Jesus works in mysterious ways…
‘I found God… while posing as Jesus’: Model
turns to religion after playing Christ in Africa
photo shoot (and finds love with a mother of five
By MARK DUELL
Six years ago this man met a woman in a bookshop – and the encounter ended up changing his life.
As a result in that chance meeting, Phillip Miner, of Provo, Utah, went on to travel to Lusaka, Zambia, to model as Jesus Christ – and during his time out there he found the Saviour himself.
While in Africa he also met Kathy Headlee, a single mother of five from Cedar Hills, Utah. They ended up marrying and merging their families – her five children and his two sons.
Mr Miner’s story began in a Border’s store in 2005 when he was mistaken as another model used by artist Liz Lemon Swindle, reported the Deseret News.
Before then he had left the Mormon church aged 14, got married, became a father aged 19, had another son and divorced his wife.
Mr Miner had no interest in religion but a lady who worked with Ms Swindle noticed him in the bookshop and said he could be an understudy for a model of Jesus, named Christopher Crofts.
‘I knew this Jesus guy really didn’t mean anything to me, but I got that he was a big deal in a lot of people’s lives,’ he told the Deseret News, so he decided to help out.
His big break came when aid organisation Mothers Without Borders asked Ms Swindle if she could create paintings of Jesus interacting with African children – and the charity would take the profits.
‘I told one 12-year-old girl that I was there to remind her that Jesus knows and loves her. She started sobbing, weeping and wailing’
So in 2007 they flew out to Africa to an orphanage for children whose parents had died of AIDS. The children were overwhelmed and tearful at Mr Miner’s appearance among them.
‘I told one 12-year-old girl that I was there to remind her that Jesus knows and loves her,’ he told the Deseret News. ‘She started sobbing, weeping and wailing.’
Then one day in Africa he could not get out of bed, feeling flu-like symptoms, dehydrated and emotionally broken. A young volunteer gave him a blessing in an attempt to make him feel better.
Happy couple: During the trip he met Kathy, right, who founded Mothers Without Borders 11 years ago
‘Until then, I was on a paid vacation having some interesting experiences,’ Mr Miner told the Deseret News. ‘Then a stranger laid his hands on my head – it became clear that these weren’t his words.’
‘This Jesus guy is really kind of a big deal to a lot of people. I just happen to be one of those people now’
It was then that he decided it was time for the actor Jesus Christ to follow the real Jesus Christ.
In addition, during the trip he met Kathy, who founded Mothers Without Borders 11 years ago. He went back home and broke up with his girlfriend. Two months later they married and merged their families.
‘I go back to where I started,’ Mr Miner told the Deseret News. ‘This Jesus guy is really kind of a big deal to a lot of people. I just happen to be one of those people now.’