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'Will people stop listening to this child snatching pastor?'

DEPORT: Pastor Gilbert Deya

EVANGELICAL PASTOR Gilbert Deya, would promise his congregation that he had the power – through prayer and donations – to make infertile couples become parents. 

For many he was the rainmaker of “miracle babies”. 

Last week the courts decreed he was an undesirable to be deported back to Kenya from whence he hailed. 

I remember seeing Pastor Gilbert in action seven years ago when a journalist friend persuaded me to be her back-up whilst on the hunt for his story.  Dressed as church ladies in hats we “infiltrated” one of his services at his packed church in Peckham, south London.

Angie had heard the extraordinary story of how Deya, a self-styled “archbishop”, claimed through the power of prayer, that he was able to make previously infertile women fertile. 

However as we now know, Gilbert was more of a baby snatcher than a baby-maker, stealing innocent Kenyan babies and passing them off as babies born to previously infertile members of his congregation.


The visit to Pastor Gilbert’s church was a truly angst ridden experience.  Not only was the tonality of the preacher’s sermon dark and dire, his henchmen who doubled as stewards, grabbed my friend partway through the services as she took notes and demanded to know which devil she was working for.

In meeting the man himself I could not get beyond the crocodilian not-of-this-world look in his eyes and the permanent saliva at the corners of his pursed lips. If it were not so frightening it would have been funny.

As we left the building with our wombs unblessed we both wondered at the sheer gullibility of the congregation who week in week out put their trust and their pounds in the hands and pockets of this loathsome individual. 

It is estimated Deya has made thousands in donations from his faithful flock who number in excess of 30,000. His website offers “miracle” products such as cotton handkerchiefs, olive oil and prayer sheets, which Deya claims have been used to “unbelievably heal” the incurable, and asks members to make a minimum £2 a month standing order to an account at Barclays Bank in Hammersmith.

Just in case  you can’t get to Barclays his website will direct you to several other banks including Lloyds TSB. For those without a bank account, but still in need of a miracle they can make deposits into his bank accounts in Nigeria and Ghana. 

Thank goodness his access to the vulnerable and the foolhardy has now been closed down.  I sincerely hope that the managers of Lloyds TSB and Barclays follow suit.

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