Billy Joe Daugherty’s Word of Faith Teaching Debunked By His Own Death

23 Nov
Billy Joe Daugherty

Billy Joe Daugherty

The reverend Billy Joe Daugherty, a leading Word of Faith minister famous for preaching earthly healing as every Christian’s right, has died of lymphoma at the age of 57. An expression usually limited to child playgrounds will suffice: I told you so.

In the fortunate event you haven’t encountered Daugherty’s theology, I have here reproduced three of his “daily confessional” verses, which are supposed to suspend natural law in the confessor’s favor:

  • “I believe that I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord in this earth” – Psalm 118:17.
  • “God has said that I have been given at least seventy years to live and because of strength, I could live eighty years or more” – Psalm 90:10.
  • “It is God’s will that I prosper and be in health, even as my soul prospers” – 3 John 2.

Pardon me for asking, but where is the miraculous health promised to Daugherty on earth? Last time I checked he was in a coffin. Surely he had enough faith and confessed the right things—his Twitter account is evidence enough of that.

Perhaps Daugherty needed to to shout louder to God. Or maybe God was just daydreaming, or relieving himself. Or maybe God was away on a trip, or was asleep and needed to be wakened.

Word of Faith is a load of tripe that was condemned to the trashheap of religious history long ago. It is one of the more depressing facts of life that despite the movement’s manifest failure, its leaders will no doubt press on, raking in more millions selling their shamanic wares to credulous and uneducated lay people. Shame on Billy Joe Daugherty, and shame on them.

Update: It’s true that this note is untimely and disrespectful. As a humanist, I do feel the loss of a sincere soul on this planet, and my condolences go out to those who knew him personally and are aggrieved. But I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch yet another episode of Word of Faith denial play out without saying my piece. Already I hear people babbling on about how Daugherty “graduated to heaven”, as if his tragic death was perfectly expected. Are you kidding me? His death was so totally incongruous with the whole of his teaching that it is an understatement to call it the 900 Million Pound Gorilla with Flashing Red Lights Doing Cartwheels in his ministry. But no one is talking about that.

“But I shouldn’t be so mean”, you say. Folks, remember that this man made a career out of collecting money for declaring that the reason people are sick or die early is that they didn’t do something right in the supernatural realm. He regularly threw salt in the wounds of so many Christians who opened their hearts and pocketbooks to him that I cannot just sit back and coast while everybody praises him. Someone has to stand up for the truth, and hold him at least journalistically accountable for what he did and believed. Someone has to stand up and say that his death is certifiable, concrete evidence that the Word of Faith brand of Christianity is bunkum. I’ll take one for the team and deal with the consequences.


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  1. mark

    November 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Billy Joe Daugherty saw countless healing miracles in his ministry, this is undisputed. He was one of the most compassionate givers in the city of Tulsa. His church poured millions of dollars into feeding the poor and hungry and providing all manner of assistance to the poor of the city.

    He did what Jesus told ministers to do. “Heal the sick, cast out devils and preach that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The fact that he sold books is no scandal. His books were life changing for everyone who read them. He taught us about forgiveness when a man walked up and punched him in the middle of a Sunday Service and Billy Joe smiled and turned the other cheek. He taught us to put people first and he really did not live an extravagant lifestyle even though he could have.

    I don’t begrudge you the need to expose insincerity in religion, but on this one you really have your sights set on the wrong man.

  2. peter

    November 23, 2009 at 11:11 am

    dead people don’t have cancer. so he’s healed, eh?

  3. mesfin zewdie

    November 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I am so sorry for a man of God sorry.

  4. patty

    December 7, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I think you are one of the most cruel humans ive ever come across. how could u do such a thing in the midst of a painful death? Dont u care about the grieving family? ar u making fun of the death a soul? As christians we choose to forgive you cos u dont really know what u ar doing.

  5. Tamiko

    December 16, 2009 at 11:24 am

    It’s a shame that some people can’t disagree without mocking. It’s an immature way to get a point across. What you actually proved in this article is that God is in control of death, even yours, Andy. And when it’s your time to go, no amount of faith can extend your life here on earth when God’s appointed time of death has come. You can be sure of that. I just pray that God will remove the blinders from your eyes just like He did for me and countless others. What’s interesting about God is that faith comes first, then the evidence follows – not the other way around. Even a simple prayer asking God to show you if He is real will be the beginning of God revealing Himself to you if you really want to know Him. You should try it. Remember… faith first. Then evidence.

