Pastor Corey Pritchett grew up in the church, was saved at 9 and filled with the Holy Spirit at 15.
Despite this faith-filled beginning, Pritchett has faced multiple challenges, some of which might seem insurmountable. Today, he has emerged from those trials a new man, invigorated by a word like the one God gave Joseph: He would be restored, energized to bring hope, healing and deliverance to hurting people both inside the church and out. Pritchett and his wife, Vickie, now carry forth a message refined through struggle and pain. Jesus helped them overcome, and they hunger to share the Holy Spirit's healing power with His children around the world through the November 2021 relaunch of their ministry, Worldwide Deliverance Church.
Pritchett's growing-up years as the son of a preacher and traveling evangelist in Portland, Oregon, left him well provided for but lacking the regular presence of his father. Missing his dad, he promised himself he would one day change that pattern.
Pritchett became a solid high school athlete in both football and basketball. He grew up in a church unfamiliar with the things of the Holy Spirit, but he longed to discover the deeper reaches of his faith. He visited Bible Temple Church's Friday night youth group on Dec. 15, 1978. That night, youth pastor Wendell Smith and a group of other students laid hands on him and prayed for him to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
"I had never really been around Spirit-filled ministry," Pritchett recalls, "and I heard the most beautiful languages as they laid hands on me in the name of Jesus.
"I just began to weep under the power of God—it was the first time I'd ever really felt the anointing," he says. "It felt like a thousand volts of electricity, and I began to speak with other tongues. All of a sudden, I started just crying—and I'm a football player, 'big boys don't cry'—and I'm bawling like a baby, and I'm trying to wipe the tears and trying to get my composure, and I start laughing, Holy Ghost laughter. I laughed so hard, and I couldn't believe it, suddenly I started crying again, and nobody had ever told me about supernatural laughter.
"That day changed my life," Pritchett says.
In 1980 at only 18 years old, he felt the call to preach. He apprenticed for several years under the spiritual guidance and ministry of Bishop Howard Hornbuckle at Grace and Truth Pentecostal Church in Portland. During this period he met and married Vickie in 1981. The Pritchetts spent more than a decade with Hornbuckle at Grace and Truth before planting a church of their own. In 1991 they opened The Rock Church, also in Portland, which they pastored through 2007, including a 1998 move out from Portland to the suburb of Sandy, Oregon. But early in their season of shepherding The Rock Church, the Holy Spirit blew Pritchett's ministry wide open.
Thrust Into Deliverance
"In 1992 we were supernaturally thrust into deliverance ministry," Pritchett says.
"We had a very dedicated church member who drove the church bus and used to pick up kids, gang members and kids from the neighborhood. She and her husband were there every time my doors opened," he says. "They were great tithers ... [she was] the sweetest lady who used to lift her hands and pray in tongues," Pritchett recalls with a chuckle.
"One day I went and made my pastoral visit, and something strange happened," he says. "She had asked me, after a family argument over some family issues, to get involved with that, and as a pastor I don't get involved in family disputes.
"I told her no, and completely out of character, she blew up at me and cussed me out up one side and down the other," Pritchett says, recalling his shock that this dear little lady even knew any curse words. He told her she would need to repent and restore her relationships before returning to church.
Pritchett went to the Lord in prayer and spent three days fasting to seek the Holy Spirit's guidance to resolve this dispute. He knew this woman had many friends and family in the church. As a wise leader, he wanted to prevent any disharmony in the body and risk any sort of split in the congregation.
As Pritchett fasted and prayed, God showed him a demon was tormenting this woman.
"It just threw my whole theology for a loop," he says. "I'd been taught as a Christian that Christian's can't have demons—once you accept Jesus, it just isn't possible. And the Holy Spirit took me through Scriptures like Ephesians 4:27, which tells us that we as believers have authority, and it says, 'Do not give place to the devil.'"
The Holy Spirit led Pritchett through the Ephesians passage, teaching him about the unity of the body. He learned that believers could open doors to the bondage of the devil and, more importantly, that saved believers are not immune to unclean spirits that may seek to attach themselves to us. The mind and the body are battlefields where the enemy of our souls seeks to separate us from our Lord.
This event became the cornerstone of Pritchett's teaching and deliverance ministry. Going forward, he and his wife would show their congregations, whether at their home church or on ministry outreach excursions, the many ways believers and nonbelievers alike can leave themselves vulnerable to spiritual warfare attacks. These can take the form of any number of high-risk choices including drug abuse, alcohol abuse, dabbling in pornography and sexual promiscuity. In time, the Lord showed Pritchett how to minister to the specific needs of the woman who had unexpectedly sworn at him.
"The Lord told me, 'I want you to go and tell her what I've told you, that she's tormented by the devil,'" Pritchett says. "And I'm thinking, First of all, she just cussed me out; secondly, I've got to go tell her that she's got a devil. I didn't know if she might throw a tomato at me or shoot me or what."
At this same time, he says, "The Lord gave me three words of knowledge. He said, 'You're to tell her that three times Satan has tried to kill her, but I've spared her life, and it's generational, that someone in her family has been practicing the occult."
Pritchett obeyed God and returned to the woman's home to help set her free from the enemy's bondage. "God, please protect me!" he prayed as he drove, knocking on the door at eight o'clock that evening.
The woman cracked the door open, recognized her pastor and instantly gave him an enormous hug. She kept repeating, "Pastor, I'm so sorry—that wasn't me."
Moved to tears, Pritchett thought, Thank you, Jesus! He spent the rest of the evening visiting and ministering the victory of Jesus over this beloved member of his flock.
"We love you; I know it wasn't you, and the Lord showed me some things I want to share with you: You're being tormented by a devil," he told her.
"I wouldn't doubt it after all I've been through," she replied.
