credentials. ACC Vice President Alun Davies said “The National Executive is taking this matter very seriously and is awaiting the results of the medical tests before determining the full extent of the discipline that will be imposed upon him. We are very concerned for the many people who have been or will be hurt by Michael’s actions. We encourage all of our churches to pray for all those effected.”
Those close to the situation are asking for Christians to pray for Michael, his wife and family and all that were hurt over this situation.
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