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Bishop Brian - saved from hopelessness

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    Bishop Brian - saved from hopelessness - 15-Oct-2006
    Televangelist Bishop Brian Tamaki preaches that the Bible can turn sinners into saints. And in his own book of revelations, Tamaki tells how his conversion to Christianity took him away from a world of booze, sex and hopelessness.

    In the explosive autobiography, Bishop Brian Tamaki: More Than Meets the Eye, the controversial Destiny Church leader has spoken openly about an early lifestyle that is completely at odds with the message he delivers from the pulpit.

    As a long-haired budding league star, the teenage Tamaki from Te Awamutu dabbled in alcohol and drugs and was exposed to the promiscuous rock 'n' roll lifestyle as an electric guitar god.

    But perhaps the most shocking chapter in his youthful life was when his teen girlfriend Hannah - mother of his out-of-wedlock first child, Jasmine - tried to stab him to death.

    After a heated argument between the pair got out of hand, Tamaki "committed the cardinal sin of telling her that she was just like her mother".

    "Hannah lost it, and rightfully so," he writes.

    "She reached into the cutlery drawer and pulled out a bread knife that had a 12-inch (30cm) serrated blade.

    "To me, it looked more like a sword. She saw red and charged at me."

    Barricading himself in the bathroom, his back to the door, Tamaki got the fright of his life when the serrated blade burst through - 5cm from his body. "I was shocked. This woman really wanted to kill me."

    Married to Hannah for 26 years, Tamaki says the couple can now laugh about the incident.

    But Tamaki admits the mother of his three children and fellow Destiny Church pastor was initially uncomfortable about him opening their private world to the public with his autobiography.

    "Of course she (Hannah) was a little uncomfortable about having details of our private life revealed to the public because she is very protective of our family and her man," Tamaki told Sunday News.

    "But she has been by my side right from the start and I don't expect that will change.

    "I'd been asked on many occasions to write a book. The reality is the media has had much to say about me and Destiny Church. But much of that has been based on perceptions rather than facts.

    "There are some very revealing aspects in this book, but my intention was always to write frankly and openly."

    That openness includes his devastation at being told teenage daughter Jasmine was pregnant.

    In the book Tamaki outlines and explains the reasons for his very public, and controversial, stances on such subjects as homosexuality (his Enough is Enough rally called for a repeal of the civil union bill) and tithing (Destiny members pay 10 per cent of their earnings to the church).

    Tamaki dismisses criticism of his high-flying lifestyle.

    He owns a million-dollar cliff-top property at Maraetai Beach, east of Auckland, and received a $35,000 Harley Davidson motorcycle for his birthday.

    But Tamaki writes he and Hannah "are certainly not wealthy by today's standards".

    "But we do enjoy a standard of living according to where we have worked ourselves to at this present stage of life."

    Tamaki has grown his Destiny Church congregation from 20 to about 7000 in eight years.

    The book will be launched at Destiny Church's Join the Revolution conference on Friday.

    Tamaki isn't worried whether the book will change perceptions of him.

    "If I worried about what people thought of me, I would not be doing what I do," he said.
    Ref: - Sunday News

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