Lee Stoneking And Osama Bin Laden's 40 Wives Story
Left to right: Bethany and Art Wilson, C.P. Thomas, Lee Stoneking, Seramma Thomas. C.P. and Lee have spoken for years at the church pastored by Art.
It was shared in a message spoken at a "Touch The Future" conference in May of 2012 at Souls Harbor First Pentecostal Church in Belleview, Florida. These yearly conferences were designed to impact young ministers and Stoneking has spoken at them for years. To see highlights from one year go here. United Pentecostal Church minister and evangelist Elton Leroy "Lee" Stoneking stated that Osama Bin Laden had 40 wives locked in a cave for seven years and when they were rescued, they were all water baptized in the name of Jesus and 26 came out of the water speaking in tongues. It is my understanding that this was also shared the same year in Visalia, California at the Pentecostal Lighthouse of Visalia, where James McPhaill is pastor and may have also been shared elsewhere.
Stoneking claims to have been told this by minister and missionary C.P. Thomas of India. He claims C.P. is an apostle, who was caught away in the same manner as Philip was in Acts 8:39. He was introduced to C.P. through Stan Gleason, yet another friend of Stoneking and fellow UPC minister.
What Lee Stoneking Preached
Three years after it was originally shared, people are still debating whether or not Stoneking's claims are true. There are people who have been suggesting that Lee Stoneking simply took the word of another minister and repeated the claim, thus throwing the blame on C.P. Thomas who is not as well known. You will soon see that this is far from what transpired. One needs to understand that C.P. Thomas isn't just some minister that Lee Stoneking happened across one day and then decided to run with the story. They have known each other for years. In addition, C.P. has been supported for a very long time by some churches in the UPC as well as others. One church has known and worked with him for around thirty years. He operates independent of any organization in the USA.
Let's listen to what Lee Stoneking said in this brief audio recording.
A Facebook page shared this two years later in 2014 and included a picture that was supposedly of a couple of these women on a bus. As they do not give any sources, it is unknown if the picture is of them.
This is what Stoneking tells the listeners:
1) C.P. tells Lee that he was in the area when Osama was killed. (Please note he was killed on May 2, 2011.)
This message was posted online and attention was soon drawn to it due to this story. Many in and out of the United Pentecostal Church were in disbelief. Others felt that Stoneking couldn't lie because he had the Holy Ghost. Some felt that Stoneking should have fact checked before passing along the story. It was removed after people started questioning its veracity, but some still had the audio, so it continued to be shared.
One woman's blog has addressed some of Stoneking's claims already. It has been well documented since his death that Osama did not have 40 wives.
What C.P. Thomas Preached
My first discovery, which showed that Stoneking's version differed from the original story by C.P. Thomas, came when I found a mention of 50 women having been released from captivity in the Open Door Newsletter from December 2011. "The house project for the 50 women who were released from captivity is nearing completion." The Christian Family Church contributed more than $8,000 toward this project.
A few days later, in trying to find a message from C.P. Thomas prior to Stoneking's, I found one where he shared several stories from different countries. And there it was, about thirteen minutes into the video. What a different story was told. Lee Stoneking didn't simply repeat a story he had not verified, but he changed several aspects of it. You may listen to it yourself here. C.P. shared this on June 25, 2011 at the Christian Family Church, just under two months after Osama was killed. The portion that speaks of this particular story starts around the 12:57 mark and ends about 17:55.
This is what Thomas tells the listeners:
1) After Osama is killed, the Taliban leave a certain area. A Muslim man came to C.P. and asked him if he knew that for the last four years, the Taliban had held 50 women in a cave. They were raped, tortured, drugged and had no food or clothing. C.P. says he did not know this. The man then asks C.P. if he would like to take them back (to where they lived). He says yes.
Let us compare the two stories.
1) It was 50 women, not 40.
As you can clearly see, Lee Stoneking's story is not what was told by C.P. Thomas. As of the date of this article, there is no known public acknowledgment that his telling of the story did not accurately reflect what Thomas shared and thus many over the past three years, and even today, erroneously believe that Thomas is the one at fault, when he clearly is not. Since Lee Stoneking considers C.P. Thomas an apostle, a puzzling aspect of the situation is that he would allow people to believe that this apostle lied. Surely he is aware of the questions and concerns his sermons have caused.
