A South African funeral home has distanced itself from a resurrection miracle by Pastor Alph Lukau, citing claims by church members on where the dead man allegedly brought back to life had been picked from.
Kings and Queens Funeral Services said in a statement that the “resurrected” man, only identified as Elliot, whom the church claims had been dead since Friday, was not from their facility.
The funeral parlour said it will will take legal action over the “damage to its reputation,” accusing Pastor Lukau and his Alleluia Ministries International of using their hearse in a stunt miracle.
“We would like to distance ourselves from the supposed resurrection of a deceased man by Hallelujah Ministries who allegedly was at our mortuary,” the funeral home said in a statement.
“We were approached by alleged family members of the deceased who informed us they had encountered a dispute with a different funeral service provider and would like to use our transport services which we offered them.
“We did not supply the coffin neither did we store the deceased at our mortuary and no paperwork was processed by Kings and Queens Funerals.”
In his Jesus-Lazarus miracle rendition on Sunday, Pastor Lukau encouraged congregants to keep praying for their miracles.
“Keep on receiving, you are going home with your miracle,” he kept telling congregants as he prayed in tongues.
A woman then shouted: “Pastor Alph, something is happening outside. There is a family that is about to bring a corpse to Zimbabwe, but they are saying something is happening, man of God.
“As the funeral parlour drove over the church door, their neighbour said it seemed like the fingers of this dead corpse were beginning to move,” she added.
The pastor went outside, then asked the workers to take the coffin out of the hearse.
He asked the workers to open the coffin. He spoke to the deceased’s older brother before the coffin was completely taken out of the hearse.
According to the deceased’s landlord, the man had gotten sick and started “coughing a lot” on Friday.
“We took him to the hospital and they said they could not help him because he did not have papers, so we took him to the doctor and he died there,” the ‘resurrected’ man’s attendants claimed.
The family then took the body to the mortuary, where it was kept until Sunday.
Pastor Lukau asked the congregants to lift their hands and pray.
“Rise up!” he shouted, before the man got up and sat in the coffin, looking confused, like a modern-day Lazarus.
“The coffin is empty,” he said as the congregants jumped and screamed for joy.
Lukau’s church boasts hundreds of thousands of members across many branches in several countries. He and his wife are known for their conspicuous consumption, including sharing photos of him disembarking from a private jet and various luxury vehicles.
The latest development by Kings and Queens Real Funerals has cast doubt on the credibility of most of miracles alleged to be performed by pastors. Controversial Prophet Bushiri, who was earlier this month arrested in South Africa over fraud, has claimed to walk on water, in air and heal various ailments.
And while sights of believers throwing away their wheelchairs and crutches to walk after ‘miracles’ are common sight, Pastor Lukau seems to have taken the miracle stunts a notch higher, with the reaction from the funeral home suggesting it was a planned stunt.
And stunts are indeed common. In 2004, Kenyan investigative journalists busted fake miracles and exposed Prophet Victor Kanyari of Salvation Church Ministries. He was caught on camera coaching witnesses on what to say in church.
Some of those coached were everyday attendants who are paid per miracle performed.
A former junior preacher with Pastor Kanyari had said in an interview that they were using potassium permanganate to give the impression of ailments and then have the man of God heal through a miracle.
Another compelling investigation exposed the scandal in which Apostle Njoroge of the Fire of the Holy Spirit Ministries International was using sex workers to pose as sick people who are then supposedly healed to convince worshipers to continue pouring their hard-earned cash into that ministry.