Don’t expect Patricia King to settle for the status quo. She is teaching a new Christian generation how to live in the supernatural.
When Patricia King got saved, she was so excited about finding Jesus that the very next morning she knocked on all her neighbors’ doors in her home of Mission, British Columbia, to tell them the good news.
“They said, ‘Have you gone crazy?’ And I said: ‘No. I was crazy, but now I’m not.'”
King was “crazy in love with Jesus.”
“I used to sit on bus benches—I’d hire a baby sitter to take care of my children—and I’d wait for someone to come and sit beside me so I could tell them about Jesus,” she says.
“When my kids took naps in the afternoon, I’d go through the phone book and phone people and tell them Jesus loves them. I led many people to the Lord over the telephone.”
That was in 1976. Yet, not much has changed with King’s passion for sharing God’s love. The 55-year-old grandmother, who wears large colorful jewelry and has funky spiked hair, still tells everyone she can about Jesus and has led hundreds of people to Christ during her 30 years in ministry.
It’s just that now she has more ways of reaching people than she did in the ’70s.
King presides today over Extreme Prophetic, an internationally known fivefold media and outreach ministry started in 2003 that now has offices in Phoenix and Kelowna, British Columbia.
The most popular aspects of her ministry are the globally telecast, half-hour teaching and prophecy show Extreme Prophetic TV, and street evangelism teams that she has commissioned to work in several of the largest inner cities of North America.
A writer of numerous books, booklets and ministry training manuals for Christians, she travels the globe to teach five-day courses she’s written on “prophetic evangelism” and “the glory realm”—a subject that one group of ministers recently criticized for being too much like New Age teaching.
But King describes herself as a “prophetic personality” who is “genuine,” “cutting edge” and “controversial.” As a prophetic evangelist, she fuses her desire to tell people about Jesus with a personal approach that puts hearers at ease and helps to lower barriers to the gospel.
Seeking and Sharing
King’s ability to hear God’s voice and obvious compassion for others was witnessed on a recent tour with her and one of her outreach teams through Ottawa’s Byward Market district.
Kayla, 19, was attracted by the TV camera filming King’s Extreme Prophetic program and shook her head in disbelief when King accurately told her that she often wondered where God was in hard times, especially recently when she was in the hospital being treated for asthma.
After bursting into tears, Kayla accepted Christ.
Eugene—a middle-aged quadriplegic who, rain or shine, sits on the street in a wheelchair with a tin cup—was all smiles after receiving prayer from King.
He said he felt heat in his back and legs and was able to move his legs in ways he couldn’t previously.
King says she actually learned through the Holy Spirit how to listen to God and prophesy over people, even though a year after she accepted Christ she took a course on prophecy.
Her dynamic combination of evangelistic and prophetic abilities, as well as a sociable personality and the ability to put others at ease, has led her to reach out to people just about everywhere she travels. She usually combines spontaneous outreaches—often filmed for Extreme Prophetic TV—with speaking engagements and other planned ministry trips.
“Wherever we have time and we hear the Spirit say, ‘Minister,’ we do,” she says.
A recent outreach in London’s Hyde Park was described by King as “awesome.”
“We led 37 people to the Lord in a three-hour period.
“We just set up a blanket on the grass and put up a sign saying ‘Free destiny words’ and ‘Free dream interpretation,'” King explains.
“Then we went to Buckingham Palace and prophesied over the guard. He couldn’t respond though, of course,” she joked.
A Time of Turmoil
King, however, wasn’t joking with her astonished neighbors all those years ago when she told them that she was “crazy.”
There was a time when she felt like she was. Before meeting Jesus, she lived through a desperate time of emotional turmoil and spiritual searching.
King was raised in a nominal Christian home by parents who she says were “good people and taught us good moral values,” yet there was much conflict at home.
As a teenager she fell for a boy with whom she compromised her morals. When the relationship ended, she fell into an abyss of depression.
“I had a very sensitive conscience, and after I violated my morals with him, I went into a deep party scene, club scene and drugs.
