Heaven Bent

By Tara Jean Stevens / Frequency Podcast Network

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Tara Jean Stevens grew up in a bizarre spiritual movement in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. As a teen, she had doubts about the claims of supernatural activity in her childhood church, but it took years to divulge fact from fiction. Today, she’s what they call a backslider; living free from religion and helping others navigate their own faith journeys. This investigative series explores the world of Pentecostal and charismatic Christians, one season at a time. In season three, Tara Jean follows the Pentecostal spirit of revival to Nashville, Tennessee where a once thriving church is up in flames and a mutilated body is found inside. In season two, she examines the questionable teachings of Bethel Church, in Redding, California. In season one, Tara Jean seeks to understand the strange behaviour of worshippers in the “Toronto Blessing” movement.

Episode Date
The David Terry Trial

Emmanuel Pastor, David Terry faces murder and arson charges in a Tennessee court. What does his former lawyer remember about the trial? Also, Sharon confronts her dad about his memory of the trial and hears his perspective for the first time ever.

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Oct 03, 2022
The Tabernacle

When the fire happened, in Nashville, Sharon was at Emmanuel’s church camp; speaking in tongues and crushing on boys. What dark secrets did the adults in her church keep from her? And why did they suspect a cult might be involved?  

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Sep 26, 2022
The Bishop-Overseer

Sharon learns about the early days of Emmanuel Church of Christ and its intriguing legacy of female leadership. Can this in-depth look at the church's history help us better understand what led to the tragic events of 1987?

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Sep 19, 2022
The Emmanuel Church of Christ

It's the morning of June 16th, 1987, in Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after midnight, firefighters are called to a blaze at Emmanuel Church of Christ. What they find in the ashes would change this small Pentecostal congregation forever.  Thirty-five years later, Tara Jean Stevens begins to unravel this shocking crime.

On the journey with her is Sharon Edwards. She was just a kid when the fire tore apart her church family. Today, she wants to know the truth about what happened.

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Sep 12, 2022
Introducing Season Three: Death in Emmanuel

It’s 1987. Nashville, Tennessee. Emmanuel Church of Christ Oneness Pentecostal is up in flames and a mutilated body is found inside. Who did it? Why is the congregation’s beloved pastor missing? And could a Satanic cult be responsible, or was it something else equally sinister?

In season three, host and creator Tara Jean Stevens reveals the shocking details surrounding this mysterious and thought-provoking murder. Along the way, she learns about the church itself and the people who once sat in its pews. Their story brings forward a deep history of tent revivals, gospel music, and a rare legacy of female preachers. Plus, as always, a whole lotta speakin’ in tongues!

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Aug 29, 2022
S2E8: The Heart Of Bethel

In the final episode this season, what’s truly at the heart of Bethel Church, in Redding, California? And, is it a cult?

Apr 19, 2021
S2E7: The Devil Himself

The eye-opening evolution of the image of Satan in the Evangelical Church. Plus, what does the Devil have to do with the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. If you ask the leaders of Bethel Church, in Redding, California. The answer is a whole Hell of a lot.

Apr 12, 2021
S2E6: The Once Gays

Can God cure someone of their homosexual desires? Tara Jean Stevens explores “conversion therapy” and the “ex-gay” movement, within Bethel Church.

Apr 05, 2021
S2E5: The Outbreak

A COVID-19 outbreak at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry makes national headlines. And, Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour hits Washington, DC. Is he right? Could this be a “tipping point for revival in America”? And how about his critics? Will this be the superspreader event they’re dreading?

Mar 29, 2021
S2E4: The Power To Heal

At Bethel Church, they believe in the power to heal the sick and raise the dead. What could possibly go wrong?

Mar 22, 2021
S2E3: The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry

What happens at Bethel’s bewildering School of Supernatural Ministry? And how do they plan to keep students safe as they return to class during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Mar 15, 2021
S2E2: The City of Redding

How much influence and impact does Bethel Church have in Redding? Turns out… a lot. And many locals are not happy about it. Is a cult really trying to take over this Northern California town?

Mar 08, 2021
S2E1: The Freedom To Worship

In defiance of COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings and public singing, a Billboard charting worship leader from Redding, California launches a national, outdoor worship tour. Thousands of people show up at nearly every stop, and there’s barely ever a mask in sight. Is Sean Feucht a superspreader? Join Tara Jean Stevens, as she begins her exploration into Bethel Church, one of the largest and most unusual churches in America.

