The day before Voice of Evangelism’s Board of Directors announced that evangelist Perry Stone had stepped aside from the pulpit and his travel ministry, he posted a video on the ministry’s social media that appeared to be a warning of “an attack that was coming.”
The next day, Stone stepped away from his duties at the ministry he founded in 1979. His ministry attracts millions of followers from all over the world, who watch his sermons online and purchase his books, with titles such as “Unleashing the Beast,” “Exposing Satan’s Playbook” and “Deciphering End-Time Prophetic Codes.”
In a statement released Thursday to the Cleveland Daily Banner, VOE’s media relations spokesperson John Rodriguez said Stone had stepped away from his duties after he “deviated from the biblical standards set in place for VOE leadership.”
Additionally, Rodriguez said Stone had been on a sabbatical due to serious health reasons.
According to Rodgriguez, “In April 2020, the Voice of Evangelism Board of Directors took proactive measures to place Evangelist Perry Stone on sabbatical for rest and restoration.”
The statement said the decision was made for two reasons:
“First, over the past few years, Perry has encountered serious health issues related to spiritual and physical burnout. The board directed Perry to undergo a comprehensive medical exam, and it was determined that his blood pressure was at levels indicating the potential for a dangerous stroke. This demanded rest and immediate medical attention.”
Secondly, Rodriguez said “a couple of employees at VOE requested to meet with the board of directors to address concerns of inappropriate words and actions.”
“Upon review, the board determined that the issues were civil in nature and not criminal, but that the behavior deviated from the biblical standards set in place for VOE leadership,” he said. “So, the board unanimously initiated his current sabbatical. This action was not reactionary but with much prayer, and was set in place to uphold the highest standards of integrity and transparency.”
Stone stepped aside from all pulpit and travel ministry for an extended period of time at the direction of the board.
Rodriguez said Stone “has sincerely repented for any words or actions said or done that made anyone feel uncomfortable or brought them hurt in any manner.”
Stone asked for forgiveness for his actions, which were not made clear in the board’s statement.
“I have asked God and my precious wife Pam to forgive me,” Stone said. “And I humbly and sincerely ask those who are hurt or offended by my actions to also forgive me. It is my hope that by the grace of God we will all be able to walk in healing and restoration.”
Rodriguez closed the statement by specifying, “The board has worked with Perry to set in place strong boundaries of accountability surrounding his future ministry speaking and travel schedules. They continue to evaluate the progress of his spiritual and physical health to determine future plans.”
On Monday, Stone posted a message on his ministry’s social media page, stating that he had been undergoing physical, spiritual and emotional battles.
“As you know, I have been absent for the past several months from social media,” Stone wrote. “The Lord has helped me through many battles, physically, spiritually and emotionally, as I have spent much time alone with Him and with my family, omitting all ministry forms to focus on a personal restoration and an extended sabbatical at this season.
“As my accountability team allows me to begin returning to some forms of social media slowly, I will be presenting a few prophetic updates and things the Lord has put in my spirit during the past three months, beginning in August.”
Two days later, Stone posted a video where he described an apocalyptic dream involving a serpent that stalked him, interpreting the vision as “an attack that was coming.”
Stone also discussed several rumors that have been circulating within the community.
“We’re going to come to a time where spirit-filled people are going to be spewing junk out of their mouth,” he said. “They’re going to be spewing trash out of their mouth, they’re going to be stirring up offenses and hurts and just keeping things stirred by the words in their mouth.”
He said he did not know where the rumors originated; however, he labeled them as “total lies.”
“We don’t know where they originated,” he said. “But they were total lies,” adding that the rumors suggested he had cancer or a brain tumor.
“I see what the enemy is doing,” he said.
In addition, Stone described himself as “not a perfect person.”
“And I’ve never claimed to be,” he said. “But I have done my best to keep my heart right before God. I have done my best to keep a repentant spirit, if I needed repentance.”
He also addressed an alleged comment from a local individual that was relayed to him.
“They tell me that some guy in town made a statement, and they didn’t tell me who, but he said, ‘I will not be happy until Perry Stone can’t ever preach again.’”
Stone said he would hate to be the man who made the statement, and added, “God heard it.”
“Whoever you are, you’re already in serious trouble with the Holy Spirit, not because of me,” Stone said.
Immediately after the Cleveland Daily Banner posted news coverage of the VOE board statement on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon, commenters expressed their opinions of Stone’s plight.
“Perry Stone is just a big charlatan!” one commenter wrote.
“I’m so glad this man … this human who has done nothing but travel, study and preach the word for longer than I’ve been alive has had time to step down and had the ability to rest and regroup,” wrote another. “We all need it at times. Enjoy your family time and rest in the Lord a while. We all say and do things out of turn. I’ve learned not to judge lest it come upon me. So I salute you getting back up to the fight! Keep running the race. His glory is worth it!”
“He’s fallible just like the rest of us,” wrote another.
Late Thursday night, Stone’s wife — Pamela Taylor Stone — published a message on her social media page that defended her husband, while excoriating those who were calling for justice.
With the message, she included a link to the Thursday news story posted to the Cleveland Daily Banner website and Facebook page.
“For all you ‘Christians’ who have been crying out for justice, I thought I would share this and ask you is this enough justice for you?” she wrote. “My guess is probably not! I think the only justice that will make you happy is Perry’s blood on the sidewalk from people throwing stones, and he is five feet in the ground!”
She targeted her anger at her husband’s critics.
“Let me just remind all you perfect ‘Christians’ when you pick up the stone to throw, make sure it’s big enough to do damage with your first throw and definitely make sure you don’t get a rubber one that could possibly bounce off something and come back at you! I’m standing for truth, mercy and grace, and I’m standing with my husband if anyone wants to know!”
Stone has gained attention for his sometimes controversial statements. He has claimed the COVID-19 pandemic was God’s retribution for the legalization of gay marriage and abortion. He has also insisted that he prophesied the novel coronavirus some 15 years ago.
Earlier this week, he warned of a program, which he referred to as ID2020, in which everyone would be “forced to receive a unique, clear tattoo that can be scanned with all of your information, including health data, and can continually read your fever.”