  6. Angelique

    May 5, 2010 at 9:21 am


    I have to be honest the reason I found this is because I was wondering why this wonderful man died, even though he preached on healing.
    I am a very strong Christian, my life is hopeless without Jesus, actually he changed my life when he set me free of a terrible drug addiction, my mom and her husban are very involved in a Church that teaches healing and noney cometh, I am trying to be open minded because I want to know everything there is to know about God, but I have to be honest I struggle with some of it, all I want is the truth and if the truth involves healing and money cometh then that’s wonderful, don”t get me wrong I do believe God has the power to heal anyone with no problem, but my question is: What if it really just is our time to die, or what if a sickness that God allowed me to go through is teaching me to completely rely on Gods strength.
    You understand what I’m struggeling with?
    I believe comming across this could maybe find me some answeres to my questions, so please if anyone can give me some Godly wisdom, I’m listening.
    P.S by the way I have a brother who died 3y ago at 30y old, and my mother had been praying for him for years, did he die because of lack of faith??
    I want to say that there is no anger in my heart about this situation, I just want to learn and grow closer to God.
    Thank you and God bless

  7. Jane

    September 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

    When I visited this mans church before the alter call punch incident I discovered over the weeks many false doctrines being preached in the various classes. It was as if there was a free for all, have it your way class itinerary. I did some questioning and praying and watched as I was treated as if I was the devil himself. This is a sure sign of a cult and false doctrine activity. Then one Sunday as I joined the congregation in praise and worship I was surrounded by three of the ‘prayer warriors’ and physically and spiritually assaulted. Right there in the middle of a service. As one walked away after their witchcraft praying one whispered, ‘if you need prayer come see us’. Right, Satanists, right. Well, I sent a letter to the pastor telling him what was really going on in his church and got no reply. This is how they do it. Ignore the victims’ cries and they will shut up. Not this victim. I cried to my God to destroy this church. One step at a time.

  8. Bob

    October 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    The Bible says that everyone is appointed a time to die.
    righteous prayer made in the hopes of postponing that time does not guarantee longer life if that’s not what God wants. Maybe God wanted to spend time with Daugherty in Heaven more than he wanted him to stay on Earth.

  9. Josh

    October 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I am a member of Daugherty’s church (Victory Christian Center), I have met the many times, enjoyed his preaching hundreds of times, watched my life change for the better under his Godly influence and have mourned his death for probably longer than is appropriate. I suscribe to the word of faith belief at Victory, and know firsthand that your unfortunate lack of information has led you to make some innaccurate conclusions.
    We understand that every person (with the exception of some very specific Biblical exceptions) must eventually die. God gives us free will, and wiggle room to petition him for things like, HEALING and LONG LIFE. Occasionally this doesn’t jive with his plans, so be it. Sometimes the death of one believer can do more good than his continued life. The positive repercussions of Billy Joe’s death continue to be enormous. There are PLENTY of “Christians” who warp and and selfishly misinterpret the Word of God, but Billy Joe was not one of them. He just happened to hope and believe for something that didnt happen to jive with God’s plan for him.

    As for “raking in millions,” I will concede that there are some vile televangelists out there who are not real Christians at all, and I’m ashamed they associate their foul preaching with true Christ followers, but Pastor Daugherty was not one of those evil preachers. He was a true lover of ever person, and he really did everything he could to be like Christ and reach this world. The “millions” that pour into Victory pour right back out, both before his death and now.
    As my own small testament to the wonderful saint of a man that Pastor Daugherty was, you should know: the only reason I found this unfortunately uninformed post was because I was googling pictures of him, and shedding a few tears while missing his physical presence in my life. Luckily, his legacy and and mission still live on in our church, especially through is wife Sharon, who is also a wonderful pastor, and through the millions of lives he’s touched over his glorious lifetime of service to our Father in Heaven.

  10. Kristy

    December 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

    What I find so inetresting is you could never find this anywhere else.