His arms are stretched toward the sky. There are about two million people staring back at him and he's preaching. He's quoting from Saint Peter: "Repent ye and believe the gospel," he tells crowd.
That's how 11-year-old child preacher Rev. Ezekiel Stoddard often envisions his future – a life wrapped up in preaching the gospel of Jesus. And right now, the young Christian phenom from Capitol Heights, Md., wouldn't have it any other way.
Stoddard, or Minister Ezekiel as his mother respectfully calls him, is the subject of a poignant and compelling episode of a new web series, "PRODIGIES," currently being highlighted on the THNKR YouTube channel.
"Sometimes I have dreams about it and when I dream about it, it's amazing 'cause when I wake up, sometimes I feel like I am at that time right now. But then sometimes I realize, I'm still eleven. I think in my dream, I'm like 20 or 30. It gives me that feeling that I can push forward," says the wildly articulate and charismatic Stoddard in the nine-minute feature where he talks about how his dream began.
"When I was about 7-years-old God spoke to me. He was saying son, I want you to do my will. I want you to preach the gospel. I can't describe what the voice sounded like but it was the voice from God because when that man comes by and tells you to write a sermon, an eight-page sermon? He'll give you everything," he says.
Stoddard's introduction to the world was widely reported by The Christian Post and other national and international media just under a year ago when his mother the Rev. Adrienne Smith and stepfather the Rev. Vasconcellas Smith ordained him a minister of the gospel at the independent Fullness of Time Church in Capitol Heights, Md., where they are both pastors.
In the video, his mother talks about how she was saved by the church in a moment of painful destitution and found salvation through the help of God's people. "At the age of 14, I was homeless and my church, they helped me, they gave me the backbone that I could make it. It was the grounding of the word of God that helped me get this far in life. And I found salvation. I found Jesus Christ and I wanted my children to be saved," she says in the video explaining how she helped shape her son's faith.
While most reports beheld Stoddard as the latest addition to a list of similar phenoms like Kanon Tipton and Austin Ziegler, some, like this report in the UK's MailOnline, have also raised the skeptics radar.
But according to the Rev. Smith in the video, "If I didn't know this Ezekiel, I would be skeptical. So I had a long talk with Ezekiel and I said, 'do not be offended 'cause someone is skeptical. They have a right to be. Some people are just concerned,'" says Smith.
For his part, Stoddard says: "It brings you a good feeling when God steps in, it's like a brighter day, the sun is shining, kids are playing having a bicycle race, it's like a different atmosphere change when God stepped into my life."