Billy Joe Daugherty Remembered for His Passion for Evangelism

by | Dec 1, 2009 | Charisma Archive

Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty was remembered as a compassionate
leader with a passion for evangelism during a four-hour memorial service held
Monday in Tulsa, Okla.

Daugherty, founder of 17,000-member Victory Christian Center
in Tulsa, died Nov. 22 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 57.

The memorial service drew 8,000 people to the Oral Roberts
University (ORU) Mabee Center, and included remarks from such speakers as
Bethany World Prayer Center pastor Larry Stockstill, ORU Board Chairman Mart
Green and Nigerian Bishop David Oyedepo.

“Today we are celebrating a great man,” Lakewood Church
co-founder Dodie Osteen said. “Billy Joe Daugherty—a man of faith, a man of
God, a man of integrity. The Bible says if we walk in integrity we will not
stumble. I never heard of Billy Joe Daugherty stumbling because he walked in
integrity.”

“Everybody that I know in the world loved Billy Joe,”
healing evangelist Oral Roberts said by video. “They were touched by his
remarkable Christian life and his desire to touch them and lift them up. …
His preaching was full of Jesus.”

Through 30 years of ministry, Daugherty helped plant
ministries around the world and founded the International Victory Bible
Institute, which has more than 900 campuses worldwide; the Victory World
Missions Training Center; and the Tulsa Dream Center, which provides food,
clothing and medical services to needy families.

He served on several boards, including that of his alma
mater, ORU, and was Oklahoma director for Christians United for Israel.

Daugherty’s wife and Victory co-pastor, Sharon Daugherty,
said her husband suffered with what seemed to be a virus in his throat in 1989.
At that time, one specialist said Daugherty may have had a rare disease called
chronic lymphatic leukemia, but the diagnosis was never firm.

Daugherty said three days later, while he was still in the
hospital, her husband sensed God telling him he was healed. Soon after, Daugherty’s health
improved, and he continued preaching.

He showed no signs of the illness again until a year and a
half ago when his neck began to swell during a trip to Rwanda. He was treated
by the same specialist he had seen nearly 20 years before, and his health again
improved until this summer when he was hospitalized with what doctors initially
believed was a virus.

In October, when he
announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, he told his congregation he
was standing in faith for healing while cooperating with medical professionals.

“He’s the kind of
person who wanted to stand strong and not cause people fear,” Sharon Daugherty
said. “He didn’t want people to be shaken.”

Christians worldwide
joined him in prayer, and during the memorial service Sharon Daugherty
cautioned them not to lose confidence in the power of prayer.

“I know sometimes
people think, well if prayers, if they don’t’ go the way we thought that they
were going to go we just stop praying. No, that would be like stopping
breathing,” she said.

“I just wanted to
encourage you with Luke 18:1-men ought always to pray and not faint and not
give up and not quit,” she added. “That’s very important because you and I need
prayer. Prayer is communication with God the Father. No matter what we face in
life, we need our communication with God.”

She said her husband was motivated by a passion to reach
people with the gospel and see them empowered. “Whatever he did he did with a
motive to reach people,” she said, adding that he launched the Bible schools
and missions training center to that end. “He did it because he loved people.”

A video tribute of Daugherty shown near the end of the
service closed with the pastor giving an invitation to salvation.

Bible teacher Kenneth Copeland told Sharon Daugherty that
the ministry’s best years were to come.

“You thought you’ve seen something in
the past; dear heart you haven’t seen anything yet,” Copeland said. “The word
that came alive in your heart and your life has … grown stronger. So sorrow
not, dear one, but rejoice. The greatest things are in your future.”

In closing the service, Bible teacher John Bevere echoed
that sentiment. He said Daugherty’s life was given as a seed, and he challenged
attendees to imitate the pastor’s commitment to reach the lost.

“We are all sons and daughters of Billy Joe and Sharon
Daugherty,” Bevere said. “Now it is our responsibility to go and multiply his
ways in Christ.”

“There will be more people come into the kingdom of God as a
result of this man’s life going into the ground as a seed,” he continued. “More
will come to the Lord than his entire years of ministry on this earth. And it
will happen. I speak it in Jesus’ name.”

In addition to his wife, Daugherty is survived by his
mother, Iru Daugherty, and his four children Sarah Wehrli, Ruthie Sanders, John
Daugherty and Paul Daugherty.

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