Trinity Church Members Nearing End of 40-Day Fast for Jesus

Categories: Flotsam
fasting.jpg
Hungry... for Jesus
So you go to church every Christmas and Easter, do you? Or perhaps you dress up in your Sunday best and tag along with grandma once a month. Maybe you even go every week, although the fact that you're reading Riptide suggests otherwise.

Well, sorry to break it you but your devotion still pales in comparison to that of roughly 1,000 members of Trinity Church in North Miami. These Pentecostals are so pious they are starving themselves for Jesus.

Literally.

When Riptide visited Trinity last Tuesday evening, the church smelled like a high school locker room: all sweat and perfume. More than a 1,000 young Miamians -- Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans, African-Americans, and Caucasians -- were packed into a low-slung concert hall for a weekly event called "The Rendezvous," or simply "The Vous."

The scene was straight out of MTV, but without ass cheeks and F-bombs. Christian rock blared from loudspeakers. On stage, a multicultural rainbow of singers jumped up and down to the ever-quickening beat. God only knows where they got the energy: Many of them are hadn't eaten solid food in weeks.

Terrence Wilson, a pastor at Trinity in his late 20s, was one of them. He was a month into a 40-day liquid-only fast in the name of Jesus, but bounding around the stage in a backwards cap like Method Man, high on something supernatural. Beside him, Rabson Senat, who hadn't eaten anything but fruits, vegetables, and Ensure in weeks, was crooning to the rafters like R. Kelly.

"The liquid fast is really tough," said Senat, a handsome, black 26-year-old in a T-shirt and jeans. "I just drink water and a shake at lunch. Sometimes I get headaches for food, but they just remind me to pick up The Book and read."

Trinity pastor Rich Wilkerson Sr. -- a prosperity-gospel televangelist and Ken doll look-alike -- began promoting fasts 12 years ago as a way to deepen church members' relationships with God. Now roughly one third of Trinity's nearly 3,000 members are on some sort of fast, according to Liz Eden, director of communication for Trinity Church.

Many, like fiancées Jason Hodges and Allison Funes, have restricted themselves to consuming only liquids one day per week. Others practice a "Daniel fast," a fruits, vegetables, and nuts-only diet named after the Biblical figure who refused to eat at King Nebuchadnezzar's sumptuous table.

Not surprisingly, fasting for Jesus isn't always healthy. Andre Etienne, a student at Miami Dade College who will sprint the 400-meter dash in next year's Olympics for Haiti, was two weeks into a liquid-only diet when his body basically shut down.

"Everything was out of whack," he said. "My body was cold even though it was hot outside. My joints hurt." Despite getting sick and setting back his Olympic training for at least several months, Etienne said he had no regrets. In fact, he's now on a Daniel fast.

"Although it would seem kind of radical to some people, I didn't want to just play church," he said before going back on stage. "I wanted radical change in my life."

Etienne and his fellow church members stop fasting on February 11.

Here's a video of Rich Wilkerson Jr. promoting something called The Vous Conference later this year. Apparently, Trinity Church is bringing ol' JC to SoBe:

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11 comments
Cuvista
Cuvista

Ignorance+misunderstood religion make a very dangerous mix.The medical consequences of one of this movements made on the name of God, are unpredictable.Manipulation of peoples minds under religious premises is criminal.The collective suicide of thousands of people in Johns Towne directed by an other lunatic "Pastor", is the extreme example of such mental game by mistaken preachers.This non sense deserves investigation and punishment if it were the legal case.

castle
castle

Is it me but is the Times actually saying that this church might be relevant? Although there is quite the sarcasm regarding starvation; I say its a breathe of fresh air to see people who are passionate about the what they do and are bridging the gap between racial divides.Wow. This is actually a refreshing article about church. Thanks!!

BEEJANESE
BEEJANESE

AWESOME !!!!!!! 1,000 ++ YOUNG ADULTS EXCITED ABOUT JESUS!!!!! THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS. I'D RATHER SEE THEM THERE THAN ON THE STREETS. :D

2,000++ CHRISTIANS PRAISING GOD ON SOUTH BEACH, I'M VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!

Camie100
Camie100

Love this! These people are going to tur Miami upside down for Jesus! We should all be this passionate!

josie posie
josie posie

The conference is going to be fun. @PEKE I went last year and it literally changed me for the better.

Thanks for writing this article, cynicism and all. It lets me know that I am in the right "locker room" and I am so ready for the game!

Sign up for the conference at http://thevous.com.

David4news
David4news

nice to see that the New Times is finally covering a story in the inner city that is not about drug dealers and gang wars....these kids seem to be making a huge POSITIVE impact in our community...if "starving for Jesus" makes me a world changer then sign me up.

Mississippi girl
Mississippi girl

Love it...people on fire for Jesus...celebrating life and freedom from so many things that had them trapped. A sacrifice of 40 days must be hard but in a whole life time...its not bad. Ive fasted and it really did heighten my quiet times with God :) this is great !!

Tman
Tman

With all the superficiality and self centeredness that Miami has to offer...It's refreshing to hear of a place where young people are taking a break and sacrificing something in order to focus on something bigger than themselves in order to get closer to God and better there lives....So they're fasting for forty days to get focused on God..What's the problem?

That's no different than when people make New Years resolutions like not smoking or drinking or eating fatty foods to "better" their lives...It's a sacrifice that they are choosing to do..Don't understand the sarcastic nature of this article....no need to hate...Actually thanks for the article..I'm starting my fast today!

Jbrieno
Jbrieno

That conference is going to be amazing,Keep it up Trinity church "THE VOUS"

peke
peke

THAT CONFERENCE LOOKS LIKE FUN

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