Meet Elizabeth Pruitt Sloan. At age 22, she found herself miserable and living in a dysfunctional marriage. It was in this setting that Elizabeth had a beyond clinical death experience. But first we want to set the stage for this experience.
FPM: When did you first come to know the Lord as your Savior?
EPS: “I was raised in a Four Square church and my mother raised me to know the Lord. When I was 8 years old, we had a revival and a lady preacher gave an altar call. I just went down because the Lord just drew me. I knew it was time. At 10 years old, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. Then at age 12, under the ministry of Pastor Floyd Dawson in Lubbock, I felt the call of God one Wednesday night. I went and told my pastor that Jesus called me to preach tonight, and he said ‘Well, I’ve always known God had His hand on you.’
“Growing up I didn’t hear much teaching about watching who you married. I fell in love with somebody who wasn’t born again. I got married at age 18 and had two daughters, Paula and Deanna. My marriage was quite dysfunctional and we had lots of fights because he drank. I backslid so to speak, and was miserable and I thought I wanted to die.
“My mother had been calling me and she told me to get my heart right with God. She said she had a dream and saw me dead. She started crying and praying, interceding for my soul. She would even pray during her lunch time at work, instead of eating. I told her to quit praying for me, that I can smoke, drink and cuss if I wanted to.”
FPM: Is this when you had your experience of dying?
EPS: “Yes, I got sick from a bladder infection, so I went to the doctor and he gave me a Penicillin shot. He said to come back, that he I wouldn’t be there but his nurse would. He said she would give me the shot and I could go home. So I took my children with me. I had a babysitter, a girl I knew, stayed in the car with the children. I said, ‘I’ll be right back out, it won’t take more than 5 minutes.’ It took over 30 minutes and they didn’t know what had happened. Actually the nurse had given me that Penicillin shot and I thought to myself, ‘I sure hope she doesn’t give me a bubble.’ That is what they used to do, they gave you a bubble and didn’t squirt the Penicillin out first, and it could kill you. That was my thought. I don’t know if she gave me a bubble or what, but they said I died from the Penicillin shot.
“Now immediately when she gave it to me, I began to cry out, ‘I can’t see, I’m blind.’ I couldn’t see anything. She said, ‘Well, lie down here on this examining table.’ So when I did, I started jerking, my body started convulsing. She held my tongue down to keep me from swallowing it. And she was on the telephone. I could hear her talking. All of a sudden I jerked and I came out of my mouth, my spirit did. I stood by my body and I saw the nurse standing there. Pretty soon she left me and she ran down the hall. I began to float to the top of the ceiling and I saw her get this other doctor and bring him to my body. Now in the meantime, I went outside the West Texas hospital and I looked down and it was if my car had no roof and I could see my children. And I could hear what they were saying. They were saying, ‘Mommy, Mommy, hurry. Mommy, fer are you?’ and that meant where are you. The babysitter was leaning on the steering wheel and saying, ‘I wish that woman would hurry up.’ And I was thinking, ‘I can never hold my babies to me again’, and I was so sad.
“I went up into space, way out there, and to my Pentecostal surprise, I started floating, like toward heaven. I went into a tunnel. I know I passed the Milky Way and way out there somewhere, it became kind of dim. And to my surprise I heard God’s voice. He called my name, ‘Elizabeth’. If you can understand, it was a sound like on a funny cartoon, like a big thundering voice, and He thundered my name.”
FPM: Did you see a light?
EPS: “I didn’t see a light yet, no, I was in a tunnel, but I could see little lights on the side of me as I went through this tunnel, little lights flashing on each side of me, going up beside of me. I didn’t know what that was.
“But when He called me the second time, I finally answered Him. I said, ‘Oh, God, if you’ll let me live I’ll go back.’ First of all when He thundered my name,’ Elizabeth’, it was like a snap I could hear. ‘I can snap you out into eternity. Just like this, I can snap you out into eternity.’ And that’s when I answered, ‘Oh God, if you’ll let me live, I’ll go back and I’ll serve you. And I’ll raise my children to know you.’ Then I felt like I’m inside of Him. And as I was inside of Him, I saw from me, like from my belly button, although I didn’t have a belly button, it was like a cord. And that cord was silver. I knew that I was connected to God from that umbilical cord.
“The scripture in Ecclesiastes in the 12th chapter says, ‘Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth.’ In the Amplified, it says, ‘Before the silver cord is snapped apart or the golden bowl is broken at the cistern, and the circulatory system ceases to function.’ I did not know that scripture when I came back. Later on, I saw that in Ecclesiastes and I said, ‘that’s exactly what happened to me, I have a silver cord from me to God.’ I knew what it meant then. That’s why the Bible says, ‘Remember your Creator’ when you are young, before that happens.
