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Belfast pastor's 'miraculous' recovery from Covid to become a Netflix movie


Pastor Lee McClelland

Pastor Lee McClelland

Pastor Lee McClelland

The story of a north Belfast pastor who says he made a miraculous recovery from Covid is to be adapted into a feature film for Netflix.

Lee McClelland of The Ark Church was left fighting for his life in intensive care after contracting the virus in March.

Following his recovery, Mr McClelland made a video recounting his experience alone in a hospital bed when a cleaner stood at his door and prayed for him. That same night his condition began to improve.

The video has since gone viral, racking up around half-a-million views on YouTube, as well as being circulated on social media and being picked up by Christian publications and television stations globally.

DeVon Franklin, the Hollywood producer of several Christian films, saw the video and contacted the preacher about turning his story into a feature-length production, the Sunday Times reported.

Mr Franklin is best known for Miracles From Heaven, which starred Queen Latifah and Jennifer Garner and is based on the memoir of a woman who claims her daughter was cured of a terminal illness.

He also produced Breakthrough, which made more than $50m (£37m) at the box office.

The film, which could be available to stream on Netflix by next Christmas, will focus on Pastor McClelland's experience with coronavirus, his church and the viral video in which he recalled his encounter with the hospital cleaner.

No title for the production has yet been released, although the screenplay is to be written by Randy Brown, who penned the script for Miracles From Heaven and Trouble With The Curve, a 2012 film starring Clint Eastwood.

The movie, which had broadly good reviews from the critics, went on to gross $49m (£36m) worldwide.

In the video, McClelland said: "When no one else could get in, God sent a cleaner."

He also explained in the video that, as he started to feel better, he had a craving for crisps and a soft drink.

"I asked the Lord, because nobody could get to me, is it possible you could get me a packet of prawn cocktail crisps and a tin of Coke," he said.

"The next morning the cleaner came and he brought in a bag, and in that bag were two oranges, a tin of Coke and packet of prawn cocktail crisps, Tayto."

The pastor, who did not identify the cleaner in the video, said the man told him he had been a missionary in Nigeria for 14 years.

"Thank you to that cleaner, you know who you are if you ever see this, thank you for hearing the voice of God and reaching someone like me, who needed a touch," he added.

Last week the pastor revealed that he did know the name of the cleaner, but said he wanted to remain anonymous, the Sunday Times reported.

He also claimed he had experienced "a miracle", as he has no lingering health issues as a result of the virus.

He said he had agreed to the film being made because he felt the producer was "genuine" and would "put across the point and the purpose and the content of the miracle, and all that happened".

"It'll be a story of hope in the midst of chaos," he added.

Belfast Telegraph