A Question for the People of Ypsilanti… “What’s up with the Miracle Center?”

miracle2

Quite often, when I’m interviewing new Ypsilantians for the Ypsi Immigration Interview series, I ask if there are things that they have questions about that the readers of this site might be able to help with, any weird little things that they’ve encountered in town that just don’t make sense, like why the handle on the Tap Room’s front door is so damn low, or what people mean when they refer to “the man with no face”… Well, it occurred to me today, as I was walking to the library with Arlo to drop off some books, that, after all these years, I still don’t understand what goes on inside the Miracle Center on Washington Street (where, we’re told, “the supernatural is normal”), and I thought that I’d bring the question to you… So, what do you know about Bishop Dave Chikosi and the goings-on inside the building he occupies right next door to Beezy’s? Have you seen evidence of miracles?

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50 Comments

  1. Posted September 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’ve started to do a little digging, and what I’m finding is odd…. Here, for instance, is something the “Bishop” linked to on YouTube.

  2. anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you can stop trying to raise money to fix Patrick Elkins’ leg.

  3. Eel
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Great opportunity for a markmaynard.com undercover video report.

  4. Kim Thompson
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    He’s got a second church is Zimbabwe that preaches the gospel of “miracle money”.

    http://nehandaradio.com/2012/11/15/the-trouble-with-self-appointed-bishops/

  5. Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    These guys are all over Africa. I *almost* went to a mass healing in Kenya once. The flier for “Bishop SomethingSomething” had him healing a lady in a wheel chair with the power of his beard.

    Amazing.

  6. Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Here he is!

    Prophet Dr. David Edward Oduor

    http://www.repentandpreparetheway.org/

  7. XXX
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Are there a bunch of cast-off old crutches and abandoned wheelchairs behind his church? If not, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a scam.

  8. Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    He can cure HIV as well.

    Prophet Dr Edward David Owuor agrees there is no conventional cure for HIV/Aids, but has been preaching to all and sundry that, through a series of amens and intercessory grunts, he can cure the disease.

    Predictably, his claims have set afire the medical and religious fields, but what is raising eyebrows further is the corroboration of his claims by some medics, who say they have proof that “prayer and repentance” are freeing many from the yoke of the disease.

    Rift Valley Kenya National Aids and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) provincial coordinator, Dr Toromo Kochei, confirms having encountered several cases of these “faith healings”.

    “After examining more than five of my patients — people I have dealt with for years — and realising they seem healed, I couldn’t believe it, so I directed the regional Clinical Officer Ms Rahab Peenoi Lemarkoko to open investigations through thorough check-up of the patients, whom we tracked down to various regions in Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western Province.”

    Several months later, Dr Kochei says they have confirmed at least 32 “healings”. DN2 was shown various pieces of evidence to confirm these “miracles”, among them hospital documents for some of the patients and a letter by a government official requesting more test on the victims.

    “As a medical practitioner, I first thought it was insane, but now I know faith cures are possible,” Dr Kochei says.

  9. anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Shall we all go next Sunday?

  10. R2
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    This is the expected outcome when you have piss poor public education and ensure the poor don’t have access to health care. You get con men, healers and witch doctors.

  11. Link Link
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark,

    Can you share where you found that link (context)?

    (One can imagine the perceptions that could be made if, out of context, people said, “MarkMaynard.com linked to X.”)

    Here’s a link to some super secret footage of what goes on at the Miracle Center!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjjBvbn6t24&feature=youtu.be

    It looks like an immigrant from Africa, is encouraging a small audience to make the decision to prepare children to go to college, play less xBox, realize media is exploitative…

    I realize, parents who attend the place, hearing the linked message, week after week, isn’t as valuable as what goes on at Beezy’s, but maybe you should interview the Bishop? Or, at least, say, “hello” before casting him as a con?

  12. Link Link
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny … how quickly a “link” can lead to a man categorized with “con men, healers and witch doctors.”

    One wonders what our “piss poor public education” has really created?

    Perhaps … people seeing witch doctors all over Africa … without speaking to the people living next door?

  13. Link Link
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Here’s a link: http://annarbor.com/news/ypsilanti/ypsilanti-approves-first-reading-of-street-light-fee-ordinance/

    Robb said he was disappointed only four residents showed up to file objections and the fee was so low that most residents don’t seem outraged over what the city is doing.

