On Monday, November 30th, over 12,000 people jam-packed the Mabee Center of Oral Roberts University and thousands more watched online, as the world paid tribute to Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty. He died on Nov. 22 of cancer.
Undoubtedly, Pastor Billy Joe left behind a great legacy; he started Victory Christian Center, a church of 17,000 members. He also founded Victory Christian School, International Victory Bible Institute with more than 900 campuses in 93 countries and 85,000 graduates, and the Tulsa Dream Center.
Those attending the memorial service described Pastor Billy Joe with 2 words: a man of humility and integrity.
Oral Roberts, who spoke through video, said, “I don’t think I’ve been touched by any human being as I was touched by Billy Joe.”
Mark Green, the chairman of Oral Roberts University, while speaking at the memorial, said, “Billy Joe is the premiere Oral Roberts University graduate.” Billy Joe Daugherty graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree from ORU. His wife, Sharon, and all his kids (including son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws) all graduated from ORU as well.
Kenneth Copeland, a long time personal friend of Daugherty, said, “Billy Joe didn’t die right now. He died a long time ago, when he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ.”
Larry Stockstill, a pastor of a megachurch from Louisiana, called Billy Joe a great man, because “he married a good woman.” Stockstill felt led to visit Pastor Billy Joe in the hospital on Friday in Houston, a day before he died. Stockstill also talked about the integrity of Pastor Billy Joe in his finances, sharing the fact that Victory Christian Center just completed a $33 million dollar construction of their worship facility, and it was paid for all with cash. Stockstill also announced a yearly “Billy Joe Daugherty” award that will be awarded by his church to a pastor that displays humility and integrity, which was best displayed by Billy Joe . Pastor Larry Stockstill also shared that he and Pastor Billy Joe had a lot in common, including having same mentors like Lester Sumrall, Kenneth Hagin, TL Osborne, and David Wilkerson.
Sharon Daugherty, the wife of Billy Joe, shared memories of them first meeting each other and starting their church. She said of her husband, “He wore his many titles loosely and did not like to use them, unless necessary. He preferred to be just called Pastor Billy Joe.”
Paul, the youngest son of Billy Joe and Sharon, shared memories of his dad, including the incident when Billy Joe walked into their burning house to save him from the fire. He also shared that his dad would always give his two thumbs up to Paul, while attending his games and school activities. One time, Paul’s football team was loosing 45-0, but his dad would still be on the sidelines with two thumbs up, motivating and encouraging him.
Another son, John, shared that his dad set a great example for him to follow. Even after getting in trouble, Billy Joe would punish them but still come up to his kids and say, “I love you and I believe in you.”
Son-in-law Adam shared his experience of asking his future father-in-law for permission to date, and later to marry his daughter Ruthie. When he came up to the door to ask for permission to date her, Pastor Billy Joe answered the door, invited him to meet the family, and had Adam ask him in front of the whole family. Adam quickly learned that the Daugherty family had no secrets and were closely knit together.
Daughter Ruthie said that her dad always used to say, “I love your mama.” When she was young, her dad Billy Joe would also say, “Don’t worry about boyfriends. I’ll be your boyfriend until it’s time to find you a mate.”
Son-in-law Caleb shared that he has known Pastor Billy Joe for over 22 years. At first, Billy Joe was his pastor, then his friend, then boss, then father-in-law. Now and forever though, Pastor Billy Joe will remain his hero. Caleb and Sarah, the daughter of Billy Joe and Sharon, recently answered the call to missions and have moved to Hong Kong to minister. While traveling with Billy Joe, Caleb said that his father-in-law always sought God for a fresh word from God, specific for each location where he was ministering at. Daughter Sarah said that her dad lived the same life privately, as he did publically.
John Bevere concluded the memorial service, which lasted for over four hours long. One of his points was, “Faithfulness is not maintianing, but multiplying.” He encouraged the people to live for Jesus and the Gospel, as did Pastor Billy Joe.
It is noteworthy to point out that it was mentioned several times during the memorial service of Pastor Billy Joe’s special love for Russia. At one time in his life, he visited Russia 18 months in a row, ministering to thousands of people in St. Petersburg. During a video tribute, clips of his trip to Russia showed as hundreds of people responded to altar calls, and received healing.
Among the attendees were well-known national and international preachers, numerous Tulsa-area pastors, and political leaders. It was impossible to notice and list all distinguished guests, but some of the guests that sat at the front included TL Osborne (Evangelist), Ron Luce (Evangelist, Leader of Acquire the Fire), Dodie Osteen (wife of late John Osteen and mother of Joel Osteen, the pastor of the largest church in the US), John and Lisa Bevere (popular conference speakers), Larry Stockstill (Pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Louisiana), Kenneth Hagin Jr. (Pastor of Rhema Bible Church in Tulsa OK), John Hagee (Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio), Rick Renner (Pastor in Moscow and Kiev), Oral Roberts (by video, Chancellor of Oral Roberts University), Mart Green (Chairman of Oral Roberts University, Owner of Mardel’s Christian Stores, billionaire), Bishop David Oyedepo (Pastor of 50,000 + members in Nigeria), Marilyn Hickey (known international Evangelist), Terry Law (Missionary Evangelist), Kari Jobe (worship leader), Mark Rutland (President of Oral Roberts University), Bob Yandian (Pastor of Grace church in Tulsa OK), U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. John Sullivan and many others.