SOUTH BAY – Kat Kerr, the author of Revealing Heaven says in heaven there are rollercoasters and movie theaters. “You literally do have mansions in heaven,” Kerr says.
This may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but for Kerr she says her trips to heaven are very real, and that she’s visited several times. She attributes these experiences to giving her life to Jesus at the age of four and being a fifth generation member of a family that has served and loved Christ.
“I will be anywhere doing any normal thing and then the next second I’m not here,” she says. “He catches me up by my spirit.”
This is how Kerr explains how Jesus invites her into heaven. Her body remains here on earth while her spirit goes on a journey to the heavenly realm. It’s not brought on by a near death experience. It just happens. “I didn’t choose what he does with me. He chose me,” she says.
On Friday, Jan. 10, Kerr will speak in detail about her encounters in heaven at the Glades Covenant Community Church, located at 248 US Highway 27 S., South Bay. The event starts at 7 p.m.
The senior pastors of the church are excited to have the well-known revelator in their community. The nondenominational church is located along the southeast end of Lake Okeechobee. The church fits up to 260 seats, which is why having a well-known author such as Kerr is impressive.
Kerr admits she is not familiar with the church, but says that after receiving the invitation from the church, she prayed about it and felt that the people in this area are hungry to know more about God and heaven.
Few could agree more than Senior Pastors Kenneth and Nerissa Jackson, who lead GCCC. The Jacksons, who are also husband and wife, have dedicated their lives to reviving the impoverished areas of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay. In 1996, Kenneth Jackson launched Street Beat Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes leadership in the community by focusing on education, health and by exposing young people to opportunities beyond the city’s borders.
Since establishing the nonprofit, the Jacksons have worked with more than 1,000 students. The Knight Foundation and Russell Simmons’ Rush Foundation Charities recognized Street Beat for its innovative approach to gearing young adults for excellence.
Now, with the church established, the Jacksons say they can provide a place where residents can nourish more than their minds and body, but also their spirits. This event is just a part of their lifelong mission to show people how to live a better life.
“We are hoping for community transformation,” Nerissa Jackson says. She stumbled upon Kerr’s book nearly two years ago and was struck by how it validates the word of God. She says that anyone who doubts that God can directly communicate with man, and have encounters similar to Kerr’s, should refer to 1 Corinthians 2:9 and 10.
… Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him; for to us God revealed then through the spirit, for the spirit search all things, even the depths of God, Nerissa Jackson paraphrases the passage, placing extra emphasis on the second portion on how God reveals through the spirit. “It says it right there,” said Nerissa Jackson.
On Friday, Kerr will begin the event by giving praise to God and Christ. Then she prepares for the Holy Spirit to enter the space. Sometimes she just walks people through her journeys and sometimes she has revelations for people who recently lost relatives. However, she points out that she is not to be confused with people who communicate with the dead.
“The difference is that God – the great creator of heaven and earth who sent us Christ – is using me,” she says. “Mediums and psychics are controlled by the enemy whether they like to believe that or not.” Kerr says people with these abilities have gifts, but if they are not using their abilities to reveal Jesus Christ or God’s purpose then the enemy is deceiving them. “The enemy does that a lot to cause confusion,” Kerr says.
The idea of communicating with a spirit may sound far-fetched. The idea of going to heaven may be a little more far-fetched, but Professor Daniel Alvarez, who teaches Mysticism and Religion at Florida International University, says it’s undeniable that across all religions people are able to interact with spirits.
“People do have unusual experiences,” Alvarez says. “Even Apostle Paul says he went to the seventh heaven. So the idea that Christians can do that goes back to the Bible itself.” However Alvarez, who also has two master degrees in religion from Harvard, argues that no one knows for a fact with whom or with what is the experience happening.
Nerissa Jackson says the answer is simple. She says GCCC has regular encounters with the Holy Spirit. The church program is even setup to accommodate spontaneous interventions. Sunday service begins at 10 a.m. and can end anytime between noon and 12:30 p.m., depending on how God is working with the congregation.
“There are only two forces that exist,” she says. “There’s the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.” She goes on to explain that each kingdom comes with its own sort of DNA. “When you encounter darkness, there’s anxiety, sense of dread, terror sometimes. When we have a spiritual encounter with the Father God, the creator of the universe, it’s usually associated with lightness, joy and a sense of peace and beauty – no anxiety and fear.”
Rochelle Oliver is a frequent guest panelist on CNN and she covers issues surrounding race and culture. Contact her at info@rochelleOliver.com or on Twitter.com/Rochelle_Oliver
Picture above – ENTERTAINING: A dancer waves ribbons and dances during praise and worship at Glades Covenant Community Church, located in South Bay.