    “The unfortunate thing is that no one will take the effort to sue us, so whether or not it’s right we’re going to get away with it,” he said.

    Ug. That’s difficult. Our City Council is getting away with illegal over-taxation of the poor. Oooh. I might have to do something beyond commentary. I know … let’s shift our focus to the with doctors invading from Africa……..

  14. Link Link
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    It’s good we can expose the links of witch doctors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyQslDaU0y4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwUV5nmQvuqsSFkZcqKMX4g

  15. james
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    It looks like a storefront Pentecostal church. (actually, it might not be Pentecostal exactly- I don’t know exactly what you have to do to be in that ‘club’).

  16. site admin
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    He didn’t just link to the video in question (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysJ_H23rvec). He also left a comment.

    “Bishop Dave Chikosi 6 months ago
    Father in the Name of Jesus, I release the anointing for a supernatural dental job this man/woman. I decree that they will not have to go thru extractions, bone grafts and implants. They will not need to spend any money on this. I decree that your miracle begins as soon as you read this in Jesus name. The Word says, “Decree a thing and it shall be established.” Thank you Lord for establishing this miracle in their mouth – right now! Amen. (send me email at dvchks@yahoo.com)”

    Supernatural dental jobs!

  17. site admin
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    He’s apparently written on the abomination of homosexuality.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=fuxq1v9ThmYC&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=Dave+Chikosi&source=bl&ots=FJIF3cLFfS&sig=Rleo8tM0viItM2sPnRPHgH2k7QY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6cotUorXGsfXsgbs4IGwCg&ved=0CGgQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=Dave%20Chikosi&f=false

  18. site admin
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    He also preaches of “divine income redistribution”.

    http://nehandaradio.com/2013/02/01/miracle-money-and-bishop-chikosis-misplaced-wealth-transfer-doctrine/

    Bishop Chikosi wrote: “But what is happening with miracle money, dear friends, is what I have coined (no pun intended) ‘divine income redistribution.'”

  19. Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The Bishop is not a “witch doctor.”

    He is a Pentecostal minister.

    “Witch doctor” is a catch all term for non-Abrahamic religious practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa, which are many. Like Christian minsters, some are charlatans and some seek to do good.

    I guarantee that Mark will not interview the Bishop. Perhaps I will and write it up for Mark’s site.

  20. Knox
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    That would be incredible, Peter!

  21. double anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I love the fact that The Miracle Center, DejaVu, The Dreamland Theater and Beezy’s all reside on the same block. Their block meetings must be incredible.

  22. Ypsiosaurus Rex
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Mark, perhaps you should go and talk to the pastor. This might give you a chance to meet a non-white, non-middle class, non-beer drinking, non-artistic member of our/your community.

  23. Mr. Y
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Mark would have had a much different response to a white, hipster, homophobic faith healer preaching about “miracle money”.

  24. Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I want Mark to interview the hair braiding places downtown. He once told me he didn’t want to, since they weren’t interested on contributing to the community.

    I wondered exactly what type of community he’s talking about. Perhaps it is Mark Maynard who decides what the “community” is?

    Though Mark has, in the past, interviewed people that don’t fit his demographic, I think that the above comment has to be taken somewhat seriously. The “community” Mark belongs to is only a very small part of Ypsi.

    Some more coverage at what’s makes Ypsi an interesting place besides the Corner Brewery and a handful of hipsterish businesses might be a great thing to discuss.

    Perhaps Mark isn’t the person to do it. Someone might consider it. Maybe instead of the Bishop, I will go and interview the hair braiding places for him.

  25. dan
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    New position: cultural outreach beat for the storied newsgathering institution that is markmaynard.com. apply within.

  26. Tom
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t Mark speak out about the white hipster faith healers in our downtown community! This is a bigger outrage than his refusal so speak out about the plight of the white slaves of Ypsilanti!

  27. Posted September 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    You know me so well… Yes, the reason I’m curious as to what goes on in the “Miracle Center” is because the self-appointed “Bishop” at the helm of it isn’t a skinny white guy with ironic facial hair… Is that what you really think of me? Jesus.