Mar 01, 2021
The Modern Prophetic Tour

You’ve never met. So, how does he know your phone number? Your children’s names? And what you do for work? On this final season 1 bonus episode, join Tara Jean Stevens as she takes a deeper look into the controversial ministry of prophet Shawn Bolz – a “pioneer” in the Apostolic Prophetic Movement.

Feb 19, 2021
Season 2: Inside America’s Most Unusual Church

Supernatural healings. Gold dust falling from the ceiling. Resurrections. Bethel Church, in Redding, California, is one of the largest and most unusual churches in America. What goes on inside its bewildering School of Supernatural Ministry? Is Bethel as powerful as its critics believe it to be? And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, why are its most high-profile leaders defying public health orders? In season 2 of Heaven Bent, join Tara Jean Stevens as she continues to track the “Toronto Blessing” – a bizarre spiritual movement that spread to her childhood church, and around the world.

Feb 12, 2021
The Most Evil Person Ever

Fire tunnels, gold dust, and a mysterious silver fleck. On this season 1 bonus episode: Tara Jean Stevens’ candid conversation with Bruce Vanden Berg. Like Tara Jean, he was once involved with the Toronto Blessing movement. Today, he has fond memories of his time with the church, but there also came a day when he knew he had to leave.

Oct 05, 2020
Introducing Unfinished: Short Creek

A divided community in the desert. A prophet with total power. A battle over family, home, and the limits of religious freedom. Unfinished: Short Creek, is the latest investigative true crime podcast from Witness Docs, and Critical Frequency. Short Creek, located on the Utah/Arizona border, is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a break-off from the Mormon church that practices polygamy. Since their leader, Warren Jeffs, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007, the people of Short Creek have been forced to reckon with their painful past, and struggle to define their future. Episodes 1&2 of Unfinished: Short Creek are out NOW — listen and subscribe wherever you find your podcasts. If you want to listen to the full season of Unfinished: Short Creek now, without ads, sign up for Stitcher Premium at stitcherpremium.com. Use promo code WITNESS for 1 month free.

Sep 14, 2020
S1E5: The Gold Teeth

In March of 1999, more than 300 Christians claimed that gold teeth or fillings had miraculously appeared in their mouths. Can any of these “dental miracles” be verified? On this episode of Heaven Bent, Tara Jean Stevens returns to her childhood church in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to find out. Also, on this final episode of the season, Tara Jean, herself a former follower, comes to some personal conclusions on the ‘Toronto Blessing’ movement.

Jun 29, 2020
S1E4: The River

In 1995, a pastor’s wife from Florida attended ‘Toronto Blessing’ services in Toronto, Canada. Just days after her return, the strange phenomena happening there started happening in her church back home in Brownsville. Was her trip a successful crowd-control reconnaissance mission? On this episode of Heaven Bent, Tara Jean Stevens tracks the spread of this controversial spiritual movement – where it spread, and why. Also, what’s the “new wine”? And what does it feel like to get “drunk in the spirit?”.

Jun 22, 2020
S1E3: The Carpet Time

Even the children fell to the floor, shaking and speaking in tongues. On this episode of Heaven Bent, Tara Jean Stevens explores the strange phenomenon known as “carpet time”. Was something supernatural at play? If not, what else could be going on? And, tracing the fascinating historical roots of the “Toronto Blessing,” we learn about the “Jesus Freaks” of the 1960s and 70s.

Jun 15, 2020
S1E2: The Gifts of the Spirit

They say she heals the deaf and blind. They even say “Mama Heidi” has raised the dead. On this episode of Heaven Bent, Tara Jean Stevens explores the divine healing ministry of Mozambique missionary and Toronto Blessing follower: Heidi Baker. Plus, what does science teach us about “speaking in tongues”? And, birthdates, the names of your children, the description of your childhood home – where does Prophet Shawn Bolz get his ‘words of wisdom’ from? He says it’s the Holy Spirit. His critics say… it’s the internet.

Jun 08, 2020
S1E1: The Revival

In 1994, a small church next to Toronto Pearson International Airport suddenly became one of the city’s “Top Tourist Attractions”. Why did millions of Christians flock from around the world? Was something truly supernatural happening? 25 years later, join Tara Jean Stevens as she revisits the unusual spiritual movement she was a part of as a teenager.

Jun 01, 2020
Coming Soon: Heaven Bent

Tara Jean Stevens was a teenager when a bizarre spiritual movement spread from Toronto to her childhood church in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Why did worshipers shake and fall to the ground? Did anyone truly get healed? And did gold teeth miraculously appear in people’s mouths…or not? Join Tara Jean on her curious journey to find out.

May 14, 2020