“The more I went into darkness, the more I was ridden with guilt and shame,” she recalls.
“I was raped twice in one year, but I just felt I deserved it. I was suicidal because I didn’t know who I was as a person.”
She met her husband, Ron Cocking, in a bar and they married when King was 22.
“He really, really loved me. His love was very healing. It was the best time in my whole life. I felt whole because I was loved.”
When her first son, Chad, was 6 months old, King became emotionally volatile and prone to fits of rage.
“My son picked up on that, and he started showing hyperactivity. I needed help, but I couldn’t get help in the natural—I took courses, I went to doctors—so I pursued the spiritual route.
“I got heavily into transcendental meditation, astrology, numerology, spells, white witchcraft and tarot. The more I went into it, the worse my behavior got.”
The situation came to a head when King was pregnant with her second son. She became so angry that her blood pressure shot up and caused her to have a convulsion.
“I was in the hospital and I had a vision of the devil—he asked me to give him my son. Then immediately, Jesus came to me in a vision,” she says.
Soon after, she developed epilepsy and became addicted to morphine. Her blood pressure was still high, and she was in and out of hospitals for treatment. During that time she began hitting her oldest son.
New Life and Purpose
Help finally came in the form of an Anglican clergyman who invited King to a home meeting of charismatic Christians after she’d called his church and told him her problems.
“I asked the Lord to come into my heart that night, and He didn’t hesitate,” she says.
“I felt Him take the sin away—I literally felt the guilt, the shame, the dirt go. Within three days, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues.”
Ron accepted Christ 11 months later, and by 1980 the couple had quit their jobs and started training at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in Kona, Hawaii.
Although King has never stopped talking to people about Jesus and His love wherever she goes—”Restaurants are my favorite,” she quips—her first foray into teaching evangelism didn’t come until 1981.
A local pastor in her hometown spotted her evangelistic gift and invited her to teach his congregation how to win souls.
“I spoke to his youth group and decided to take them to Vancouver’s Skid Row because they were scared about evangelizing in their own neighborhood, where they’d see people they knew,” she recalls.
“They saw God do miracles, they led people to the Lord, they saw drug addicts totally sober up. They went back to their schools, told the kids the things they saw on the streets and started leading them to the Lord.”
In 1982 King and her husband organized a Youth for Jesus event for which 1,500 young people showed up. After the couple were asked the same year to come on staff as home evangelists at their church, membership leaped from 15 people to 120 people in three months.
In 1984, King started working for Christian Services Association, an organization founded in 1974 for teaching and equipping the body of Christ in the Holy Spirit.
She taught on the gifts of the Spirit, evangelism and intercessory prayer as an itinerant minister traveling across the western half of Canada and sponsored similar events in the Vancouver area. By 1990 she had been made president of the association when its founder, Mary Goddard, retired.
King’s itinerant preaching and teaching continue to this day. During any given week she has one to three speaking engagements.
Some 80 percent of her invitations come from American churches, though she is asked by pastors to minister at churches in Canada, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany and as far away as Kuwait. King’s public exposure led her to change her surname from Cocking to King in 2003 after her ministry began receiving vulgar messages.
Some ministers, however, have been critical of her teaching. Between November 2005 and April 2006, King’s ministry came under fire from a network of prophetic pastors in the Phoenix area who widely circulated a letter claiming that “an element of the New Age remains in her work, which can be spiritually misleading.”
“It went to a real high level of apostolic-prophetic roundtable and impacted on a global level, and they were saying, ‘What shall we do about Patricia King?'” she told Charisma.
“It’s like a theological war that comes with every new move of the Spirit. There were some added things because I’m a woman in ministry, and they were trying to say I’m rebellious; I’m not accountable or submissive.”
King and her ministry staff checked with every place where she’d ministered in the 18 months prior to the allegations. According to King, none of them have complaints about her.
A full accountability report about the controversy is available on her Web site at www.extremeprophetic.com/conflict_home.htm.
