Cheering and dancing is in Apostle Kristie T. Wheeler’s DNA. Her childhood acrobatics finessed even more in her teens and as a young adult, she became one of the first African American cheerleaders for the NFL’s L.A. Rams in 1978.
From cheerleading, she went to television, appearing on the Merv Griffin Show, NFL Specials and several shows such as “Charlie’s Angeles,” “ The Love Boat,” “The Jeffersons” and “In Living Color.”
Wheeler will display her agile moves once more when she and other Black alumnae perform with the current Rams cheerleaders during the team’s home game against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, Nov. 25, at 5:15 p.m., at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
While excited about the upcoming NFL show, Wheeler’s emotions soar far higher when discussing her experiences as the founder and pastor of God’s Rivers of Living Waters. In this role, she’s able to minister to people who are hurting, wounded and in need of healing.
“I love seeing people get healed and witnessing the transformation that God does in His people. That is what God called me to do, to set the captives free by focusing on healing and deliverance and teaching others about spiritual warfare,” said Wheeler, an L.A. native who has been a pastor for 27 years and in the ministry for more than three decades.
“God called me in 1984 and my life was never the same after that. I attended West Angeles Church of God in Christ and just became a little powerhouse in the prayer room. I would pray and intercede on the behalf of God’s people all over the world because I know the power of prayer will change everything,” she said.
Being a prayer warrior has definitely guided Wheeler through rough patches in her life. When her abusive marriage ended in 1990, she and her three young children moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where she encountered serious trials. Food was scarce and they were even homeless for a time as Wheeler struggled to provide for her family.
However, her faith never wavered and God provided for her and her children. He also paved the way for her eventual return to Los Angeles and once stabilized, Wheeler launched her ministry by reaching out to people in spiritual distress.
“I have ministered to gang members, streetwalkers, alcoholics and people who are hurting and wounded and helped delivered them come out of a lot of things,” shared Wheeler.
“Also, I have helped people who had cancer and children who couldn’t talk and now they can talk or couldn’t walk and now they can walk. I am also a prophet and I prophesied a lot to guide people,” she added.
Wheeler’s deep affinity for young adults inspired her to try to introduce more of them to the love of God. She firmly believes that “a lot of young people are hurting and need healing and deliverance.” She noted that many come from broken families and deal with homelessness, drugs and other debilitating issues.
“But, God says in His Word that He is a father to the fatherless. God is the one who will touch and change their lives and it is done through the love of God,” insisted Wheeler. “Get young people focused on Christ and you can make a big change in their life. That is what God has used me to do over the years.”
Aiming to spread God’s message even further, Wheeler hopes to expand her ministry. She already reaches tens of thousands of people in 88 countries who tune in to her online program on abidingTV.com. In addition, she’s producing a film on gospel legend Mahalia Jackson and looking to publish a memoir about her life with the Rams in the coming year.
Still, her main goal revolves around Christ, said Wheeler. “I was cheering for the Rams and now I am cheering for God. My dream is to take God’s word and message of love around the world!”
God’s Rivers of Living Waters is temporarily holding Sunday worship services at 1:30 p.m., in conference room at the Corner Bakery, 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., in Los Angeles. Connect with Apostle Wheeler on Facebook @ Kristi T Wheeler.