(Photo: AP Images / Ronen Zilberman)
Popular televangelist Benny Hinn has officially announced that he and his former wife are on the path to reconciliation after the couple decided two years ago to end their 30-year marriage.
"Our God is a God of restoration and reconciliation. The cross is the ultimate symbol of His unending yearning to reconcile man to God and will be our only hope for healing. I know, for I experienced this healing when I gave my heart to my precious Master Jesus so many years ago; but I have experienced His healing touch more recently when He began His glorious healing work in my own family, as the process of restoration in my marriage has begun," Hinn announced in a recent statement on his website. The charismatic leader revealed that the reconciliation process had started over Christmas.
Suzanne Hinn separated from Benny Hinn on Jan. 26, 2010 and filed a petition for divorce in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences, court papers revealed.
"I pray every day for you, my precious partner, and I ask that He will move in a mighty way on your behalf -- healing your home, your life, and your finances. I pray that He will make you whole in every area of your life. You are precious to Him, just as you are precious to me. And together we can truly be part of the coming greatest harvest!" Hinn added in the recent statement, addressing his former wife.
Back in 2010 when Pastor Hinn received the news, his ministry expressed shock over Suzanne Hinn's petition for divorce.
"Pastor Benny Hinn and his immediate family were shocked and saddened to learn of this news without any previous notice," said Don Price, longtime senior adviser to Benny Hinn Ministries. "Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavored to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice."
Upon reflecting on his life with his family, Pastor Hinn later suggested that it might have been his constant traveling around the world that distanced him from his wife.
"I've made mistakes because I wasn't the perfect husband and the perfect dad because I was always gone traveling the world," he said on the Aug. 5, 2010 edition of his show "This Is Your Day."
"That's probably what broke the whole thing up," he added. Hinn urged viewers "not to neglect your family," saying that the call of God should first touch the family.
A year after the separation announcement, the Benny Hinn Ministries leader was reported by some sources to have been in a relationship with megachurch pastor Paula White, who herself went through a divorce in 2010.
Hinn and White were pictured last summer in the National Enquirer leaving a hotel in Italy holding hands and were accused of having an affair.
"They're going to talk about you and write ... because it sells ragtag magazines," White said several months after the photo was published. "They're going to lie on you but God's going to tell you to keep your mouth shut."
Hinn admitted to having a friendship with White while he was still married, but said that he "forcefully, categorically and absolutely renounce(s) the lies that have been spread about me and want to set the record straight with you. There is nothing inappropriate or morally improper about my friendship with Paula White. There has been no immorality whatsoever!"
Pastor Hinn is a well known prosperity preacher who travels around the world performing faith healings and teaching that those who follow Christ will be rewarded. He has been the subject of media scrutiny and faced questions over the lavish lifestyle he leads, including the possession of a private jet and a multimillion-dollar home, but he has refused to apologize for it.
"Look, you know there's this idea supposedly that we preachers are supposed to walk about with sandals and ride bicycles. That's nonsense," Hinn has said.
Benny Hinn Ministries and Hinn's World Healing Center Church are located in Grapevine, Texas.