    And, no offense to Pete, but he’s twisting my words all to hell about the hair braiding places. I did go in one once and inquire about the possibility of an interview, for an episode of Dreamland Tonight about local business, and they told me that they weren’t interested. For what it’s worth, I interviewed the owners of the party store across from the bus station for that same episode, and they happen to be black. So I don’t have any rule against interviewing non-white business owners.

    There are other too. Sadly, though, I don’t have a “black people who Mark has spoken with” tag, so I can’t just print out a list for you. (I’ll add that in the next site revision.)

    But, yes, I will concede that I typically speak to more white folks than black folks for this site. It’s not because I have a love for whitey. I don’t. It’s just that the new businesses that have captured my interest these past several years have been started by folks who at least appear to be white. (I don’t typically ask for their race when interviewing them.) If someone can point to a new downtown restaurant that’s run as professionally as Beezy’s and Wurst Bar, and owned by an African American entrepreneur, I’d love to talk with them.

    I’m interested in people who do things well, raise the bar locally, and create jobs. And, if someone’s doing that, I’d like to talk with them… Color is the last thing on my mind.

    For instance, I love Puffer Reds. I’ve never interviewed Eric for the site, but we’ve spoken, and he and his wife participated in an event that I hosted downtown several years ago on just this very subject… how to we raise the bar downtown. (Remind me, and I’ll reach out to Eric again about an online interview.)

    So, no, I don’t really have as much of an interest in hair braiding places. My sense is that they don’t pay a great deal in taxes, and I’m not aware of their owners doing any great amount of work in the downtown community to make it better. I’d say the same thing, however, about the tax preparation places. It’s not a matter of color. I love stories about people doing interesting this. The fact that Bee, for instance, has 826 tutors in her restaurant after hours, helping Ypsi students to become better writers, is awesome. The fact that she gives a damn about customer service, and has created a place where people want to work, and get their start in the restaurant business, is awesome. And, when you add to it that she’s been known to deliver free soup to Ozone House, well, that seals the deal. So, no, I don’t just go down the street knocking on doors, interviewing people. I don’t have any interest in strip clubs, retail businesses that are open erratic hours, poorly run restaurants, smoke shops, liquor stores, or hair braiding places… Yes, I’m curious about what goes on in them, and I suspect there are some great stories, but, for the purposes of this blog, I’m interested in well-run places whose owners can speak about something other than just making money.

    And, as for my interest in the “Miracle Center”, you’ll have to take my word for it, but I could give a damn that the man behind it is black. Charismatic, odd religious characters fascinate me, regardless of color. If you don’t believe me, just scroll back a few days and read my post on King Strang.

  28. karen
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    blah blah blah black people can’t run businesses blah blah blah i’m not racist blah blah blah free soup blah blah blah pretentious ramblings blah blah blah hair braiding blah blah blah

  29. I Can Read
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Karen, do you know how to read? In the comment you are responding to Mark says he’s interviewed both Daryl from Jacobsen Daniels and Eric from Puffer Reds. He also says he likes both of their businesses. No where did he say that black people cannot run businesses. You either can’t read or your psychologically unhinged. Either way I feel sorry for your kids.

  30. dot dot dash
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Karen,

    I’d take your opinion more seriously if you hadn’t supported a white supremacist for city council.

    -DDD

  31. GG
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Can someone provide the name of one of theses white hipster faith healers that Mark is shielding from public scorn?

  32. Ypsiosaurus Rex
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I too, find “odd religious” characters interesting. I just think it sounds wimpy to pose the question about “what goes on in there?” without going in and asking yourself. You seem like a nice enough guy Mark. Why don’t you offer to buy him lunch at Beezy’s and meet other local business owners. He very well might do some great community work – you won’t know unless you ask.

  33. anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    But that’s not what you said. You accused racism.

  34. New Normal
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Is there a running tally somewhere of the number of times that Karem Maurer shows up here says something stupid gets publicly humiliated and then STFU?

