The two-year-old daughter of Bethel Church worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal and her husband, Andrew, died unexpectedly early Saturday morning. Since then, the heartbroken parents have enlisted leaders and members of the Bethel megachurch conglomerate to pray, worship, and "believe" for little Olive's resurrection from the dead.
They've held ceremonies daily since the girl's death where they sing, pray, chant, and dance, as they beckon the girl to come out of the grave.
Bethel leaders told the Redding Record Searchlight that after medics were unable to revive Olive, the Heiligenthals immediately asked "friends, family, and others from the church gather to pray for a miracle of resurrection."
"Bethel Church believes in the stories of healing and physical resurrection found in the Bible (Matthew 10:8), and that the miracles they portray are possible today," the charismatic church said.
Supporters are taking to social media to show their support, singing songs with lyrics such as, "She's going to breathe; She's going to live, I know."
A GoFundMe was also launched for the family with a goal of $100,000. In the fundraiser's description, Olive's mother, Kalley, wrote:
"We believe in a Jesus who died and conclusively defeated every grave, holding the keys to resurrection power. We need it for our little Olive Alayne, who stopped breathing yesterday and has been pronounced dead by doctors. We are asking for bold, unified prayers from the global church to stand with us in belief that He will raise this little girl back to life. Her time here is not done, and it is our time to believe boldly, and with confidence wield what King Jesus paid for. It's time for her to come to life." - Kalley Heiligenthal
The Redding Record Searchlight reports:
Attempting to bring someone back to life is not widely accepted in the Christian faith, but may be more particular to Bethel Church, said Patrick Blewett, dean of A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary at Simpson University in Redding.
"This fits more into Bethel Church and into what they're teaching," Blewett said.
Blewett, who knows the Heiligenthal family, said it is more common to view death as the next step in life, he said, quoting from 2 Corinthians , which says "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
On Wednesday night, Bill Johnson, Senior Leader of Bethel Chuch in Redding, posted a video to Facebook in which he maintains that in raising the dead back to life, Jesus Christ set a biblical precedent for modern believers to follow:
Five days after her death, Olive's parents are still seeking her resurrection. "Day 5 is a really good day for resurrection," her mother writes in her most-recent Instagram post: