Beni Johnson on the Glory Cloud at Bethel
Interviewed by Erica Henry
Brenda Johnson is known by most as Beni. She and her husband, Bill, have been the senior pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, since 1996. Bethel is a very large church in a small town. The church has changed and grown over the years, and there are now numerous schools associated with it, including the School of Supernatural Ministry, which began in 1998 and trains about 1,200 students annually.
One of the messages that sets Bethel apart from other churches is the doctrine that, “ Every believer is a supernatural minister of the gospel of power of whom signs and wonders should follow.” Individuals from the church have reported experiencing the healing of physical infirmities, dreams and visions sent to them from God, viewing angels and other spiritual beings, and being “given” messages and meaningful images of love from God to share with specific humans.
In the past year, there has been a previously unreported supernatural experience that many people have shared. It has been called the “Glory Cloud” and it is a billowing, floating mass of sparkling gold-colored dust that takes shape and grows below the ceiling of the church sanctuary. It then moves around just under the ceiling of the room, exploding into more of the golden dust, which then showed everything. I was given the delightful opportunity to interview Beni Johnson about this strange occurrence.
Beni is deeply respected for her leadership in the area of intercession, or “prayer, petition, or entreaty in favor of another” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). God’s response to her committed prayers has been credited with overcoming spiritual and physical challenges. It has also been associated with bringing about some of the significant achievements that occurred in the church community. Beni authored a book on the subject, entitled The Happy Intercessor, and she has a special commitment to individuals who are hopeless and seeking encouragement.
When Nathan Stanton reached out to Beni about the possibility of this interview, she was eager to share with us about the Glory Cloud. She is a very busy individual, but she did not put any limits or requirements on the interview. Her kind, humble personality radiated through the phone as we spoke. And this is what she told me.
“On one particular night in August in 2011, during a conference especially for women, some of the ladies in attendance began to rush the stage in response to a pulsating golden dust that had appeared over their heads. Though many people at Bethel and other churches have reported seeing and discovering mysterious gold dust on their hands and other places, there has not previously been a visible, floating cloud. Neither Beni nor Bill was present on the first night it appeared, but they both heard all about it from their friends and congregants.
Over the coming months, they both were able to experience the cloud for themselves on a couple of occasions. Beni describes a feeling of peace “that gets rid of all the head clutter” that goes with it, along with a sensation of childlike awe and a desire to live in a way that would please God. It would be difficult to explain in any better than she does, so you should listen to the interview or watch one of the many videos of the cloud.
One of the most notable things about this apparently miraculous demonstration is the universality of the experience for everyone in the room. I have heard about times when certain people report hearing or seeing angels in a church sanctuary while others do not, but the Glory Cloud is a corporate experience; everyone in the room-believer and unbeliever, old and young-sees it and loves it.
Though there have not been Glory Cloud appearances in the last month or so, people are still visiting in hopes of getting to experience it for themselves and the congregation is still waiting in eager expectation of more “signs that make you wonder”, as the supernatural experiences are called but those in the community. The church believes that God is bringing revival and healing not only to their church, but their city and the world. they believe that is what is meant by “Thy Kingdom come-that it is not some futuristic coming, but something that is currently happening among us.
I asked Beni about some of her other noteworthy supernatural experiences, and she described for me an encounter that took place when her husband, Bill, took her to the revival in Toronto some 17 years ago. As a child, she had been told by many people that she was a shy person. Beni described being absolutely terrified to speak in front of people, even into her forties. However, while she was at the church in Toronto, a man touched her, which sent her into convulsions on the floor. When she asked God what the experience meant, she felt Him tell her that He was, “shaking out of you that lie and that the stronghold of that shyness and fear of man. I was igniting in yu who you really are. “Now Beni speaks in front of thousands of people and leads numerous events and workshops and studies. Nevertheless, she claims, “The things I am doing now, you couldn’t have paid me for”
I asked Beni what her chief message for the world is. She said, without hesitation, that it simply would be: “God is good. And it is His goodness that leads us to repentance. And as far as being a person of prayer, your prayers should be hooked to heaven. they should be full of joy and full of creativity and full of life and answers. Even in the times of travail and great crying out before God they should always finish with how good He is and giving declarations of what He is going to do. That is pretty much it”