By Steve Strang — Originally published in Charisma News
Evangelist Benny Hinn and his ex-wife Suzanne were remarried on Sunday after being divorced since 2011.
The Hinns’ divorce was widely reported and represented the latest of several high-profile Christian leaders who have recently divorced. Pastor Jack Hayford, Suzanne’s father Roy Harthern and evangelist Reinhard Bonnke repeatedly referred to the significance of the Hinns’ remarriage, calling it miraculous.
“This is too wonderful,” Bonnke told the crowd, noting that this miracle of remarriage was even greater than the miracle of any marriage. “I see a river of the balm of Gilead flowing to millions of broken marriages.” He said he believes those marriages will be restored as a result.
“It’s a miracle of God’s grace,” said Hayford, who officiated, along with Bonnke and Harthern. Approximately 1,000 well-wishers watched the ceremony at the Holyland Experience in Orlando, Fla.
“We’re experiencing the miracle of restoration,” said Harthern, who performed the first ceremony. “I’m one delighted Papa to stand here a second time. This time it’s going to work!”
The crowd responded to this with a chorus of “amens.”
Many notable Christian leaders flew in for the event, including several from overseas—Morris Cerullo, Marilyn Hickey, Marcus and Joni Lamb, Cindy Jacobs and Riva Tims. But they did not participate. Instead all eyes were on the bride and groom in a rather traditional ceremony, mixed with plenty of praise and worship, that lasted two hours. The children and their spouses stood with their parents as attendants.
Benny Hinn said nothing until the end when he prayed over Suzanne as the visiting Christian leaders crowded around. Hinn then told some personal stories including how his oldest grandson, Theo Koulianos, asked him at Thanksgiving about a year and a half ago (when Theo was 6) when his grandfather was getting back together with “Nana.” He told his grandfather he was praying that Jesus would get his grandparents back together.
“God answered that little boy’s prayer,” Hinn said as the crowd cheered.
One of the most touching moments was a slideshow of Hinn family photos, apparently produced by the Hinn children, of the couple when they first married and as their children grew up. It was a surprise to their parents.
I attended the Hinns’ first wedding on Aug. 4, 1979. I watched as their four children were born: Jessica, Natasha, Joshua and Alisha. I watched them grow up. Now the two oldest daughters are married and there are four grandchildren. The slides brought back many memories. I wasn’t prepared for my own emotional response. Hayford apparently had a similar response. “Let me regroup my emotions,” he said, adding that “we are the beneficiaries of this precious moment.”
Karen Wheaton and Judy Jacobs provided stirring music, but a crowd-pleaser was when Hinn asked his 83-year-old mother-in-law Pauline Harthern to sing “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” accompanied on the piano by her husband Roy.
Today I’m returning to my roots as a reporter to write this account, even though my wife and I attended as guests. In my next report I’ll write about how, as a family friend, I watched as the Hinns met and married, and how I saw their marriage disintegrate. I’ll also expand on the true significance of what happened on Sunday as they remarried.