Pastor Randy White is showing his enthusiasm for the fact that his church choir will be singing during the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week by planning to have a "live elephant" on the Without Walls International Church grounds over the weekend.
"I am so excited to announce that BeBe Winans has invited our Without Walls Sanctuary Choir to sing with him during the final day of the Republican National Convention on Thursday," White said earlier this week. "The choir will sing 'America, America' and they will sing 'God Bless America' as the finale."
In his announcement he added, "Oh and by the way, yes you heard it right, we will have a real, LIVE Elephant on our church property this Friday through Sunday in honor of the R.N.C. Come and ride the elephant for FREE!"
In addition to taking advantage of the opportunity to stage a "live" symbol of the Republican Party, White appears to be operating his church in full swing. He returned in June after three years away from the position of senior pastor of Without Walls International Church.
"We've gone through trials and tests and storms ... and we can dwell on that if we'd like. But not this preacher!" he told the congregation on during a Sunday sermon in June. "Forget the past. I forget everything we've been going through. I stand flat-footed in this pulpit and say there's a brighter day coming!"
For the last three years, Without Walls has been led by White's ex-wife, Paula White. The two had founded the church together in 1991 and grew it to be one of the largest churches in the country. But reports of trouble began surfacing in 2007. The couple divorced that year and Randy White took the lead at the church as Paula White pursued her own ministry works. He later resigned, citing health reasons, and returned this year.
White recently announced that the electricity is back on at Without Walls Central Church in Lakeland, Fla., after months of abandonment. He and a team of church members cleaned up the Lakeland facility last week with the hope of restoring the ministry there.
"[W]e cleaned up the facilities at Without Walls Central in Lakeland, FL. We repaired doors and windows, and I am so happy to let you know that today we turned the electric back on. I am believing for a revival to hit Central Florida!" White said in an email to the church last Friday.
The Lakeland church (which seats 9,000) has been closed since last August and the electricity was disconnected because of missed payments, according to a report last year by The Ledger. At that time, White had told The Ledger that the property was either going to be sold or go into foreclosure.
In the weeks that he's been preaching at Without Walls, White has announced that the church's debt was being reduced and that they plan to build a new sanctuary in Tampa with the money earned from a piece of property that is being sold.
He also stated that he plans to rebuild and restore the megachurch and its campus in Lakeland and bring revival to the surrounding cities.
"What we're doing is trying to go forward with Lakeland and this church and we're asking everyone to get behind the vision," White said in a sermon this month.