Encountering the supernatural

Smittcamp Honors College student Jeremy Eggman, who studies at the School of Supernatural Ministry, he watches a documentary during class.

Jeremy Eggman refers to God as “Papa” and speaks of feeling his presence.  He studies at The School of Supernatural Ministry at The River Church.

An anthropology major and math minor, Eggman will graduate in May 2013 from Fresno State’s Smittcamp Family Honors College.

Housed in what looks like the office building of an industrial complex, The School of Supernatural Ministry runs a two-year program holding classes twice a week. The school bases its curriculum around the belief that God heals human beings both physically and spiritually.

Mike Horn teaches the school’s classes and ministers at The River Church. He spoke of Eggman as an intellectual and logical young man. He concedes how unusual this might seem to the irreligious and non-Christians since Eggman follows the church’s charismatic Christian doctrine.

“Very logical, very rational, very intelligent and yet, he has incorporated the idea that there is something that transcends,” Horn said of Eggman.

According to this breed of Christianity, the Spirit of God has multiple encounters with all human beings. After repentance in Jesus Christ, this spirit — known, as the “Holy Spirit” — heals the mind, body and soul.

Before he came to The River, Eggman was a Christian. He believed Jesus Christ died to absolve the sins of humanity, but as a college student he experienced an evolution of his belief.

“I always knew there was more to God than living the so-called Christian life,” Eggman said.

On a mission trip to Brazil he saw deafness, blindness and cancer healed.

“Seeing them go to the doctors and getting it verified and coming back with doctor’s reports of these documented healings, and then coming back to the State’s and not seeming quite as open as it was in Brazil,” Eggman said.

The experience ignited his desire to see such things take place in the United States.

“I just wanted to learn more and see how I could incorporate that not only into my own life, but also into Fresno State,” Eggman continued.

This desire led him to enroll at The School of Supernatural Ministry. The teachings of the school follow a multiple-fold approach to Christianity. They believe repentance through Jesus heals both mind and body.

“Typically, we’ve defined that as they are saved from hell. But we’ve really reduced and seen a reduction in the message that Jesus came to bring, and that is to heal the whole person,” Horn said.

For Horn and students like Eggman, seeing people live this “destiny” means helping people encounter God. Once this encounter takes place, people understand God’s love and a greater purpose, Eggman said.

Prayer is believed to bring this encounter. Like other Christians, Eggman and his peers pray in silence, but they also pray with other people.  This includes fellow churchgoers as well as strangers.

Eggman often prays with Fresno State students and professors, some of whom he has never met.  For Christians like Eggman, the Holy Spirit is thought to incite these encounters of healing people’s body and/or spirit.

These prayers happen everywhere: hallways, the University Student Union or dorms.

Besides prayer, Eggman believes in prophecy. When speaking of this belief, Eggman relates words like “exhorting” and “edifying.”

He explains this form of prophecy not as fortune-telling but rather speaking to a person about the blessings God will endow.  This too, is believed to be from God but brought through the Holy Spirit.

Collegian staff members were, in fact, prophesied over. For one reporter, the prophecy included a vivid description of Jesus placing an emerald necklace over her. The student who told this message said God was wanted her know she is,  a gem.

In a hand-written note another Collegian staff member was told she had a heart of gold. The man who wrote the message explained God showed him an image of her reading to children, as if teaching them.

During their class, the students spoke of various revivals, in which Christianity was embraced by mass groups of people. Later a documentary by the Public Broadcasting Company was shown.

The documentary was about Lonnie Frisbee, an unusual evangelist who left the drug culture of the 1960s for Christian evangelism. Frisbee is believed to have healed hundreds of people via Holy Spirit inspired prayer and prophecy.

A controversial figure, according to the documentary, Frisbee later came out as practicing homosexual. He was terminated from his ministerial position at Calvary Chapel Church in Southern California. In the film, many who knew him espoused that God worked through him despite his ministering while partaking in actions deemed sinful.

They wade through the discussion of controversial issues by referencing the Bible and reading other supplemental work by evangelist and theologians.

By the time he graduates with a bachelor’s in anthropology, Eggman will also be an ordained minister through Global Legacy — an organization with which The River affiliates itself.

Started by Bethel Church, Global Legacy provides unification of independent Christian ministries. Most of these affiliates practice the charismatic persuasion of Christianity.

Like the students at The School of Supernatural Ministry, believers in this unique variety of faith define their ideologies through trust in Jesus Christ’s healing power and the believers’ ability to heal others through prayer.

After graduation, Eggman has plans of evangelizing in other nations, with other cultures.