PUBLISHED: 23:25 EST, 16 August 2012 | UPDATED: 06:04 EST, 17 August 2012
- Ezekiel Stoddard says he received a calling from God at the age of seven
- The newly ordained minister writes his own sermons, says he can speak in tongue and sings with his siblings’ gospel group around Maryland
At the age of seven, Ezekiel Stoddard said he had a calling from God that led him to the pulpit.
‘I had a dream,’ the boy from Temple Hills Maryland recently told ABC. ‘God was telling me that he wanted me to do his will.’
Today, at the age of 11, Ezekiel preaches and sings most Sundays before young and old alike at the Fullness of Time in Temple Hills where his parents are both pastors.
Calling: At the young age of 11, Ezekiel Stoddard is an ordained evangelist in Maryland after reporting a calling from God at the age of seven
He’s the church’s newest addition, having been ordained as an evangelical minister last May by his mother and step-father.
‘A lot of grown-ups will look at me like I’m just a joke and I need to sit down,’ he told the Washington Post.
‘It doesn’t matter the age that you can be licensed. It just matters … how much word do you have and how much God has called you,’ he said.
Young? Absolutely. Motivated? That too.
Talents: The boy who was ordained in May and often preaches on Sundays at his parents’ church writes his own sermons and says he is able to speak in tongue and heal people
‘This is something that God called me to do and that’s something that God wants me to do, and this is what I want to do,’ he told ABC.
The 11-yer-old affirmed his faith to ABC after questioned whether others, like his mother and father, have put him to it.
Ezekiel, who says he writes his own sermons and is gifted by God in his ability to speak in tongue and heal the sick, is not the first preacher to gain attention under the age of 18.
One of the most famous child preachers was four-year-old Marjoe Gortner of Southern California who took Pentecostals by storm in the 1950s.
Busy: Ezekiel is seen delivering a sermon to a crowd at the Fullness of Time Church in Capital Heights, Maryland, an activity that keeps him busy alongside his musical group God’s Blessings No Chains Holding Me Down
It was years later in 1972 he came out in a documentary titled Marjoe admitting that it was all a money-making scheme dreamed up by his parents – his father also a minister – after discovering his talent for mimicry and fearlessness.
More similar in terms of youth, other tiny ministers speckle websites like YouTube, with recent four-year-old YouTube star Kanon Tipton seen handed a microphone by his parents in their Mississippi church when he was only 21-months old.
Another example could be the Rev Al Sharpton who at the age of four delivered his first sermon in Brooklyn, New York.
Others: This 21-month-old boy from Mississippi named Kanon recently took believers by storm after his knack for preaching before his father’s congregation
Growing up: Seen last year, Kanon has continued on with his work offering sermons before the congregation
At the age of nine, he became an ordained minister by the Pentecostal church. Today, 48-years later, he’s still going strong.
Ezekiel’s parents say they are getting paid from his preaching and the gospel music he performs but his mother tells ABC her son can stop at any time of his choosing.
‘But he will still be taught the word of God still continually,’ she said.
That much may be shown with Ezekiel’s parents surprising him at any time with Bible pop quizzes.
While seen singing online with choreographed dancing among his three brothers and sister, his mother says he still has time for things like tennis and taking a trip to the pet store or eating pancakes with his siblings.
Booming: Arriving with his parents Pastors Vasconsellas Smith and Adrienne Smith, Ezekiel is seen exiting a chauffeur provided by his father’s cousin before performing with his musical group
Sibling band: From left Corinne Stoddard, 15, Hezekiah Stoddard, 13, Micah Stoddard, 7 (far back), and Ezekiel Stoddard, 11, are seen after a performance Ezekiel also preached at
Telling the Post, ‘these children are not entertainers or performers. They are music ministers,’ she adds her hopes they one day earn a big-time recording contract as she posts their videos on YouTube.
Coming together even closer as a family, after students at Ezekiel’s middle school continuously teased and bullied him over his faith and preaching, he and his siblings were pulled out for home schooling instead.
His mother Adrienne Smith tells the Post it was because her children weren’t learning enough where they were.
Speaking of the bullying, Ezekiel told the Post that a lot of his friends dropped him after telling them about Jesus.
Childhood: Micah Stoddard, 7, follows behind his brother Ezekiel on scooters outside their home in Temple Hills with his parents affording him time for play
‘A lot of them will say, “what happened to you? Are you still Ezekiel in there? Are you still Zeek in there?” he told ABC. ‘And I say, “yes, I am. But I’m different in my spirit.”
‘I’m blessed where I am,’ he said. ‘I know if I stick in the Word, God will bless me for it.’
Recently hearing one of the boy’s sermons Rev. George Gilbert Jr., assistant pastor at Holy Trinity United Baptist Church spoke with the boy, cautioning to give equal time to his childhood as well.
‘God has time for us to be children, and he has time for us to be adults,’ Rev Gilbert told him, according to the Post. ‘Keep doing what you are doing, but don’t stop being a child. Playing in the dirt, playing with videos, it will benefit.’