By: Anne Geggis
He didn’t warn his fellow City Commission members. Still, Tamarac Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton claims he predicted the current health emergency in a December sermon, videos from a sermon uploaded to the internet March 23 show.
“We prophesied in this church from last year, December 22, about the coronavirus and the disease that would be unleashed in 2020,” Bolton said to his congregation at Praise Experience World Outreach Church in North Lauderdale. “We prophesied about the stock market crashing. We even prophesied about the shortage of food in this season — very accurate.”
Bolton, who goes by “Prophet Fire,” for his work as a reverend minister, could not be reached to verify the dates of this sermon shown as March 22 on the social media platform YouTube, provide further explanation or say how much toilet paper he had stockpiled in anticipation of what’s come to pass.
The video clips seem to indicate the financial results of the health catastrophe, the biggest crisis since the Spanish flu ravaged the nation in 1918, have caught Bolton by surprise, however.
“We never wanted your offering as much as we do today,” Bolton said in the video uploaded March 23, as he asks everyone to give $100. “It is unbelievable how one epidemic can change the economic sphere.”
And there’s more to come — six more plagues, he said.
“The Lord showed me this, hallelujah, that there are seven plagues that are destined for our land.”
The people “would be covered” from these plagues, in Bolton’s opinion, if they gave $100 in seed money to Bolton’s church, the video shows Bolton saying.
Clips of Bolton preaching were cut and pasted with commentary and then uploaded by “Cuthbert J. Farnsworth IV” onto YouTube.com. The videos show excerpts of morning and evening services held at Bolton’s church on March 22, the tags to the videos say.
Bolton’s claims to have foreseen COVID-19, which has infected 1 million people worldwide so far, elicited outrage from his Tamarac constituents.
“False prophet,” said Noemi Perez, 51, who has owned a hair salon in Tamarac since 2016. “He’s going to be accountable before God for using God’s name to fulfill his own purpose.”
But Steve Leonard, 31, a West Palm Beach resident who is a member of Bolton’s congregation, said he finds Bolton to be “humble” and an inspiration to him as he embarks on Bible study.
“He’s really my biggest inspiration at the moment,” Leonard said, explaining that he’s from the same part of Jamaica as Bolton.
Bolton is not so much predicting the future, he said, but revealing what is on the mind of God, Leonard said.
“The future is pretty wide,” he said.
The person who posted the videos responded to questions from Tamarac Talk via email, however, they declined to speak live. “Farnsworth,” said the clips were posted out of concern for both Tamarac voters and Bolton’s congregation.
“My prayer is that Marlon would repent of his false prophecies and come to the cross of Jesus Christ for forgiveness so that God will be glorified in his testimony,” the email says. “But, until that time, Scripture states that we are to ‘take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them’ (Ephesians 5:11).”
Joe Rutherford, president of a homeowners association in Tamarac, said he wasn’t so surprised that Bolton predicted COVID-19 as much as the comments about the size of his penis that the video also shows.
“A lot of preachers are preaching the end of the world,” he said.
The video shows Bolton discussing an unnamed woman, who wanted a husband, but can’t stop thinking about “old Joe who had a big wallaloola,” and is not satisfied with her husband “with a 6-inch.”
“I’m not talking about me, I’m well-endowed,” the video shows Bolton saying with a microphone in hand.
Rutherford said he’s been looking for some explanation from Bolton.
“Some of the things he says [at City Commission meetings] and his demeanor are pretty good, and then I find out about this stuff he’s been doing,” Rutherford said. “There’s been no reply. He didn’t say anything [about the videos], and I’ve been looking for it.”
Bolton has not responded to phone, text, and email messages inquiring about the videos, but a video uploaded to YouTube on March 28 to the account “iamprophetfire” is entitled “Prophet Fire (Rev. Marlon Bolton) Explains Controversial Sermon Posted Online.”
It shows the controversial clip about size and then a written statement, “It is apart (sic) of my role as a Pastor to educate my members and to let them know not to focus on the superficial aspects of another person but their characteristics.”
However, Bolton leaves the controversy over the prophecies untouched.
- Anne Geggis has been a newspaper reporter for 30 years, most recently at the Sun Sentinel. She graduated from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., with a double major in journalism and sociology.
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