  35. Kristal
    Posted October 6, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Jesus as ATM.

  36. Howard
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Allow me to comment on some of Mark’s statements:
    1. “I still don’t understand what goes on inside the Miracle Center on Washington Street” . . . well why don’t you go find out? Afraid of Black people?
    2. “Have you seen evidence of miracles?” . . . . take a 2nd look at the poster. It doesn’t say “home of miracles”. It says “home of the supernatural.” Those a 2 different things.
    3. “If someone can point to a new downtown restaurant that’s run as professionally as Beezy’s and Wurst Bar, and owned by an African American entrepreneur, I’d love to talk with them” . . .Beezy’s is the standard?
    4. “I’m interested in people who do things well, raise the bar locally.” Whose bar? Yours?
    5. My sense is that they (African hairdressers) don’t pay a great deal in taxes, and I’m not aware of their owners doing any great amount of work in the downtown community to make it better” . . . how would you know if you are too scared to go in and talk to them? They are from Africa but they don’t bite! Why speculate on their taxes and philanthropy when you nothing about them?
    6. “Charismatic, odd religious characters fascinate me” . . . Bishop Chikosi is odd because of what? He’s from Africa? You also call him “the self-appointed ‘Bishop’” . . . what do you know about his appointment to the bishoprick?

    You come across as fearful of and prejudiced against Blacks in general and Africans in particular. It’s offensive to Blacks in general but especially those of us from Africa. You need to get off your high horse and go talk to these people if you really want to know what they do and why. I know Bishop Chikosi personally and I find your comments about this great pastor quite offensive

  37. Posted April 5, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment, Howard. I do need to reach out to Chikosi. You’re right about that. It’s been on my list of things to do for quite a while, and I need to follow through. As for you other comments, I’ll try to respond to the best of my ability. Hopefully I can do so without sounding defensive, or, worse yet, referencing the fact that I have “black friends.” Here are a few thoughts to consider.

    1. I never said that our community doesn’t have black entrepreneurs who “raise the bar.” Quite the contrary. I think both Darryl Daniels (Jacobsen Daniels Associates) and Eric Williams (Puffer Red) are doing a great job, for instance. I’ve said so on this site numerous times in the past, and both companies have been included panels that I’ve hosted in the past on local business development. The quote you share above was specific to the restaurant business. For what it’s worth, I did like the restaurant downtown called “Sundays” (I believe), which was on Washington Street. By the time I finally ate there, though, and wanted to interview them, they were closed. (I still feel bad about that.)

    2. As for our downtown hair braiding businesses, it’s been some time, but, as I noted above, I did attempt to talk with people at one of them, and they declined the opportunity. I suppose I could try again.

    3. Yes, I have issues with so-called “men of god” that claim to be able to increase wealth and the like in exchange for financial contributions. If you search the term “charlatan” on my site, I believe you will find several examples, both black and white. It’s not a matter of race with me. I just dislike people who take money from others, claiming to have special knowledge of God… With that said, though, you’re right. I should reach out to your friend and give him an opportunity to respond.

    With all of that said, I did very much appreciate your letter, and hope to see more of you here on the site in the future. We could use a few more people who know how to make logical arguments. And I mean that sincerely.

  38. Howard
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your response. You still don’t seem to appreciate that:
    1. Its wrong for you to pass judgment on the African sisters who run those hair-braiding places based on what you THINK they do or don’t do vis a viz taxes and philanthropy. If you don’t know why not just zip it until you have the facts?

    2. You assumed that the supernatural equals miracles and used this false assumption to pose the question: “Have you seen evidence of miracles?” If the answer is “no” then he is a charlatan? (or as some of the people here characterize him-a witchdoctor from Africa)?

    3. Calling Bishop Chikosi, a man you know nothing about, “odd” and “self-appointed” is offensive. I don’t know that you get it. Again until you have the facts to prove he is an oddball and self-appointed, can you just zip it?

    And now you seem to be implying that Bishop Chikosi is one of those people you know “who take money from others, claiming to have special knowledge of God.” Hell, man, you don’t know this guy from a bar of soap! Can you just stop!

    FYI Bishop Chikosi has worked very well with organizers of the annual Ypsilanti Summer Festivals. Talk to some of them and find out how odd he is. His church distributes food & clothing to the community from time to time. He is on Ann Arbor CTN TV Channel 17, and because of it he takes numerous calls every week from members of the community who are not part of his church, counselling them through life-challenges. This is a free service he gives to the community. He is married and has a master’s degree in theology from a college in Chicago. All this is info readily available on internet. But his main call is to preach the Gospel. That’s what “goes on in there” at the Miracle Center.

