January: Jim Bakker started his third year on TV. He began the year by cutting short his winter break because of the great tsunami that killed over 250,000 people on December 26th. He felt compelled to bring his teachings on the Book of Revelation to as many people as possible. By offering the 28 hour Bible study on DVD and giving each person who ordered it a free DVD player, he was determined to help people understand the times we are in. He said, “There will be more perilous times just ahead. This is not a time to fear though; this is a time to look up because our redemption is drawing closer.”
Rick Joyner wrote to his MorningStar Strategic Team (MST) members about the move to Heritage USA. A portion from his writings:
It is a new year and a new day! I pray that this will be your best year yet, filled with dreams and visions coming true. This year many will be freed from the shackles of the past and begin soaring into a limitless future in God in the heavenly places. He has created His universe to ever expand as a testimony that He has not given a limit to those who pursue the heavenly inheritance…
A New Beginning
On Sunday, December 5, 2004, MorningStar Fellowship Church of Charlotte held its first services in the Grand Hotel lobby of Heritage International Ministries (H.I.M.). The local news stations called it a “historic day,” and I believe it was. We had just discovered a few days before that our first meeting there would be held exactly seven years after the facilities had been closed on December 5, 1997. This was no accident. One era had completed its course, and a new day had begun. Our restoring of this property, which had become a symbol throughout the world of the failures of Christianity, is a prophetic statement of the restoration of the honor of the church. It will take time, but Christians will soon be esteemed as honorable throughout the world, and this is just the beginning.
We did not know how it would feel to meet at H.I.M., as one of the heaviest spirits of depression I had ever felt on a property had been over the place. However, we just knew we were called to restore the property. Late Saturday night on the eve of our first meeting, it looked like there was too much to accomplish before we could actually hold services in the lobby of H.I.M. The next morning it was ready and beautifully decorated. The acoustics, which we were so concerned about, were possibly better than in any place we have ever been.
Our 9:00 a.m. Service has been getting better and better, but this was the best feeling I had ever had in that early service. By the start of the 11:00 a.m. Service, the feeling in the building was electric. The reporters and TV cameras could not inhibit the people from expressing their thanks and praise to God. People all over the building were weeping with joy, even those who had no ties to this property in the past. We were somehow being touched by the joy in heaven….
Even having the capacity to hold twice as many people as our previous facility, we had to turn some away from the 11:00 a.m. service. That was the only negative thing about the day. I know it makes for good press when you have to turn people away from meetings, but I do not like it at all. We are working on getting a voice activated fire alarm system that will enable us to double the number of people we can allow in the meetings. Then we will be able to have nearly four times as many as we could hold in our old building. It is obvious that we are going to need this capacity. We are thankful for the hunger and interest, but we are much more thankful for the extraordinary sense of the Lord’s presence there.
Not only do we have a home for the ministry that is far better than anything we could have dreamed of or hoped for, and I do not mean to sound presumptuous, but this does mark the beginning of a new day for the whole body of Christ, not just for us. We know that we have a long way to go before the reputation of the body of Christ will be restored, just as we still have a long way to go to restore these buildings, but the journey has begun.
Trust must be earned. With the fear that is growing in the world, and the failures of Christians that have been so public, trust has become even more expensive. With the stigma attached to this property, we are going to have to live by even higher standards of integrity for a longer period of time to regain the trust of even the other members of the body of Christ, much less the world. However, we do not want to be trusted unless we are trustworthy.
As all of the news cameras and reporters that are constantly showing up at the property make clear, our ministry now lives in a fish bowl. We also know that we are no better than anyone else and without the grace and mercy of God, will not stand the pressure. We therefore beseech you to pray for us as often as you think of us, that we will remain true to the Lord and His purpose for us here.
Of course, the energy surrounding the reopening of the property for Christians was encouraging, actually even much better than we had hoped, but we all wondered what the next week’s meetings would be like when things got back to “normal.” Now, after two weeks of being in our new home, it seems that the feeling has not changed, and there were nearly as many people still coming as the first week.
Even though the euphoria of recovering such awesome facilities for the kingdom is wonderful, we expect some leveling off, especially during the holidays. However, after that it is likely that the local church based at H.I.M. will grow substantially. We are already gearing up to add a third meeting on Sunday. This will be an evening “renewal” service devoted to worship and personal ministry. We are also looking to add a Saturday night meeting. It is probable that in the near future we will be having services at H.I.M. every night of the week.
