That Story about the Homeless Megachurch Pastor Going Around Facebook Is Most Likely Fake
July 26, 2013
You may have seen a story about a pastor named Jeremiah Steepek floating around Facebook the last few days. The viral post says that on the day Steepek was to be introduced as the new pastor of an unnamed megachurch, he disguised himself as a homeless man, and was treated poorly by parishioners as he found a seat in the back of the church. The pastor then reveals his true identity, shocking the congregation before delivering a powerful sermon about what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
It’s an inspiring story, but there’s some pretty convincing evidence that it’s totally fake. (UPDATE: Or, at least a modified, uncredited work of fiction.) Snopes.com found that the tale has several similarities with other stories—including this, slightly less sensational, news story about a Tennessee pastor who went “undercover” to learn about the needs of the local homeless community on the week he was named the head pastor of a large area church. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that the image accompanying the Facebook post is of an actual homeless man that was posted to Flickr in 2010. Also, no one has been able to turn up any more information on the mysterious “Pastor Jeremiah Steepek” …