The criticism centered on elements of King’s teachings, particularly “third heaven” encounters and what she calls “the glory realm,” a term coined among charismatic and renewal churches to help explain experiences in which believers claim they are transported spiritually by the Holy Spirit—into heaven for deep encounters with God, into hospital rooms to minister to dying people, into countries to discern the spiritual climate of specific locations.
Some people report seeing angels and “glory clouds” or receive tangible expressions of their journeys in the form of gold dust, feathers, gemstones or manna.
Although some Christians align such beliefs to a false source, King says the same kind of supernatural experiences were common in biblical times and shouldn’t be feared by modern-day believers.
“Moving in the glory and third-heaven encounters is just walking with God. The supernatural has always been available and God’s always wanted it for us, but we haven’t been open to stepping into it because our heads have gotten in the way.”
She believes Western society has entered a “supernatural era” in which unsaved people are seeing the reality of the unseen realm because they are living in very troubled times and are looking for a power greater than themselves.
The body of Christ, she believes, should be pointing the way for them.
“The church should be teaching the nation how to operate in the supernatural—the occult shouldn’t be getting there first,” she says. “Once you know the truth of Christ, you can tell the difference between truth and counterfeit.”
Her ministry maintains a combined North American and European advisory panel that includes James Goll of Encounters Network, Steve Shultz of Elijah List, Ché Ahn of Harvest International Ministries and Mary-Audrey Raycroft of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Her ministry colleagues include Graham Cooke, Bill Johnson, Bobby Connor and John Paul Jackson.
Setting Prisoners Free
When she isn’t traveling to teach or going into an urban area to share Jesus on the streets, King attends her home church of New Life in Kelowna, formerly pastored by Canadian revivalists Wesley and Stacey Campbell.
She offers a simple explanation when asked why she feels led to minister to the down-and-out. “I feel a tremendous burden for the addicted because they’re prisoners. The Bible says to go release them.”
“I look at the anointing as operating best in the darkness. With street ministry, it’s about letting people know love because God is love, and love is what will set them free.
“It tests our love, doesn’t it, when we allow them [to get] close, but that’s where you find out if you have any [love].”
King is qualified to make such statements. She and her family lived in Tijuana, Mexico, for four years in the late 1980s ministering to a community of street people. Addicts lived with them in their home in Honolulu during their YWAM training.
Today it sometimes works the other way around—King and her team at Extreme Prophetic live at street level with the addicts. Recently in a Phoenix suburb called The Zone they stayed in slum hotels for five days and lived on the street for 24 hours with no money, no cell phones and no toiletries.
“Before that, the street people wouldn’t respect us. It was, like, ‘Just get out of our face,'” King says.
“But when we sat on the pavement with them, when we stood in the food lineups with them, it was a statement to them because it gave us understanding,” she explains. “They’d tell us their stories and really opened up.”
King’s team subsequently formed Extreme Homeless Fellowship, a street church that meets on the pavement three nights a week in The Zone.
“Now when they see us coming, they run up to us. We’re seeing miracles on the street. One person with a crippled leg saw their entire leg straightened out in one day,” she says.
King says the main requirement for outreach teams is to love and to have knowledge of the Word. “[Without love and faith] it’s just a formula. We teach teams to ask God to help them see what they need to, not to be in a hurry, and not to view people as mission projects. It’s about humble love, it’s not a big, splashy thing.”
She says people who watch the filmed outreaches on Extreme Prophetic TV frequently set up their own teams. “Now they’re taking the world by storm,” she adds.
Wesley Campbell, King’s former pastor and today an apostolic leader with Ahn’s Harvest International Ministries in Pasadena, California, describes King as “a go for it lady.”
“A lot of people hear from God and think about it. Patricia hears and does it,” Campbell observes. “She’s obedient to the Word, has compassion and great personal integrity.
“But her best attribute is faith. She can just grab hold and believe, which is why she’s a starter of new things.”
Josie Newman is a reporter and freelance writer based near Toronto and a frequent contributor to Charisma.