OKLAHOMA CITY - Kelsey Hill was suspicious, but not shocked about an unsolicited robo dialer on her cell phone.
The recording said, “Hello this is St Mary's Prayer Center Ministry calling today to see if you need urgent prayer.”
Kelsey says she was thinking, "‘Do I know a St. Marys?’ ‘Why are they calling me?’”
Well, these prayers from above are actually coming from quite far away.
This is not a local ministry, and by the way, blessings like this don't come cheap.
They are selling prayers, and asking for your “seed” money.
The voice on the end of the line hawking God's favor is Yakim Manasseh Jordan of Manasseh Jordan Ministries.
He's a cold caller from a religious organization out of New York.
The self-proclaimed prophet talks a big game, and claims he can raise the dead, and heal the sick.
Recordings of Jordan's robocalls are on the internet. He's been pestering Oklahomans for years.
He was sued by more than a dozen people across country for harassment in federal court.
Many of those cases were eventually settled, and the terms sealed.
In 2016, Yakim Manasseh Jordan also got into hot water with the Federal Communications Commission for robocall violations.
An FCC spokesperson refused to comment or confirm any additional ongoing actions against Manasseh Jordan ministries.
Since last week Scott and our team have been trying to get a hold of Yakim Manasseh Jordan and his ministry.
He lists several phone numbers on his website.
One is no longer a working number, and the other has a full mailbox.
We tried tracking Jordan down through one of his old attorneys. No luck there either.
We also sent numerous emails, but so far, no one from Manasseh Jordan Ministries has gotten back to us.
Meanwhile the Pay to Pray robocalls haven't let up, and no one seems to know just how much seed money is actually rolling in.
The recording goes onto say, “If you would like to have someone from our center pray for you, please press one.”
You would never find Father Joe Alsay hawking God's favor at his parish, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Northwest Oklahoma City.
“It's free,” he said. “It's free.”
It’s free faith with no strings attached.
“Many times these evangelists like to equate fiduciary success with faith, or this whole concept if you pray the right prayer or even for them,” Rev. Alsay added. “What's more important, send me a seed faithed gift, then you can be assured of prosperity and that's not the way it is.”
The In Your Corner bottom line. These robocallers change their numbers daily.
The same number that was used to try to sell Kelsey a prayer, is already peddling something else.
“Congratulations! You have been chosen to play money call with a chance to win 1,000 dollars.”
Kelsey’s setting the record straight and getting the word out.
She added, “I'm just sitting there thinking if my grandpa or grandma answered the phone, I think it would be something they would potentially buy into.”
If you're in need of ministry seek out a local faith community where you can see where your donation dollars are actually going.
If a robo dialer targets your cell phone, hang up, and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.