BISHOP Joseph Ade-Gold, the African pastor known for his warfare spirit against demonic forces, is willing to assist the St Elizabeth family tormented by ghost, but insists that he has to be asked to do so.
"You can't just go and help the family. Because if the family don't ask you to come and you go, they would see you as an intruder and they cannot talk to you. But if I am given the permission to go — if they ask me to come, even if other pastors have said no — then I would have a right to go in and do it. Because there are things that would have to be presented when you are dealing with spiritual activity," Ade-Gold, founder of the Chambers of God International (formerly the Overcomers World Ministries) stated.
"If you are not welcome, don't go. If they welcome you, then go. The thing is technical, because some of the pastors down there will not want other pastors to come in," Ade-Gold suggested. "They will believe that they can manage. But unfortunately, some of them don't have the kind of knowledge that I have, especially as it relates to spiritual wars," he said.
Family members in the St Elizabeth home have been hit and injured by stones from unknown sources, their furniture burnt to ashes, pots knocked from fires and a range of other assaults, culminating in the total destruction of the home on June 5 by fire, the cause of which is still undetermined.
"You don't see who stoning the house, the house is burnt and you don't see who burning it. That is what is going on," one family member said. "It throw bottle, it throw crockery, anything it can catch and you don't see who is throwing it or where it is coming from," he said. "Anytime a day, anytime a night. Anytime it feel to do it, it do it. I'm here 24/7 so I see what is going on."
Ade-Gold said that the incident involving the boy in Spanish Town a few years ago was a prime example.
"Even with the case of the little boy in Spanish Town, they did not allow me to come because they believe that they can manage. So even though I made myself available, they believed they could handle it. So you find that even in the church other pastors will say no, this is our church and we can manage."
But he said, after two-and-a-half months of torment, whatever is being done is not working for the St Elizabeth family as they are still in distress.
"It is not being managed because the whole issue of DeLawrence is a very serious issue and it's not every pastor can manage it, because it depends on your gift. God gives us different gifts and if God doesn't give me that gift, I can't manage it," he said.
Ade-Gold's ministry focuses on spiritual warfare and deliverance. Since 1998, Ade-Gold has been taking the message of deliverance and spiritual warfare across the English-speaking Caribbean, Haiti, the USA, England, Australia, and Canada. He is recognised by many in the Christian community as the leading authority in Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean on spiritual warfare and deliverance.
"Even with the case of the little boy, I called the family but they said other pastors said they shouldn't call me, they can manage it," he said. This, he said, is more self-glorification than helping.
He said that the situation could also backfire on his family if he is not welcome to go in and fight the battle.
Ade-Gold said that being asked is also important, as he would have to get information from the family which they would not be willing to give if they viewed him as an intruder.
"You see if I am supposed to go, I would have to interview this family. If any one of them had promised, let's say a group, that 'I am going to do A or B and I didn't do it, then my family would be in trouble'. Most times it's because people promise to do something. Then they say 'if you do this ritual and I am successful — if I am able to build the house, I'm able to buy the car, I'm able to bear the money, then this is what I would do for you. However, if I refuse to do it, then I and my family can come under serious attack'. So that is one of the things I would want to know — if one of the members of the family has made a promise and the promise is not fulfilled. That's very critical," Ade-Gold told the Sunday Observer on Friday.
The other reason he said that could cause an attack like that is if there was a fight between one family and another family, and the other family is using DeLawrence to attack that family.
"But they (demons) just don't attack people except there is a cause to do so," he said.
Unfortunately, the spiritual warrior said situations like these usually end with one person dying or one or two family members being destroyed, especially the children.
"After that then it will stop," he said. "But with the interference of God and prayer, I believe it can stop. Sometimes you have to tell them to go and apologise. Because once they make promises and they don't fulfil them, then they need to apologise. And some of them may not even know, because if the person who made that promise is dead or is not around, then it's harder. But most times we have to sit with them and do what we call family spiritual mapping, to know what may have taken place in times past," Ade-Gold said.
"It might just be a member of the family who is causing all the trouble on the entire family. There was the case in Spanish Town where the father promised that he was going to give the child as a ritual, unfortunately or not, the father died before he was able to do it, and that family is under the same kind of DeLawrence attack 'till now. The house burnt down, many things are happening, stones being thrown into the house — so I'm working with them now and they are getting better because we have instructed them what to do," he said.
The 70-year-old female occupant of the house, who is herself a Christian, said that what is needed is for Christians to visit and pray — but not just any Christian.
"It can't be anybody weak. They have to be strong," she said. "It need some real Holy Ghost people."
When asked if the church had gone in to assist, Reverend Gary Harriott of the Jamaica Council of Churches said that the council had not taken up the matter.
"I know that I had listened to Bishop Ade-Gold who is a part of the umbrella group of churches and hear him indicating that the church was in the community," Harriot said.
"But I really don't have much details and it's not something that we have actually taken up as a council, so I would not have much to say on it. But I could raise it with my colleagues to find out — but I know some response has taken place locally," he said.
Despite the two-and-a-half months of torment, Harriott said that it does not mean God will respond to the situation the way persons expect him to.
"It doesn't mean that the way we see as appropriate for God to respond is the way he will respond, because if the church goes and prays and nothing happens, then you going to have another story saying there is no God then. But I think the bigger issue is what is the pastoral response that the church can make to that situation. I will raise it with my colleague to see how the church may respond as a church to the situation," he said.
Pastor Milton Gregory of the Jamaica Union of Seventh-Day Adventists said that members of the West Conference have made several visits to pray with the family but have on occasions been shunned.
"We have a region, that's the West Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. They have gone and prayed more than once so they have been involved, but the Union level wouldn't necessarily get involved," he said. "We don't deny that it can happen (attacks from the spiritual realm). I heard the story but I don't know much about what has been happening, whether it is rumour or what, so the best thing I can say is that I don't have information about it," he said. "But they have gone and had services there but the family put up some level of resistance. But the church have gone and prayed."
Rev Peter Garth, president of The Associated Gospel Assemblies, said that he will make a personal visit to find out what is happening.
"I know of the case, but in St Elizabeth there are a lot of churches and it would be a surprise to me if the church didn't respond to at least find out what is going on and to be supportive of the family. Whether it is demonic or evil (deeds by men), the church should respond," he said. "I don't know, I can't say they have not because I have not been following the story, but I am certain that it is something that deserves some attention," Garth said.
He said that if in fact the church had responded and the family is still being attacked, it does not mean the church has lost its power.
"That is totally off. The fact of the matter is if you look at medical science in the past 30 years, there are tremendous strides, and yet look at the number of people who have died and it doesn't mean there is carelessness on the part of the doctors or hospital," he reasoned.
"I'm saying each case has to be taken on its own merit. I am hearing these stories. I have been involved and some of the cases are humanly orchestrated, others have been demonic and that is why I am saying you have to go in to investigate, to find out what is going on. Sometimes it happens that when the church arrives the thing stops, but as soon as people leave, then others are being hit by stones," he said.
"What we hear happening there is a little strange to me and so I would personally and physically like to be there to see what is happening," Garth said. "It is shocking to me to hear that it has been going on for two months and the church has not responded. I thought that it was over, but I would want to go down to investigate it," he added.