|Born||Kerney Thomas, Jr.
January 19, 1956
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Occupation||pastor, televangelist, TV personality|
|Years active||1978 - present|
|Spouse(s)||Debra Thomas, 1978 - present|
Thomas is most known for his early morning ministry on BET Black Entertainment Television. He makes regular appearances on the Word Network with other controversial ministers such as Peter Popoff and Robert Tilton. Thomas also hosts a radio show that airs weekdays on Houston's KWWJ 1360AM.
Most of his teachings revolve around the ordering and use of "prayer handkerchiefs,", and "personal prayer packages" as a "point of contact" in faith. This "point of contact" is a way to make a miracle manifest in someone's life through increased faith in the healing and restoration power of Jesus Christ. In fact, he claims that bathing (along with a strong Christian relationship with Christ) in the "olive oil soap" can cure people of AIDS, cancer, and common aches and pains. Other miracles he claims have occurred through his ministry are the delivery of unexpected payments that appear for no reason and the resolve of marital troubles. . For example, one woman at a Thomas' crusade claimed that she desperately needed a job and a separation from her abusive husband. After calling Thomas, she claimed that 25 minutes later she received a job offer from a security company that she had not even applied at. Some time later, she received news that her husband had been unexpectedly "shipped back to Egypt," and he could not return to the United States for 10 years. A video of a miracle crusade can be seen here .
Word of Faith and healing
Thomas also proclaims himself to be a prophet of God and encourages viewers of his broadcasts to send in a seed of faith (normally money) to receive increased blessings and from God comparable to Word of Faith doctrine the Bible. He claims that the more believers sow seeds [donations] into God's ministry, the greater that person will be blessed. In fact, he encourages viewers to come to him first if the viewer has no local church home pastor because "In the Old Testament they (Israelites) didn't go to the pastor; they came to the prophet." He often quotes the Bible scripture Acts 19:11-12, which talks of the special miracles God allowed the Apostle Paul to perform through the use of aprons and handkerchiefs. This scripture is used as the basis of his distribution of "Bible Red Blood of Jesus" prayer handkerchiefs. Thomas also uses airtime to ask for donations to his ministry for crusades to Africa and many other places within the United States. Thomas also airs taped footage of himself claiming to heal people at "miracle crusades."
He makes use of an extensive home mailing system in which he sends generic form letters to those who have called in to his automated phone system. Callers leave their name and mailing address and are sent a red prayer handkerchief. After twenty-four hours, callers are told to send the handkerchief back to Thomas with their name and phone number written on it, so it becomes a "point of contact." He then goes on to solicit donations.
Like many other Pentecostals, Thomas is a regular practitioner of glossolalia or the gift of speaking in tongues. He often does this on his television program and screams and shouts in a high-pitched voice when answering calls from his "Miracle Prayer Line," where he invites people who are having medical, financial and family problems to call in. After the caller explains their problem and Thomas prays for them, some callers claim that they were healed instantaneously over the phone. Like Robert Tilton, Thomas' unusual preaching style has lent itself to various flatulence-ridden parody videos on the internet.
Thomas can be seen holding and talking about the "Bible Red Blood of Jesus" prayer handkerchiefs on his television show.
- Charismatic movement
- Faith Healing
- List of United States televangelists
- Word of Faith