A pastor from Muskogee, Oklahoma, is using illusions and tricks to catch the attention of unsuspecting people before he presents the Gospel.
Bart Glatt, who serves as a pastor of volunteer ministries at First Baptist Church in Muskogee, has traveled the world to preach about Christ and teach Biblical principles with the use of illusions.
“There are things that you can do with [illusions] that you can’t do any other way visually in such a short time to help explain things,” Glatt said in an interview with the Baptist Press.
Glatt became fascinated with magic tricks when his seventh grade teacher told the class to learn something they had never done before by reading a library book about it. He wanted to learn more about performing illusions after he saw the 1953 drama “Houdini” starring Tony Curtis.
He soon found out that learning from a book was not the best approach to learn the said skills.
“I was trying to make my hands look like the illustrations, and a friend of my father’s walked up and said, ‘You’re holding the cards wrong.’ … It turns out he had been a professional magician. I never knew that, and I begged him to teach me,” added Glatt.
Glatt’s apprenticeship with the professional magician went on for years. When his teacher died of a massive heart attack, he realized that he had never shared the Gospel with him so he decided to use his talent to preach about Christ.
Glatt said that illusions, puppets, juggling and other tricks are effective in catching people’s attention before he presented the Gospel.
In one of his stunts, Glatt was clad in a straitjacket, hanging upside down 100 feet in the air with no safety net below him. He got the attention of people when he said that he would reveal how to perform the escape.
“When I got down, everybody was listening, and I said, ‘If anybody could escape from death, Houdini would do it. Tonight I’m going to tell you how you can escape from eternal death to eternal life,'” he said.
At one point, several motorcycle gang members turned to Christ after Glatt shared the Gospel by using card tricks.
Glatt says he performed magic tricks for millionaires and former U.S. presidents including George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton after they left office.
Aside from being an illusionist, Glatt is also a photographer, videographer and a voiceover artist. His photographs have been used in magazines and Fortune 500 stockholder’s reports.
Glatt is able to use his skills as an illusionist to preach about Christ even in countries where it is considered dangerous. He teaches homeschoolers and other people who are preparing to go on mission trips to use tricks as icebreakers to open up about the Gospel.
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