Having services nightly is something that we believe the Spirit has been leading us to prepare for almost since we began the church in Charlotte. Though we have been committed to team ministry since the beginning, knowing that the time was coming when we would have to host a true revival has given even greater impetus to build the team. I personally think that our truly being a ministry team is now one of the greatest strengths of the ministry. We have a diverse group of ministries on the team who have learned to flow together, honoring and giving room for distinctions, allowing us to provide a much more diverse equipping of the people as well…
We still have some altitude to gain, but we are much closer to entering into our orbit, the place that we have been called to have in the body of Christ. However, though we may need to level off for a time after that to collect ourselves, none of us feel called to just orbit, but we want to go on to explore other heavenly realms. We do not want to stop going higher until we are sure of evidence that heaven is truly accessible to all who live on the earth. I believe the messengers who truly preach the gospel of the kingdom will have a burning passion to somehow see heaven and earth united. I think this will also contribute to the bride’s yearning for her King to come so that He cannot wait any longer!
As encouraging as our new home is, we want to always keep in mind that our true home is in the heavenly realm, sitting with the Lord where He now sits. We are very thankful for all that the Lord has done for us, but we are after much more than buildings here–we want to see the reality of heaven’s authority demonstrated over the earth, including over every disease, demonic oppression, and sinful way of mankind…”
February: MorningStar had a Worship Conference from the 10th through the 12th. It was another success as hundreds of people attended from around the globe.
Work continued on restoring the hotel. A crew worked on the conference/ballroom where the dinner theaters of PTL were held. It was located at the end of the Hall of Agreement and could hold almost twice as many people as the lobby. Additionally, volunteers were “welcome to come and work Monday – Saturday.” Rick Joyner hoped to move the church into this room as soon as possible. He also planned to have Main Street opened by September.
MorningStar services are also aired on our local cable television. Time Warner Mecklenburg carried the program every Sunday at 6:00 pm.
Earl Coulston closed on the 900+ acres, the main portion of the PTL Ministry. It wasn’t long after the closing that the bulldozers arrived.
March: Earl Coulston (owner of Coulston Enterprises) began developing the land while his wife, Sabrina, made an announcement in The Christian World Voice newspaper that her ministry “Flames of Fire,” was now on the former Heritage USA property. Not many people on the grounds were familiar with her ministry.
In the article Sabrina Coulston made readers aware of what was happening on the PTL property. She stated that the Flames of Fire Ministry intended to restore and also rename the Barn auditorium, TV studio, Amphitheater, and the Upper Room.
Sabrina described her ministry as a “nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking iniquities and igniting destinies through prophetic evangelism. Based in Fort Mill, S.C., the organization participates in ministry opportunities across the United States and throughout the world…”
From the 17th through the 19th, Rick Joyner held a Prophetic Equipping Conference. There was another large turn out.
April: On the 13th, Rick and I received a letter from Tammy Faye inviting us to a fundraising event, “Still Surviving – An evening with Tammy Faye.” She wrote that it would be at the Unity Church in Charlotte, N.C., on the 29th where she and Tammy Sue would be doing a benefit for the Jemsek Project, a research organization for AIDS.
On the night of the 29th, Tammy Faye mentioned what was happening at Heritage USA saying, “I don’t think it will be the same anymore, then again maybe it will be better, I don’t know…”
April’s edition of The Christian World Voice had another article by Sabrina Coulston, which included color pictures of the Upper Room, the Barn Auditorium, the Amphitheater, and the TV Studio. She wrote about her excitement over what the Lord was doing with the new vision for the property. There were many renovations being done to buildings, and Sabrina’s vision was for the land to be a home for all nations. Flames Of Fire Ministry was up and running. The new name for the area was Crown International Complex. The buildings were renamed as follows: Crown International Conference Center, Crown International Studios, Crown International Amphitheatre, and Crown International Upper Room.
May: The Cause USA, headed up by Pastor Lou Engel, moved on the grounds and rented, from Earl Coulston, one of the timeshare chalets on Lake Heritage, and the old Wagon Wheel Restaurant as well as the original Registration Office for the campgrounds. This group is involved in praying for America. They often peacefully prayed in front of the U.S. Supreme Court for the abortion laws to be changed. They stood out in a crowd wearing a small piece of red tape over their mouths with the word “Life” written on it.
