That Story about the Homeless Megachurch Pastor Going Around Facebook Is Most Likely Fake

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” …

7 Comments

Chad Gilstrap

1

Chad Gilstrap commented…

Frustrates me to no end...the Gospel doesn't need our embellishment or drama.

Hugh Vega

1

Hugh Vega replied to Chad Gilstrap's comment

the gospel with out embellishment or drama is just a bunch of old words

Kevin Chval

1

Kevin Chval replied to Hugh Vega's comment

um.... what? God's word does not need nor should it receive modification on our end. God's Word is sufficiently perfect. To say that His Word needs embellishment or drama is to say that the scriptures which most Christians hold to be God Breathed is inherently imperfect because it is unable to achieve it's goal without the help of human hands. Let the scriptures speak for themselves, let the Gospels speak for themselves.

J.Molina

1

J.Molina commented…

I'm sure it's true. Perhaps this example has been duplicated in several congregations to simply expose our hypocrite behavior towards the lost. Hard to say that it's effective, but if it rebukes one persons life maybe it was worth it.

Joseph Dear

27

Joseph Dear commented…

I'm sure there have been instances like it (probably many throughout history), but if this particular story isn't true, then it is wrong to pass it off as if it is.

Magdalena Vieyra

2

Magdalena Vieyra commented…

Apparently he´s a Brazilian pastor, missionary and actor. At least the photo is his, and he opened a facebook page with the complete story (it´s in portuguese)

https://www.facebook.com/FanPagePastorJoaoLuizGimenezReis

Magdalena Vieyra

2

Magdalena Vieyra replied to Magdalena Vieyra's comment

this is his personal profile in facebook, a lot older than the viral story

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