Megachurch’s bid to ‘resurrect’ dead child through prayer
A Christian couple's bid to resurrect their daughter through prayer has been met with a groundswell of support across the US.
Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal's two-year-old daughter Olive Alayne, was rushed to hospital last Friday after she stopped breathing at the family's Redding, California home.
Tragically Olive Alayne was declared dead by doctors upon arrival and her body has been at the Shasta County Coroner's Office since Saturday, Redding police Sgt. Brian Torum told NBC.
On Sunday, Mrs Heiligenthal, a Christian singer, took to Instagram to issue an unusual plea - asking for prayers to bring her daughter back to life.
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We’re asking for prayer. We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power. We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors. We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It’s time for her to come to life.
"We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life," she wrote.
"Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It's time for her to come to life."
Mrs Heiligenthal post has since attracted more than 150,000 likes as well as 16,000 comments which overwhelmingly threw support behind the family.
Commenters wrote that they were "praying non-stop" for Olive Alayne to be resurrected, while another person asking: "Lord, breathe your life into this one!"
There have also been thousands of posts with the hashtags #wakeupolive and #victoriousawakening shared across social media.
The Heiligenthal family are members of Bethel megachurch in Redding, which last year claimed to heal a two-year-old from a deadly disease caused by an E. coli infection, Fox News reported.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered at the church, with video posted to Instagram by Mrs Heiligenthal showing members of the congregation dancing and chanting: "All hail."
In a video posted to the megachurch's Instagram, Bethel's senior lead pastor Bill Johnson said there was a "biblical precedent" for resurrection.
He said if there was a miracle Jesus would get the credit "but when it doesn't work, we don't blame God. We give him the glory. We give him the praise. We celebrate his goodness, his kindness, because nothing about our experience - difficult or not - changes who he is".
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the Heiligenthal family and has so far raised $50,000 of its $100,000 goal.
"Through all this, our desire is to bless, honour and support the family in the coming days. Please join us with your prayer, your solidarity, and your financial support," the fundraising page read.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Bethel church confirmed the Go Fund Me had been set up by employees of the church - where Mrs Heiligenthal works as a musician - to cover any "unknown expenses".
Mrs Heiligenthal has continued to share posts about her daughter, writing yesterday: "Day 5 is a really good day for resurrection.
"I've never been more grateful for Jesus. He is endlessly worthy of our love, trust, faith and risk."