During the month, Coulston Enterprises started the renovations as follows:
- The Heritage Island Water Park was being dismantled in order to build restaurants, shops and lakefront housing across from the Heritage Grand Hotel;
- Two Heritage Inns were burned down under the supervision of local fire departments. There were also plans to burn down the last one over the summer;
- A huge area behind the General Store was leveled to make room for several hundred homes;
- Thousands of trees were burned at various places around the grounds. The smell of smoke became a daily unpleasant odor to the area residents;
- McMoose’s and Buffalo Park were slated to be burned down or dismantled;
- Hundreds of cedar trees were being stripped and hauled off from the wooded campgrounds, around an area called North and South Lost Lake, to make room for new roads and homes;
- The old winding road that led from the Heritage Grand Hotel to the Lakeside Lodge Timeshares was being made into a streamlined roadway that connected to a bridge, under construction, that would eventually lead into Pineville, N.C.
- Coulston Enterprises was also building a large strip mall at the entrance to Regent Park;
- NarroWay Productions moved their Christian production to another location off the grounds because the Flames of Fire Ministry intended to renovate the Amphitheater.
From the 26th to the 28th, MorningStar had a Spiritual Warfare Conference. Rick Joyner’s guest speaker was Francis Frangipane. The conferences continued to be well attended.
June: In Rick Joyner’s The MorningStar Prophetic Bulletin, he wrote an article about the restoration of Heritage USA. These are excerpts from that Bulletin:
“The work of restoring the former Heritage Grand Hotel and Conference Center purchased by MorningStar Fellowship Church continues to make good progress. Ninety-one hotel rooms were approved for use in May, and we are hoping to add several dozen a month until all five hundred and one are restored.
For a time this property had the attention of the whole world. Our goal is for it to be used again in an even greater way, as a base for training and equipping some of the most radical, fearless, and effective soldiers in the last day army of God…
With the physical restoration of the property, there seems to be a corresponding spiritual restoration going on. In just one eight-day period, over ninety-one people were baptized in water there and about the same number were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Every week there are salvations, people being baptized in the Spirit, as well as gifts and ministries of the Spirit being imparted or awakened in people. The activity of the Holy Spirit is definitely increasing here, and we know we are just beginning.
In what may be some of the best news yet, it now appears that the twenty-three story high-rise unit that was left half finished on the property, will not have to be destroyed, but may be in good structural shape. MorningStar is having engineers verify this and re-certify the structure…”
From the 13th through the 15th MorningStar held another conference in the lobby of the Grand Hotel.
On the 16th, Tammy Faye put out a message on her web site that included the following:
“People are asking me about my health. I have been off Chemo for a year and a few weeks ago I felt like I had broken my back. The pain was relentless and severe. I went for an MRI and they found a small spot of cancer (a small tumor) in my back located next to the eleventh vertebrae. I went through 14 treatments of radiation, which has left me very weak and constantly sick to my stomach. Then another cat scan and pet scan revealed that the spot of cancer in my left lung which I had received Chemo for was back again and growing. So I am scheduled to start Chemo-therapy again in a few weeks…”
Sunday the 26th, Rick Joyner announced that he would be moving on the grounds.
July: MorningStar Ministries closes for the month of July to give the staff and volunteers time to rest, or to do something that they have wanted to do but were unable to due to ministry. Rick Joyner closed the service by encouraging people to enjoy their families and to go out during the month to other churches, or go on a mission trip if that was possible. He and his family were going on a world tour, possibly his last for a long time as he wanted to concentrate on restoring Heritage.
Construction continued on the grounds. Earl Coulston removed many of the landmarks that symbolized Heritage USA.
On the 11th, Jim Bakker said on his TV show, “I had a dream, I actually woke up in the dream and saw the city of New Orleans underwater.” He said the Lord showed him that New Orleans was going to be covered by water one day.
On the 25th, a film called “Tammy Faye, Death Defying” was shown on the WE TV Network. It was a 90-minute documentary that Tammy did for the same company that produced The Eyes of Tammy Faye. It was a close up and revealing story of her walk through cancer. She wanted to take the mystery out of having cancer in order to help people who were coping or about to cope with the disease. There was a trailer at the end of the show reporting that, as of the release of this documentary, Tammy Faye’s cancer had returned.
August: The Flames of Fire Ministry began restoring the outside of the Barn Auditorium, and completely refurbished the TV Studio. Sabrina Coulston was planning to have conferences in the TV Studio.
On the 11th, Tammy Faye wrote a message on her web site about her new bout with chemo therapy. Here is a portion of her letter:
“Got up early Monday morning to have my first treatment of chemo. I was very nervous but hey, I’d been here before, how different could it be. Well, I was in for the surprise of my life.
