Evangelist's 'Miracle Water' Reportedly Contaminated

Evangelist Fined $200

Associated Press/July 29, 2003

Columbus, Ohio -- Evangelist Leroy Jenkins has agreed stop distributing his "miracle water" which he claims heals people.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says the bottled water is contaminated and can make people sick.

Jenkins told the department he will remove the pump from the well on his former Healing Waters Cathedral property in Delaware. Water already bottled from the well will be disposed of under the department's supervision.

The Agriculture Department said the water contained coliform bacteria. Coliform, which comes from human and animal waste, can cause serious illnesses.

Jenkins claimed tests conducted by independent laboratories all found the water safe for drinking. He said the state ignored his findings.

"(If the water was dangerous) don't you think that after 30 years we would have one complaint out of our congregation?" Jenkins asked.

He settled with the state because, he said, "I'm just tired of being hassled about it."

Jenkins was fined $200 last year because he didn't have a license to sell the water. Rather than getting a license, he agreed to stop selling the water.

The Agriculture Department later used undercover agents to purchase the water from Jenkins. Again, it contained coliform, the department said.

Jenkins said he sold the Delaware cathedral in February but maintained water rights for three years. He has been holding services out of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Columbus.

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