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Kim Daniels takes her nickname seriously. Since she began her evangelistic ministry in Florida, she's seen homosexuals healed, witches converted to Christ and mentally deranged people set free by God's power.
It's not uncommon to see the blue steel of a gun on the corner of Blue and Steele streets in Jacksonville, Fla. Yet in this neighborhood plagued by violence, drug abuse and prostitution, a covert battle is raging.
Armed with spiritual weapons, Kimberly Daniels is waging war on the devil--not just in her community, but around the world. Founder of Spoken Word Ministries, housed on this block, Daniels has seen witches, drug addicts, prostitutes and felons delivered from demonic oppression and transformed by the power of God.
With her team of "demon busters," Daniels is "stomping on the devil" and enjoying every minute of it. Once a drug addict herself, Daniels travels the globe teaching on spiritual warfare. In December 2000, she set out on a world tour, stopping in Hong Kong in January and rounding out the year in India and Japan.
As raw as the inner city where she grew up, Daniels, 40, spends most of her year traveling across the United States in a 30-foot recreational vehicle dubbed the Demon Buster Mobile. Preaching at churches large and small and performing Christian rap music, Daniels candidly shares her testimony: from troubled teen-ager to Olympic track hopeful to drug addict to military officer. Her ministry emerged after she accepted Christ in 1987 and was set free from demonic oppression.
Today her message centers on a believer's authority over the enemy and how to operate in the supernatural. Deliverance, she says, is "the children's bread" (see Matt. 15:21-28), meaning it was intended for Christians.
"You cannot bring someone out of the world and into the church and [think] because they said the sinner's prayer they're going to be automatically transformed," Daniels told a crowd at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston during a prayer conference in October. "It is hard to get your mind renewed when you're tormented by demons."
C. Peter Wagner, who has written extensively about spiritual warfare, applauds ministers like Daniels, who has spoken at his conferences, because her primary base is a local church and she makes deliverance available to her community--even running an ad in the yellow pages. He says that if God were to send a major revival right now, the church would be ill prepared to cope with vast numbers of people seeking deliverance.
For Daniels, the focus on deliverance at Spoken Word was born of necessity. She knows from experience that Jesus is the only one who can break the bondage of violence and addiction. She is a constant reminder to her community that whom the Son sets free is free indeed.
A War in the Streets
Growing up in one of Jacksonville's toughest neighborhoods, an area known as "Uptown," Daniels learned to defend herself early in life. She says she intentionally got in at least one fight each week and formed a gang with the toughest girls in school.
Looking back, Daniels believes she inherited a generational curse from her blind grandmother, a "wicked" woman once imprisoned for murder and feared for her violent ways. Until age 8, Daniels was her grandmother's eyes and hands. When "Big Momma" needed to settle a score, she instructed Daniels to lead her to the intended target, back away and watch her brutally cut the person with a knife.
After her grandmother's death, Daniels says she was plagued by the same violent spirit. "I had walked so close to grandmother that I found myself acting just like her," she writes in her book, Against All Odds. "Fighting was like eating breakfast to me."
At 17, Daniels, a straight-A student, purposely got pregnant to escape her mother's house. Moving to Oregon with her boyfriend, she received a track scholarship and quickly emerged as the fastest woman sprinter in junior college. On her way to building a successful athletic career, she left Oregon and her boyfriend in 1981 to join the track team at Florida State University.
But Daniels' bright future soon began to dim. With her son still living with his father, Daniels started dating a drug dealer named Danny. He introduced her to cocaine, and the two became hopelessly addicted. But when the police targeted the pair as drug traffickers, Danny knew their sordid party had to end.
He encouraged Daniels to return home to her family, but she refused, ashamed of her thin frame, a sure sign of addiction. Danny, however, left suddenly and was married within days. Devastated, Daniels fell further into addiction, even when she discovered she was pregnant again.
Convinced that she would deliver a healthy baby, Daniels continued to use cocaine. Yet in her fifth month of pregnancy, she began to emit a foul odor. Her child had died in her womb two months before and was beginning to rot.
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