Roe and I and Tammy Sue sat and talked throughout the 5 hour ordeal and before I knew it, it was over. All of a sudden I felt something happening in my right hand. It was stiffening up and freezing into strange positions. I never thought too much about it and got up to go home. As I stood to my feet I discovered I could not breathe! The most horrible sounds I have ever heard were coming out of my mouth, struggling to breathe. I was panic-stricken as were Tammy Sue & Roe. But thank God for a great doctor and awesome nurses, they went into emergency mode and after a few minutes and lots of shots of something and some oxygen, I was breathing normally again. I had had a reaction to one of the drugs they had given me, and there is no way to know about that beforehand.
I have never been in bed for a week in my life. As of yesterday I have been in bed for a week. Thank God for your prayers on my behalf. My legs are finally starting to move again, my hand is much better, my nausea is still pretty consistent but gradually getting better, my strength is starting to come back. My husband and my daughter have been taking good care of me. I continue to trust God that I will be ‘cancer free!’ Too many sick people are like the leper who came to Jesus in Matthew 8. The leper said ‘If you will you can heal me.’ Jesus answered, ‘I will. Be clean.’ What a mighty God we serve! Love, Tammy Faye”
On the 30th, Hurricane Katrina (a category 5 storm) slammed into New Orleans. The very next day the levee system broke and within hours New Orleans slowly was being covered by water and there was no way to stop it. Jim Bakker’s revelation from the Lord that he had mentioned on his show just six weeks before was happening right before everyone’s eyes.
After Katrina, Jim Bakker was more determined to get the message the Lord had given to him out to the public. On his web site, he began to put together a daily account of what was happening in the world that related to the end times. He wrote, “The birth pangs are increasing and now we need to be on live TV in order to keep everyone current. Right now we are on a week delay and we must go on daily.”
September: Hurricane Katrina was considered the worst natural disaster in American history. The cost for restoring the region was being reported at $240 billion dollars.
The New Jim Bakker Show became devoted to “end time” teaching, and ministering to those victims of Hurricane Katrina who had lost everything. Supplying food and clothing, Jim opened the Studio City Cafe to reach out to some of the million displaced people.
From the 15th – 17th, MorningStar had a Worship Conference called, Beholding His Glory.
During the month, MorningStar Ministries sent money, supplies, and many people to the worst stricken areas on the Gulf coast from Hurricane Katrina.
October: Jim Bakker continued putting out updates on world events using Bible verses that spoke about the times we are living in. He continued to raise money to buy a Satellite Uplink Truck. His longtime friend, Jerry Crawford, is a developer who bought over 600 acres about 30 miles south of Branson, Missouri in the town of Blue Eye. His plans were to build homes and a large mall for stores and restaurants creating another “Heritage USA” type of atmosphere. Daily live television programs would be coming from there as Jim Bakker was making plans to permanently move to this new retreat named, Morningside.
From October 18th through the 24th there was another conference held in the lobby of the Heritage Grand. This was named, The Feasts of the Tabernacle. Rick Joyner considered this fall conference to be the largest one of the year. Several other ministries were invited to set up in small tents, supplied by MorningStar, in front of the hotel to share their ministries with those who came.
On the 20th, one of the local TV stations interviewed Rick Joyner as he showed them around the grounds and reviewed the progress that had been made over the past year. There were 91 rooms that had been renovated, while they continued working toward the goal of restoring all 500. He also told a reporter that he would be restoring Jim Bakker by December. He did not say how, but he did say, “We must restore Jim Bakker so the world will listen to our gospel.”
On the 26th, Tammy Faye appeared on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) to talk about her battle with cancer and reflect on how she and Jim Bakker helped start TBN with Paul and Jan Crouch over 30 years ago. Paul Crouch Jr. interviewed her and mentioned that the reason for Tammy being on the Behind the Scenes program was that he and his mom, Jan, read in a tabloid magazine that Tammy was on her death bed, and they wanted to set the record straight. Tammy Faye was still fighting the cancer, but she appeared to be healthy.
November: On the 9th, Jim Bakker posted a message that Rick Joyner was going to be the guest on his show, and it would be airing on the 16th because of the week delay of televising the program.
