Fact Check

Rebekah Tauber

Does 15-year-old cancer sufferer Rebekah Tauber request calls to her prayer pager?

Published Nov 9, 2004

Claim:   A 15-year-old cancer sufferer named Rebekah Tauber has requested calls to her prayer pager.

Status:   Was true, but the child has since died.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Rebekah Tauber is a 15 year old from Houston

who is presently undergoing cancer treatment. She is a fierce Christian who attends Memorial High School. Rebekah is wearing a "prayer pager" (1-800-250-6939) that is being sponsored by Second Baptist Church in Houston.

Please take a minute out of your busy day to say a quick prayer for Rebekah, her family and her doctors asking for God's guiding hand to be with them through this ordeal and then call the toll free number (1-800-250-6939). It will vibrate letting Rebekah know that someone has prayed on her behalf.

Feel free to pass this email on and thanks for your support and prayers.

Call.... it just takes a second or two!

Origins:   Many of the Internet-circulated appeals made in the names of unwell children are naught but mean attempts to provoke the good-hearted into clogging the inboxes of those like themselves as they unknowingly spread

false pleas to their friends, family members, and co-workers. But that was not the case with this supplication: it was truly on the up-and-up, as the folks at Second Baptist Church in Houston confirmed when we asked them about it on 9 November 2004.

Of the prayer request for Rebekah Tauber, they said "It's legit." Then-15-year-old Rebekah had a rare form of cancer but was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The prayer pager program run by Second Baptist has grown mightily since its inception: Whereas in 2004 there were only five people carrying such pagers and being prayed for, in February 2008 the list supplied by Second Baptist showed twenty names.

The pastor at Second Baptist gained the idea from an e-mailed prayer request for an afflicted child elsewhere in the country; that solicitation for calls to a prayer pager carried by the youngster sparked the desire to try such a program in Houston. We'd like to say it was the Joe William Sheffield appeal that inspired Second Baptist to try its hand at such an endeavor, but the original prayer pager request was for a little girl.

Those who chose to page Rebekah at 1-713-716-0106 to tell her prayers were being offered up on her behalf were greeted by this message:

You have reached the Second Baptist Church prayer pager for Rebekah Tauber. At the tone please enter your five-digit zip code followed by the # sign and Rebekah's pager will go off. Rebekah will know she's been prayed for by you. Thank you and God bless.

Unfortunately, Rebekah passed away on 14 February 2008.

Barbara "rebeckoned" Mikkelson

Last updated:   15 February 2008