Morgan Freeman Visits Pentecostal Church to Witness Speaking in Tongues
The second season of National Geographic’s “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” is now underway, and in episode two the Academy Award-winning actor visits a Pentecostal church to find out more about speaking the heavenly language of tongues.
The series premiere of “The Story of God” aired on Jan. 16 and episode two, “Heaven and Hell,” begins with an exploration of warfare through the practices of Ethiopian Christians. After taking a look at the dark side of demon possession in Ethiopia, the show lightens up a bit when Freeman visits a Pentecostal church in the United States.
“Where there’s darkness there is also light” Freeman says as he introduces the Christian segment. “Some people feel they are touched by Heaven in a physical way every Sunday.”
The actor traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he met with a Pakistani immigrant named Annie. During their drive to her Pentecostal church, Annie explained to Freeman what her conversion to Christianity was like.
Annie revealed that one day while worshiping she was deeply moved and became emotional, then began to praise God and speak in another tongue. A puzzled Freeman asked if he might hear her speak in tongues and she said when she feels the presence of God she can’t help it so he might in fact hear her since they were going to church together.
Freeman visited Newlife United Pentecostal Church, a Christian church that is filled with parishioners who speak in tongues. The 79 year old proceeded to touch on the Bible story found in Acts 2 of the day of Pentecost when the followers of Jesus were baptised with the gift of speaking in tongues.
He described the act of speaking in tongues as “Heaven coming down to Earth.” After a time of worship and an exhortation from the pastor, the Spirit of God began to move throughout the church as the congregation erupts with praise, many speaking in tongues, others crying and one woman is even seen jumping up and down.
The camera pans to Freeman who is looking at everyone in admiration, though he is not partaking in the worship experience.
“All around me people have been swept up by an invisible force. And now they speak, what they believe is the language of Heaven. I can see it on their faces that they are genuinely somewhere else,” Freeman said of his experience.
When Annie is done praying, the Tennessee native asks whether she could understand what she was saying while speaking in tongues.
“When you let the Holy Spirit flow through you then you don’t have control over yourself. It’s just the Holy Spirit speaking to you,” Annie replied. “I can’t wait to go to Heaven because that’s how it would be at all times.”
Freeman, noticeably impacted by her words, said that what he’s learned is that “everybody’s truth is the truth.”
“That was quite a powerful experience. I could feel the energy in that space. Normal people suddenly transformed by some power and then just as suddenly return to normal. But Pentecostals believe that they are bringing Heaven down to Earth.
“Now, whatever it is, they felt that power [and] they are not the same. Experience changes them, how they see themselves, how they relate to others, how they live their lives,” Freeman observed at the end of the segment.
In season two, Freeman meets with faith leaders, scientists and archaeologists to help him understand the different themes found in religion, such as “The Chosen One?” “Proof of God” and “Heaven and Hell.”
Season one of “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman” is now available on DVD.
For more information on the second series, visit National Geographic.