  39. Eel
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Howard, this thread is several months old. You brought it back to the surface, not Mark. Mark just responded to your criticism, at which time you told him to “zip it” and stop talking about the Bishop. You can’t ask a man a question and then, when he responds, yell at him for bringing it up.

  40. Posted April 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I do find Mark’s position on the hair braiders downtown and the overall ignorance of black Ypsilanti by readers of this site quite confusing.

    It would seems that businesses like Beezy’s are welcome to Ypsilanti and deserving of celebration, but truly homegrown businesses are (mostly) not, or at least, unworthy of engagement.

    While I’m not going to go so far as to accuse anyone of racism, I would like to see the readership of Markmaynard.com take a more inclusive position, rather than the sort of boring pro-gentrification (“let’s attract artists”) stance it so often espouses.

  41. Bob
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Peter Larson loves hair weave.

  42. Posted April 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I write about businesses that I know and frequent. I don’t frequent the hair braiding shops. I don’t think it’s all that confusing. I eat food. I don’t wear braids.

    With that said, though, I do occasionally branch out. And, with that in mind, I did approach the employees of a local hair braiding shop a few years ago. As I’ve now told you twice, they said they weren’t interested in talking with me. When you’re done with me, maybe chastise them a bit too.

  43. Howard
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Eel, I was not aware of this site until last week when I came across it accidentally. Otherwise I would have responded long ago. If you double-check, the “zip it” is in the 2nd post not the first. I was hopeful Mark would retract the totally unfounded and hurtful things he said about this Bishop (whom he knows virtually nothing about), but I’m disappointed that he hasn’t.

  44. Dr. Blarson
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Peter,

    I’ve visited your site several times over the past 24 hours and I’ve yet to see the section where you interview the diverse business owners of your community. Can you please provide a link?

    Thank you,
    Dr. Blarson

  45. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The (self ordained?) Bishop is a charlatan, like all other religious figures. I’m sure that he doles out a few crumbs to some poor souls every once in a while, though.

    Mark writes about people he knows, which is to be expected. I don’t write about businesses, because I don’t know many people in business.

    However, it’s clear from this site that the readership here is only interested in one type of Ypsilanti, and might even wish that the other Ypsilanti would simply go away. Certainly, the discussions of subsidized housing development at the Water Street site indicated this quite clearly.

    I’m not sure that Mark feels that way, but I do wish he would go and talk to the hair braiding people. Perhaps I will do my own fact finding mission and, if Mark were amenable, write it up for this site.

  46. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Apparently, the “Bishop” espouses a doctrine of “miracle money.” People just find money that God has placed there for them. The reality that states print money, and that those bills have to come from somewhere else isn’t lost of the “Bishop.” Apparently, God magically takes “hidden” money away from people who stuff it in mattresses and moves it to where other people can find it.

    God is a thief.

    http://nehandaradio.com/2013/01/28/miracle-money-and-monetary-systems-are-not-strange-bedfellows/

  47. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    And his congregants seem disappointed that he can’t magically find the Malaysian place which was lost recently.

    http://nehandaradio.com/2014/03/23/malaysian-airplane-prophets-dont-know-everything/

  48. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I just read through all of the comments here and realized that I’ve repeated myself.

    I apologize.

  49. Eel
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Show him how it’s done, Peter Larson. Start interviewing hair braiding shops on your site!

  50. Howard
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Peter, you are an idiot for thinking that your reality in life is the only reality there is. You obviously don’t believe in miracles and so this is not going to be a very fruitful conversation.

    Briefly, Christians believe in a Jesus who fed thousands with a little boy’s lunch, sent Peter to find money in a fish’s mouth, raised the dead, spoke to stormy seas, healed the sick etc. We believe that Jesus hasn’t changed and still does miracles today.

    What is a miracle? Its an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause. Miracle money fits the bill.

    For those of us who believe the Bible something like miracle money is not beyond the realm of what God can, and often does, for His people. Church history is replete with crazier miracles than this. But if a pagan finds all this to be incredible I think I can understand.

    The essays you cite here must be read in context of current controversies going on in Africa about these issues. The bishop is responding to specific issues being raised there eg the expectation that prophets should know everything, including what happened to the Malaysian airliner.

    He is not writing to “his congregants.” Does one have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that he is writing to a non-religious online newspaper created for the general public? Try paying close attention to what you reading

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