His name was Aaron Clay and he had been living in Delray Beach Florida during the last years of his life. While still a young boy he had been paralyzed with a disease that at the time could not be diagnosed. The doctors were sure that he would never walk again if he lived at all. In his sixteenth birthday a preacher came to town and set up a tent where he was to hold a healing crusade. Word soon got out of the healings that were taking place and Clay senior decided to take his young son to the preacher man to see if God would heal his son.
They carried him in and waited for the meeting to end before approaching the preacher who was known as Bishop Bentley. When the Bishop prayed for the young boy, Aaron said that it felt like fire had fallen on him and when the preacher told him to walk; he got up and walked like a normal man. He had been instantly healed by the man of God and walked home, as soon as he arrived he asked for a steak which he had not eaten in over a year. His mother was surprised but cooked him the steak which he ate and kept looking for more. After five days he went back to the preacher and asked him if he could travel with him and help him out, in gratitude and love for the things of God. The preacher told him to ask his father first and if his father said yes than he could go with him.
He would stay with the preacher for many years until Bishop Bentley died, before he died he had Aaron promise that he would continue the ministry of building churches and handling them to the people of the area once they were made. The buildings were made from the funds they collected and all the work was done by the two of them. They just kept enough to get them to the next stop where they again held healing crusades. In this way they had built churches up and down the east coast from Virginia to Florida. Aaron tried to keep his word about the ministry but in his twenties now, he found it very hard to go on without the Bishop.
He left the ministry and tried his hand at farming but soon found that it was too much work. This led him to try gambling which he found more to his liking and he was good at, plus it was much easier. Next came problems with the law and brief stints in prison where he would again go back to the bible and the life he had with Bishop Bentley. For years he went on this way like the prophet Balaam in the Old Testament working both for God and for Satan. But the end soon came when he was incarcerated as a repeat offender and sentenced to twenty years in federal prison. Now he had no place to run anymore and took his rightful place as a man of God, even if it was in a Federal prison.
On several occasions I visited him in prison and he would go into great details about my life and what I was doing. Once he told me of a dream he had about me and spoke of my house as if he had been there, telling me the color of the walls and how the furniture was arranged. He even told me what color my dog was and how the house was painted. Nothing escaped his attention in the house even telling me what pictures I had on the wall above the fireplace. Even in the visiting room he would pray for people and they would be healed. He prayed with others for their needs and weeks later I would get a call from some of these same people telling me how God had met their needs.
He spoke in great details about his life with the Bishop and all the miracles he had seen Bishop Bentley perform. He told me of going to a hospital in Virginia and watching as the Bishop prayed over a young girl who was dying. When the Bishop told the child to get up in the Name of Jesus he said that it seemed like fire had descended all over the room and the child sprang up and started to walk. He was offered money for these miracles which he never took; instead they slept and ate in the car which was full of the tools needed to build the church building. But they were happy doing the work of God. Whatever money was collected was given back to the community except for what was needed.
Brother Aaron Clay also had four or five children which he loved dearly; he spoke of his children to me during my visits always wondering what would happen to them now that he was incarcerated. I could see that it had broken his heart not see his wife and children. I don't know the reasons but I was the only one who ever visited him. I had gotten to know Brother Clay from a friend who was doing time with him in Atlanta. In the providence of God this friend was transferred to the prison hospital in Springfield Missouri where he worked as an orderly.
One day Brother Clay who was now in his late sixties contacted pneumonia which got very bad till he was sent to the same prison hospital my friend was at. This person kept me informed of his health on a weekly basis, he had volunteered to care for him. I prayed for the old man of God several times a day until one day the Lord Jesus told me not to pray for him anymore and to let him go to his resting place in peace. Two days later I received a call from Springfield informing me that Aaron Clay had passed away. Since I was the only one on his visiting list the Chaplin called me. His body was sent back to Florida and I lost all track of the Old Prophet of God.
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