The above screenshots are from Lee Stoneking's Facebook page from February 26 & 27, 2016. Will he hold himself accountable for the erroneous statements he made as shown in this article? Will he defend the honor of his friend, C.P. Thomas, and do the honorable thing and admit he shared false information? Will he ever make a public apology and retraction? Since he has his own website, it would be quite easy to do. If he does not, then according to his own words he is "too small to be a leader".
Some Information On C.P. Thomas
One thing has been interesting in looking into C.P. Thomas and that is discovering he doesn't just work with those in the United Pentecostal Church. He also has worked with Trinitarians and non-holiness standard churches and one that does a "salvation prayer." He does tell some stories that are hard to believe. He is, or will be, 70 years old in 2015 and works independently from other church organizations.
From what I can gather, C.P. Thomas is married to Seramma, who was born October 5, and they have one daughter and two sons. His ministry started in Rajasthan, Jaipur and it appears he may have, or has had, homes in Cochin, Amritsar and Nepal.
According to C.P. Thomas, he was a black magician before becoming Christian. He practiced transcendental meditation, yoga and was a medium for dead spirits. He converted after he was prayed for and healed of a brain tumor. In 1985, he started "Compassion of Agape," a non-profit organization in India. "Grace Fellowship" operates under the organization and is a ministerial group. They operate a two year school called "Grace Fellowship Bible College" in Cochin. His ministerial group is said to have planted 75 churches throughout India as of January 2007. It appears some churches are held in individual homes.
C.P. Thomas also works with his daughter, Margaret Thomas Ronia Frelund. She co-founded Odaio, an organization wanting to "build a self sustaining children's center providing love, care and guidance to orphaned children and widows in India". She is a 2013 graduate of the Urshan Graduate School (UPC operated). In a 2012 talk at a church, she shared of her plans to become a minister and go to Iraq, but on December 15, 2013, she became engaged. Ronia married Jon Charles Frelund on October 11, 2014 and appears to have attended church with him at Christian Fellowship Church in Minnesota. Around May 2016, they moved to Winona. She is a former chaplain resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. According to Stoneking, she didn't speak in tongues until sometime in 2010.
Picture of C.P. Thomas from Christian Family Church.
Below are some churches that have supported C.P. Thomas in his work in India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal and anywhere else he goes. He has received many thousands of dollars in support from these churches alone.
http://cfcchurches.org - Pastor Tim Peterson; a non-holiness Pentecostal church. I did see in a video where they had people in Nepal repeat a "salvation prayer." They claim to have churches all over the world. They appear to believe in "holy laughter." (Link to their page on C.P. In this link there is another missionary family, Samson and Rajakumari Roberts, and the Sow The Seed organization mentioned is Trintarian. C.P. Thomas has worked with them.) As of 2016, the church still is still working with Thomas.
http://livelystonechurch.com - Pastor Kevin Moss; a Oneness Pentecostal Church that appears to be holiness. (Link to the Apostolic Theological Seminary in India. UPC General Superintendent David Bernard and Oneness Pentecostal minister Steve Winter both have degrees from here, with Bernard's being honorary.)
Below is a video about C.P. Thomas that will give you some overall information from 2007.
More On Stoneking
You may be interested in reading more about Lee Stoneking in the article on the United Nations.
Outside Links Of Interest
http://www.leestoneking.com is Lee Stoneking's website.
https://www.facebook.com/EvangelistLeeStoneking is Lee Stoneking's Facebook page.
Lee Stoneking Lies Again: Osama's 40 Wives is an article from a former UPC member where she looks into the veracity of Stoneking's claims.
Rev. Lee Stoneking Lies To The United Nations is an article from a former UPC member where she tackles Stoneking's claims of being raised from the dead.
Rev. Lee Stoneking Lies At The UN Part 2 is a follow-up article to the above where she shares additional information that may surprise you.
Lee Stoneking lies about everything is a lengthy YouTube video by a non-Christian who is a health care professional and an EMT. He shows why he believes Stoneking's claims of a miracle are false.
Page Added June 9, 2015 & Updated July 4, 2016 (links checked/fixed June 25, 2016)
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