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It was October 2015, and the Greater Church of Lucifer was set to open on Halloween in Spring, Texas, as the Luciferians’ first public building. When another area church asked Spring First Church Pastor Robert D. Hogan to protest at the Luciferians’ new location, not only did Hogan unequivocally refuse, he exhorted his Assemblies of God congregation not to protest, either.
“God hates sin; He loves people,” Hogan said from the pulpit Nov. 1, 2015. “The only sinners are people. God hasn’t called us to hate those people. He’s called us to love those people.”
Instead of picketing, Hogan asked congregants to pray.
“Don’t get a spirit of hatred. Get a spirit of love and the power of prayer,” Hogan said. “They'll know we're His disciples by the love that we show.”
Eight months later, Jacob McKelvy, the Luciferian “archon,” or pope and church co-founder, drove by Spring First Church.
“I felt a burning sensation, as if whacked on the back of the head,” McKelvy says.
He came into the church office and asked to talk to Hogan. Days later, after four hours of conversation, McKelvy, 37, prayed with Hogan to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
On Feb. 5, 2017, Hogan baptized McKelvy and his wife, Michelle, in water. The couple — originally wed in the Luciferian church — renewed their marriage vows as Christians on the day of their baptism.
McKelvy’s decision for Christ came after a trying journey of loss and rebellion. Raised in a Mormon family, when McKelvy was 9, his sister Anna was bitten three times by an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Anna died at the hospital.
What followed was a toxic stew of rage at God and utter hopelessness.
“I knew who Satan, God, and Jesus were supposed to be according to the Mormon religion,” McKelvy says. “I said, God, I’m going to go to Satan.”
A Boy Scout pal whose Wiccans parents were raising their son in the occult exposed McKelvy at age 13 to witchcraft. There he learned the fundamentals of paganism.
McKelvy’s rebellion grew. His parents sent him to treatment centers and rehab programs for troubled teens, including an abusive now-shuttered facility in Samoa. Twice he attempted suicide. At age 15, he began serious practice of the occult. As an adolescent, he delved deeper, seeking power through in-depth study of occult books.
“I was god by myself and I didn’t have to rely on a God outside of me,” he says.
As an adult, he connected with other occultists. He built a thriving online business selling satanic clothing and quickly rose to elite levels in the religion. With three other Luciferians in 2014, using the pseudonym “Jacob No” to protect his family, he founded the Greater Church of Lucifer to “eliminate dogma and awaken the age of reason.” He says by 2016 the worldwide group had grown to 41 branches.
In 2015 came the opening of the Luciferian church.
“I was the guy who called the media to get the protesters out there,” McKelvy says. “It was all planned.” He regarded media coverage as free advertising for building his movement.
During the opening of the suburban Houston church, more than 200 people turned out on the Luciferians’ property with “a lot of protests, a lot of hate,” McKelvy says. Demonstrators called the Luciferians rapists, pedophiles, and child-killers. News of the Luciferians’ new Texas church spread globally. One television news clip from Nigeria showed a church pastor praying for wild dogs to devour the Luciferians.
Occasionally the church received emails threatening violence, such as torching the church with everyone in it. Amid hate mail, however, the Luciferians’ inbox contained messages such as this: I don’t agree with you, but I’m praying for you. Please do not judge all Christians like the protesters.
“Those little emails let me know I couldn’t take all Christians and put them in one pot,” McKelvy says.
Meanwhile, McKelvy became increasingly disillusioned with Luciferian leadership and with life itself. By May 2016, he says, “I felt dead and empty inside again, with no goodness in my life. I felt everything I had done was a lying fraud.” Looking back, he describes the experience as scales falling off his eyes.
A recurring dream with some changing elements troubled him. By the end of July, McKelvy says, in the dream he saw an angel of light praising Christ. Early in August while driving, he spotted Spring First Church, hours of conversations with Hogan followed, and McKelvy converted to Christianity.
With his livelihood gone, McKelvy now is living by faith and says he’s never been happier. The death threats continue.
“When I was in the Greater Church of Lucifer, it was Christians doing it,” McKelvy says. “Now it’s the Satanists.”
Hogan likens McKelvy’s conversion to that of Saul, a powerful religious leader vehemently against Christianity who became the apostle Paul. Hogan and three other pastors are discipling McKelvy, who is also in Bible study and fellowship.
McKelvy says he feels compelled to write books, using his 20 years of experience to fill in the “knowledge gap” of understanding what the occult is and to teach others the true nature of the adversary. This summer he will release The Book of Jacob: The Story of an Occult Leader Saved By God. McKelvy is sharing his testimony in churches to prove the power of prayer and the message people need to hear: No matter how far away from God people think they are, there is always a way home.
“I am living prove of that,” he says.
IMAGE - Jacob McKelvy baptizing his wife, Michelle.