“I saw that God was pleased with what I said. That was a prayer that I prayed when I said, ‘Oh God, if you’ll let me live…’ And when I prayed that my spirit man was moving with that word. It wasn’t my mouth, it was my whole being pulsating that word, ‘Oh God, if you’ll let me live.’ And by the way, I saw that I had a light in me. When I stood by my body, I saw a light in me. To my Pentecostal surprise, I went up. What I mean by that is that I had never left God, but I had times when I’d failed Him. God looks at things different than we do. Finally through the years I’ve learned that it didn’t mean that because I’d missed it that God said, ‘Okay, you’re going to hell.’ Because when you’re saved you are sealed with God unless you decide you don’t want God anymore. But I didn’t say that. I always wanted to serve God. I just didn’t know how to be an overcomer.
“When I said to God I would serve Him if He would let me live, He turned me around. I’m inside of Him. It was more than a person, it was inside of a Being. It is so vast, so big, bigger than this universe. And I’m not the only thing in there, but I’m one of them. And I’m in Him and I’m going right back to the earth, faster than I’d left.”
FPM: You could feel yourself coming back?
EPS: “Oh yes, all of a sudden I’m back in this body, that same body, totally healed. My physical body was healed. Now I’m looking over to my right and I’m groaning sort of. I’m going, ‘Oh, oh…’ And they didn’t know what I was groaning about. They thought I was groaning because I was hurting. They said, ‘Okay, you’re going to be alright, you’re going to be alright.’ And I said, ‘Oh, yes, I am. I’m back!’ They said, ‘Well, we thought you were dead.’ I said, ‘Well, I was, but I’m back now.’
“The doctor was standing there counteracting the Penicillin in my right arm. He had stuck it in my vein, whatever that medicine was. They had just found out not long before that, how to bring you back from a Penicillin shock. That causes what is called an anaphylactic shock syndrome. That’s why Penicillin can be fatal to a lot of people. I wasn’t the only one that happened to.”
FPM: After that experience, when did you obey the Lord to enter the ministry?
EPS: “I can tell you I began right there at almost 23 years old. It seems like I just got up. They went out to the car and got my children and brought them in. They called Clifford at work, and they wouldn’t release me until he got there. They wouldn’t let me drive yet. When he came he was so angry, the demon that drove him made him furious.
“They had told him that I had died and that they brought me back. When we got out to the car Clifford said, ‘You didn’t die. Don’t you go around telling anybody that you died. You were just unconscious, that’s all.’ And I looked at him and said, ‘I died.’ I’d been afraid of him up until then. I was always in fear about what he’d do or say. And all of a sudden I didn’t have any fear. I feared the living God more than him. And I said, ‘Nevertheless, the girls and I are not going to hell with you.’ That’s what I told him, and that’s when I began to be strong.
“I started reading the Word and studying. God started putting strong believers in my path, and I just started doing everything I knew to do, to go to church and do what I could do. I took my little girls and went to the Four Square Gospel Church. I tried to tell some of the people there my story and it went across like a lead balloon. So I left the church and went some other places. I went to an Assembly of God church and I went to Trinity Church in Lubbock. I lived for the Lord all that time.
“I tried to get Clifford saved. I tried to get him to see, but the fighting didn’t stop. I didn’t know what to do but to pray. I didn’t think I could get a divorce because I had the call of God on me and I was going to have to obey that call. I had promised God if He’d let me live I would come back and serve Him, and raise my children to know Him.
“I had heard Brother Kenneth Hagin speak, and met him, before all that happened. I found Kenneth Hagin’s tapes in the church library, at Trinity Church. And I started checking his tapes out. This woman said to me, ‘You know, we’ve got other tapes you can check out.’ But I said, ‘Yeah, but I’ve got a hold of something good and I’m not letting it go. There’s nobody else who teaches like he does.’ Then I found out about his books. He had a few books out. One was called, ‘Right and Wrong Thinking’ and ‘What is Faith’. The main one was ‘The Authority of the Believer,’ and did that ever set me free.
“I began to study so much, they gave me a Sunday School class at Trinity. That class started growing, and it grew and grew. Finally I found out who I was having in my class and it was AA and AlAnon people, and I did not know that. They invited me to go to AA with them one time and I went with them.
“Morris Sheats was our pastor. I was singing in the choir and the Lord began to use me in that church in tongues and interpretation of tongues. Pastor Sheats knew that what I had was real. Then I found out about Rhema, and Pastor Sheats gave me a good recommendation. I went there in 1974.
“I had already been teaching people in little churches. I had Bible studies on Tuesday nights and there were four Pentecostal preachers whose churches had dried up who came to hear me. They each asked me to come speak at their churches. We had revival at one of them. I want you to know he had about 6 people, but during that revival about 50 people came out. I learned early that if you believe and have faith, God shows up.”
FPM: Elizabeth has gone on to pioneer three churches, and to travel extensively preaching and teaching the Word of God. She has also taught at 4 established Bible schools in the U.S. as a guest teacher. In 1997 she was led of the Lord to found a ministry association known as Helping Inspire Ministries, to provide a structure in which ministers can affiliate, network and labor together.