On the 10th, our local newspaper, the Fort Mill Times, had an article on the new road going through Regent Park/Heritage to Pineville, North Carolina. This was the first time that there was a negative reaction from the residents in the area since the property transferred hands. The entire article read as follows
Neighbors have mixed reactions to Regent Parkway roadwork By Jonathan Allen
FORT MILL TOWNSHIP—
Coulston Enterprises’ plan to extend Regent Parkway from Hwy. 21 in York County to Dorman Road in Pineville, N.C., is getting mixed reviews from residents living in Regent Park.
Developer Earl Coulston’s plan would eventually put about 15,000 cars a day on the road. The York County Engineering Department has said it would alleviate congestion on Hwy. 21 and I-77.
Currently, Regent Parkway stops at the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks near the incomplete Grand Hotel, part of Jim Bakker’s former PTL empire.
Not everyone in Regent Park is happy about the proposed connection with Pineville, though. “I think it’s pretty brutal,” Kathleen Fereday said. “We have so much traffic through here now. I think it will bring a lot of undesirables through Regent Park.”
Fereday lives near the entrance to the Keswyck neighborhood on Regent Parkway.
At first, one Regent Park homeowner thought a connection to Pineville would be great.
However, when he heard the projected daily traffic volume for the road is 15,000 cars, he wasn’t so enthused about the idea.
One of his neighbors, Buddy Haggerty, agrees with the road connection, even with the amount of traffic expected for the road.
“I’d like to see it happen,” Haggerty said. “There is always good with the bad.”
But many other Regent Park residents disagree.
“This will take a lot of the congestion and feed it through here,” Kris Meacham said. “We already have a speeding problem on this road even though they just lowered the limit.”
Meacham lives less than 100 feet from Regent Parkway. She claims Coulston Enterprises is blatantly disregarding residents already living in Regent Park and this road extension plan is a result of that disregard.
“I’m tired of the bias that they forget there are homeowners out here,” Meacham said.
Coulston did not return numerous calls from the Fort Mill Times seeking comment.
Another resident, Peggy Coons, is also distrustful of Coulston.
She said Regent Parkway is already heavy with traffic and that a number of bus stops near the road will be more dangerous with no sidewalks and 15,000 cars using the road each day.
She and Meacham are also concerned about who will end up paying for the repairs necessary on Regent Parkway and other roads within the development.
They fear the Regent Park Home Owners Association will have to foot the bill.
Construction on the road beyond the tracks has already begun.
Coulston is currently working on a list of close to 30 repairs on the road that the county engineering department has requested before it would advise the county council to accept the roadway into the county-maintained road system.”
On the 16th, Jim Bakker’s program with guest Rick Joyner was aired. They spoke about Heritage USA, the end times, and the Bird Flu that was posing a danger to the world. Rick Joyner said that, if it mutates, it could spread around the world in only four days possibly killing millions. Toward the end of the show Rick Joyner invited Jim to speak at his New Years Conference at Heritage USA. It was an exciting moment when Jim became obviously thrilled about coming back to Heritage.
On the 17th, Tammy Faye made another guest appearance on TBN’s Praise The Lord Program. She announced that her cancer numbers had dropped from the high of 47 down to 10. She was still undergoing treatment, but she was feeling better.
On the 19th, Coulston Enterprises burned down the Timeshare Clubhouse in order to build a new one. The four Timeshare buildings next to the Clubhouse were slated to be burned down at a later time to make way for luxury homes on Lake Heritage.
December: The New Years Conference held in the lobby of the Heritage Grand was filled to capacity when Rick Joyner introduced Jim Bakker to an eruption of applause from the crowd. Through cheers and shouts, once again Jim Bakker stepped to the pulpit of his beloved ministry. His message, Something Went Wrong, was sobering. He warned that 2006 was going to be an eventful year as the coming of the Lord draws near.
Jim went on to say, “We must empty ourselves and be open vessels for God to pour into our lives in order for Him to use us effectively in these times.” It was a dramatic illustrated sermon whereby he used a lump of clay as an example of how we are “full of ourselves.” The potter (being God) molds it (meaning us) and shapes it and then the Bible says, in Jeremiah: 18, that “something went wrong.”
Jim Bakker explained how our lives are just like the lump of clay and although we are molded and shaped by God, sometimes things go wrong, like it did in his life. He continued, “But the Bible says that the Lord uses ‘that same clay’ putting it back on the wheel to make it what He wants it to be. Then it must go through the fire! Without us going through the fire of trials and tests we would just break and fall back into the pit of raw clay.” When he finished, the altar was filled with broken people.