Terry Fellers, 59, didn’t need to watch the movie “Heaven is for Real” to know that is the case. After seeing the story of a 5-year-old boy who claims to have visited heaven during a near-death experience, Fellers decided it was time to share his own experience of heaven.
“I saw the movie and I was convicted — I wasn’t telling my story enough,” the Great Bend man said. He recalled a moment when he stood and pointed up while saying to God, “From now on I work for you.”
“At that moment I was taken to heaven,” he said. “I was in Jesus, looking through his eyes.”
It reminded him of John 17:21: “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (NRSV)
Fellers said he saw countless people bowing down in unison to the Lord God. He recognized one as his own beloved granddaughter, who is alive, and then they were all his granddaughter.
Telepathically, God told him to share His message: “When you raise your hand and ask for forgiveness, I am a loving God and I see all my people the same.”
When Fellers returned to his body, he says, he was still pointing to heaven, with no idea how long he’d been gone.
He claims to have had other experiences, including a healing light he encountered some eight years ago, when he was in a Wichita hospital fearing possible death from a viral infection and a diagnosis of cancer.
All of this has made a believer of a man who says he grew up with alcoholic parents and little exposure to religion before he dropped out of school and started working in the oil patch at age 17. “Until I was 21 years old, I only knew God as a cussword.”
After the oil bust in the 1980s, Fellers said he went to Brown Mackie College in Salina, and then sold cars in Great Bend for 10 years, before health problems left him unable to work.
His appendix ruptured, and after that he developed cancer which led to numerous surgeries. He used opiates for five years while suffering from a hernia in his stomach. Fellers said he is no longer able to work, although he does travel to share his testimony and music ministry.
“I always knew there was a God,” he said. He started reading the Bible and asking for God’s help, but only in emergencies, at first.
Shortly before Fellers gave his life to God, John Lennon’s song “God,” with the words “God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” resonated with him.
“John Lennon said people measure God by how much pain there is,” he said. “That (pain) is what lured me to God. No one could help me but the Lord.
“I gave my life to God and was baptized five years ago.”
Today, Fellers said he has a music ministry through Critter Ministry in Barton County, and is on the music team at Harvest Reign, a nondenominational church in Great Bend.
After asking to know his heavenly Father better, Fellers says his prayers were answered.
“I’ve been to the cross twice; I’ve been to heaven once,” he said, “all because I wanted to know the father and asked him to reveal himself to me.”
Now he feels there’s a message God wants him to share.
“God is telling me it’s time for people to come home – come out of the cold.” People need to return to Jesus, and shouldn’t stay away out of fear of judgment, he continued. “He is a loving God. If you just put your hand up and say, ‘God, forgive me,’ you’re in heaven.”
Editor’s note: The movie “Heaven is for Real” is showing at Golden Belt Cinema 6.