"Secondly, He showed me that three times the devil has tried to kill you," Pritchett continued.
At that point, the woman told him she had attempted suicide but failed and that her ex-husband beat and abused her over their 24-year marriage. Once, he left her for dead by the side of the highway; she would have died had a state trooper not noticed her. "I hate him; I hate him," she said of this abusive man.
"I never knew that poison was in her," Pritchett recalls. "I knew right then that this was one of the open doors allowing bondages in." The woman later acknowledged that throughout her childhood, her mother had claimed to be a witch, identifying yet another stronghold in her life.
Pritchett recounts the triumphal climax of the evening's story. "We hugged and we cried, and we prayed, and I said, 'Sunday night we're going to cancel our evening service, and we're going to take time and have a deliverance service.'"
He had never held a service like this before, but he trusted God for this new direction. The assembled group included Pritchett, the woman under oppression and a handful of intercessors who had participated in other prayer meetings.
As the group worshipped and prayed over the woman in Jesus' name, calling out spirits and afflictions, she remained serene. Several minutes later, she clutched her chest, and it became evident the Lord was pulling out "all the junk inside her," Pritchett says. Tears streamed down her peaceful face, and the entire group began to praise God as He released her from fear, witchcraft and depression.
Transformed Through Suffering
This woman's miraculous deliverance launched The Rock Church's deliverance ministry. Through the 1990s and into the early years of the new century, the church traveled to minister freedom and victory to new sites across the United States, Canada, Africa and around their home territory in Oregon. Pritchett and his team witnessed countless deliverance events, glorifying God as His children received freedom from long lists of torments, generational curses and abuses stretching back decades into childhood. Storming the gates of hell, they worked to set the prisoners free. But soon, Pritchett and his ministry faced a different challenge.
In 2007, Pritchett endured a brief season of legal trouble. He was accused and convicted of real estate fraud separate from his church and ministry endeavors. He takes responsibility for lacking proper bookkeeping but maintains his innocence. He was sentenced to time in prison and served 11 years, released in 2018.
The Holy Spirit gave Pritchett several words of wisdom during his time in prison. This opened his eyes wider than ever to the ongoing pain endemic to these Last Days, whether in the lives of nonbelievers who have not set foot in a church for decades or pastors and military chaplains dealing with depression at disturbingly high rates.
The Holy Spirit ignited Pritchett's soul with the words, "The suffering of the people will outweigh the persecution." Now, he understood: God would reinvest his season of incarceration, reaping future profits in saved souls and delivered believers.
"I'm glad God took me through my trial. There are some things God needs us to walk through," Pritchett says. "He's returned my weaknesses as strengths, including financial integrity that will be important in this soon coming season for God's deliverance ministry."
Pritchett's words point to a profound truth: It is God's ministry of deliverance, not his and his wife's. They are faithful and diligent stewards of their gifts, and they know beyond a doubt that our God is a God of second chances.
"People are calling from all over because they are hungry and hurting and spent and empty, especially after this pandemic season, so they aren't bothered by my past—they want help," Pritchett says. Many will come to know a pastor whose wounds reveal he knows what it's like to traverse despair's depths and how to reach them in their place of hurt and hopelessness. As he extends a hand bearing the Holy Spirit's anointing, God is using him to lift them into the light of peace and grace and hope—perhaps for the first time ever.
Ready for Relaunch
Now approaching the 30th anniversary of the day God first moved them into deliverance ministry, the Pritchetts, with their daughters Melody and Charmaigne, are readying the relaunch of their ministry, built from the ground up on the majesty of the Holy Spirit's deliverance power.
Slated for relaunch in November 2021, Worldwide Deliverance Church is equipped and ready to pick up where the church left off in 2007 and race forward, attacking every enemy bondage and stronghold imaginable, from weeknight small group meetings such as "Overcoming Weight Problems" to the ongoing racial justice inequality challenges that drew long-term protests in and around the Portland area. Pritchett also has a vision for outreach to the LGBTQ community.
He and his wife, an interracial couple soon to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, also have a rare and precious opportunity to sow seeds of racial reconciliation. They will soon begin a bridge ministry between traditionally white, suburban congregations and the Black community. Worldwide Deliverance Church is poised to charge into that gap and minister the victory of Jesus to two communities long overdue to reunite in the love of God and spiritual brotherhood. Pritchett says, "The African American community doesn't know why white Christians aren't more disturbed by the criminal justice system issues" that have been in the news steadily the past few years.
This year, the "Building a Better Portland" tent revival events series will take place Aug. 26-27, 2021. The event will feature deliverance lines outfitted with doctors and nurses, along with salvation services, healing services and a variety of community services: health clinics, shelter clinics, housing clinics, food assistance, job clinics, prayer services, counseling services, drug deliverance, alcohol deliverance, rehab assistance and a cleanup outreach team beginning near the Pioneer Square area of downtown Portland, known as the "living room of Portland."
"Let our mess be our message," Pritchett says. "We stand on the Word of God—and we don't listen to demons because they're liars." With his new book, From Prison to Victory, soon to release, few would know better our Lord's power to overcome the enemy's wiles than the Oregon pastor who relaunched his own life and is now working to relaunch his church and the deliverance ministry God led him to nearly three decades ago. God has prepared Pritchett from the age of 9 to bring our Savior—and deliverer—to a hurting, desperate world.
For more information on how to partner with Pritchett today to get involved in the Portland Revival and work with the Worldwide Deliverance Church to help hurting people:
1. Pray: For revival, souls, laborers and finances.
2. Give: Online or through the church website, or by text at 503-212-9290.
3. Come: To the revival and deliverance meetings in Portland, Oregon. Join one of the ministry's deliverance or healing teams.
Robert Caggiano is a content development editor for Charisma Media
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