Cerullo’s daughter recounts his last moments

She talked of his “countenance changing” as he watched Christian TV in his final days

Susan Peterson (left) Morris Cerullo and Mama Theresa

Susan Peterson, the daughter of American preacher Morris Cerullo, has opened up on events preceding the renowned preacher’s death on July 11.

Speaking at Cerullo’s private burial ceremony on July 24 in San Diego in the United States, Ms Peterson, 66, said in the last few months since the emergence of Covid-19, her father had a premonition that he would soon die and watched Christian programmes every night as he basked in and saturated himself with the Holy Spirit, and that his countenance was frequently changing.  

“It was as if he was reaching up to heaven,” she said in a video released by the Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (MCWE) ministry to partners and friends worldwide.

Peterson had the privilege of being the last family member to see Cerullo alive. That particular week before he passed on, she said, he was not feeling well and hated being taken to hospital because he didn’t want to be left alone there. He had initially been diagnosed with pneumonia.

Two days before he died, she came home after work and found his health was not good. She said to him: “Dad, your chest is not sounding good, allow me take you to hospital for doctors to remove the water in your lungs before it gets bad.”

But Cerullo didn’t consent, so she called her brother David to help convince him. She then took him to a San Diego hospital and spent three hours talking with him as tests were conducted.

“We talked about several events that were scheduled to take place. After the tests, the doctors decided to admit him overnight for observation. My dad still didn’t want to be left there alone but he had to be convinced all would be well,” said Peterson, who is Cerullo’s second child.

After two nights, his condition deteriorated and he was put on oxygen. The doctors then called Theresa, Cerullo’s wife, to let her know that they had lost hope of him surviving.

Theresa had had an accident and broken her arm, and so asked their daughter to go to the hospital on her behalf. Peterson took the Bible her father travelled with on his preaching engagements around the world and placed it on his chest, where he held it. She then contacted the entire family to have a visit with him on the phone before praying: “God, please don’t let my dad suffer anymore. Either take him home tonight or have a divine miracle take place by the morning.”

“I then left for home that night. Soon afterwards, the doctors called that he had passed at 8.45pm,” she told the small gathering of about 50 people, adding that as a family, they knew Cerullo’s departure was the right thing that happened at the right time.

Speaking to the SHEPHERD on phone on July 28, Bishop Kepha Omae, who was the national director of MCWE in Kenya for many years, said the family had opted for a private burial because of the pandemic.

“If not for Covid-19 disruptions, most of us would have travelled to attend the burial,” said Omae, the presiding bishop of Redeemed Gospel Churches.

Apart from David and Susan, Cerullo had another son named Mark who died in 1993 at the age of 36.