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‘It Was God-Ordained’: Pastor Returns to Pulpit After Surgery That Threatened to Steal His Voice Forever

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A Florida mega church pastor is finally preaching again after undergoing a dangerous surgery that threatened to leave him without the ability to ever speak again.

Ten years ago, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr. of The Bethel Church underwent a surgery that paralyzed one of his vocal cords. Years later, doctors found severe scarring on his only remaining vocal cord. The removal was risky and one bad move during surgery meant he might not be able to ever speak again.

Bishop McKissick's church launched a massive prayer campaign while doctors operated on him. Miraculously, he recovered and is still able to speak.

McKissick finally returned to the pulpit on Sunday. This time, he traded his usual upbeat preaching style for a more relaxed and conversational tone.

"It's going to be tough because I'm used to going hard in the paint, so to speak. To preserve my voice and because of the scarring, I'm going to have to become almost conversational in my preaching and teaching, which will be okay," he told News4Jax.

While it might be hard to get used to his new preaching style, Bishop McKissick sees it as a blessing in disguise.

"It was doctor-ordered, but being a preacher, I will also say that it was God-ordained," he said. "It is just wise. If I push too hard, I could lose my voice forever. I think I have got too much left to say."

McKissick also thinks his more conversational tone will attract more young people.

"You know, Millennials don't like to be yelled at anyway. They want to be talked to," he explained. "Because we are really a millennial church, I think it suits who we are."

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About The Author


Emily Jones is a multi-media journalist for CBN News in Jerusalem. Before she moved to the Middle East in 2019, she spent years regularly traveling to the region to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meet with government officials, and raise awareness about Christian persecution. During her college years, Emily served as president of Regent University's Christians United for Israel chapter and spoke alongside world leaders at numerous conferences and events. She is an active member of the Philos Project, an organization that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement with the Middle