The Exorcist

David became part of our Christ-following clan and was a regular attendee of our Bible studies. This young man seemed normal enough, though there was a uniqueness about him that was soon to reveal itself.

The Barry was in port at the time, tied up to the pier at the Naval Station in Mayport, Florida. There was a small Catholic Chapel on base that we would go to while in port for Bible studies and prayer. We had a Catholic charismatic lady who was discipling us (mentoring/giving us direction on spiritual things). We brought David along with us to the Chapel, and after a Bible study this lady asked if we could pray for David. So we had him sit in a chair and we got around him. I was seated directly in front of him, and we laid our hands on him and as we began to pray…I quickly backed away! David’s face had grotesquely contorted. His teeth were jutted out like a rabid dog ready to attack. He was growling, snarling, and his eyes pierced deep into me and created such fear that I was practically paralyzed.

Mayport, Florida Naval Base chapel, where demons were cast out of several people. February 1979
Mayport, Florida Naval Base chapel,
where demons were cast out of
several people.
February 1979

I was very thankful that this woman was experienced with demon possession. She quickly took control of the situation, and not showing any fear whatsoever, commanded the demon to depart. The demon was reluctant, but eventually gave way and David was set free.

That event was one of several demon possession episodes during the USS Barry Revival. Though at the time I was quite terrified, it was wonderful training for future encounters.

After the Bible study and prayer time was over, David informed us that his parents and grandmother were witches. The generational demonic attachment was now broken through the power of Jesus’ name!

If you read this and are questioning how a person who was a genuine Christian could be demon possessed, I hold to the generally accepted doctrine that a Christian cannot be demon possessed. So to respond to that question, I can only say that there was a demon controlling him. He was either “demonized,” “demon oppressed,” or something along those lines. There are many mysteries when it comes to demon possession, or demon oppression, which the Bible doesn’t explain in detail.

When you have a person in your church who has confessed Christ and has lived a Christian life for several years, then you see them manifesting something that is obviously demonic, like writhing on the floor like a snake, you don’t tell them they can’t be demon possessed “because it doesn’t line up with my doctrine!” You just do what you need to do to deliver the person from that demon’s grip, and then you can split hairs about doctrine at a later time.

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