A furious row has erupted after a Missouri megachurch pastor claimed to have regrown an amputee’s toes through the power of prayer – prompting a fellow Christian to launch a mocking website at ShowMeTheToes.com.
The bizarre saga began back on 14 March when John Lindell, the lead pastor at James River Church in Springfield, claims the church performed a so-called “creative miracle” on congregant Kristina Dines.
Ms Dines, 46, was forced to have three toes amputated from one of her feet in 2015 when her husband broke into her home and shot her multiple times in an attack that also claimed the life of her friend.
Last week, Guest Pastor Bill Johnson was visiting James River Church as party of its “Week of Power” prayer revival when he began talking about other “creative miracles” he claims to have seen.
During the sermon, a group of churchgoers began praying over Ms Dines to give her new toes.
As they prayed, they watched as three toes began to grow on her feet, Mr Johnson claims in a livestreamed sermon discussing the alleged miracle.
“They saw the bone come, wrapped in flesh. And by morning, the toenails, everything had formed, she got three brand new toes,” he says.
The claims were echoed by Mr Lindell and Ms Dines in another livestreamed sermon.
“As the ladies prayed for Krissy over the next 30 minutes, all three toes grew, and by that point, were longer than her pinky toe. Within an hour, nails began to grow on all the toes,” the pastor says.
In the video, Ms Dines described the moment she claims her toes suddenly grew back after eight years.
“I had to grab the person next to me and say ‘do you see what I see?’” she said.
“And I saw three toes that were forming and now there’s length to them tonight.
“I can stand on my tippy toes… I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have toes to tippy on.”
The church claims that a doctor – who is married to one of the women praying for the toe regrowth – later examined Ms Dines’ feet and confirmed that three new toes had appeared.
“I guess the person with the three new toes would know,” Mr Johnson said.
“But it’s also nice to have a doctor come and check things out and say, ‘Guess what? This is for real.’”
Despite the extraordinary claim, no photo or video evidence has been put forward as evidence.
And unsurprisingly, it has been met with skepticism – and accusations that the church is exploiting Ms Dines.
One local man, who identifies as a Christian, launched a new website www.ShowMeTheToes.com on Wednesday challenging the church to come forward with evidence of its claims.
“They exploited her,” the man, who wished to remain anonymous, toldThe Daily Beast.
“I am 100 percent against faith healers … If it happened they should be able to present proof.”
One of Ms Dines’ former partners also described the alleged miracle as “bs”.
It’s not the first time one of the pastors at the centre of the saga has made outlandish claims.
Back in 2019, Mr Johnson led a California church in – unsuccessful – attempts to resurrect a two-year-old girl who died suddenly.
The pastor led parishioners – including the parents of the dead girl – in prayer for several days.
In this week’s sermon, he also claimed he had witnessed “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miracles” including seeing the power of prayer cure colour blindness and bring back missing kidneys.