Derek Prince

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Derek Prince
Born (1915-08-14)14 August 1915
Bangalore, India
Died 24 September 2003(2003-09-24) (aged 88)
Jerusalem, Israel
Occupation International Bible teacher, theologian, pastor

Peter Derek Vaughan Prince (14 August 1915, Bangalore – 24 September 2003, Jerusalem) was an international Bible teacher whose daily radio programme Derek Prince Legacy Radio (presently hosted by author Stephen Mansfield) broadcasts to half the population of the world in various languages. These languages include English, Arabic, Spanish, Croatian, Russian, Malagasy, Tongan, Samoan and four dialects of Chinese. He was probably most noted for his teachings about deliverance from demonic oppression and about Israel. He was best known in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles although his teaching is distinctly non-denominational, a fact that has long been emphasised by his worldwide ministry. Derek Prince Ministries operated under the slogan Reaching the unreached and teaching the untaught. Today the mission statement is, Derek Prince Ministries exists to develop disciples of Jesus Christ, through the Bible teaching of Derek Prince. The vision is to reach the peoples of the world, in a language they understand, with the Bible teaching of Derek Prince, using every type of media and all forms of distribution, regardless of the economic means of the recipients.[1]

Early life and conversion[edit]

Derek Prince was born in India of British parents and was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. He was a scholar of Greek and Latin, although at Cambridge he took Philosophy, specialising in logic and studying under Ludwig Wittgenstein. His MA dissertation was titled The Evolution of Plato's Method of Definition, and won him a fellowship at the age of just 24.

Under the influence of vice-chancellor Charles Raven, Prince refused to bear arms in World War II, and instead joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was posted to Scarborough for training, and while in the Army Barracks he started reading the Bible (as a philosophical self-assignment). As a consequence in July 1941 Prince had what he described as a supernatural experience', a meeting with Jesus. "Out of this encounter" he later wrote, " I formed two conclusions: first, that Jesus Christ is alive; second, that the Bible is a true, relevant, up-to-date book. These conclusions altered the whole course of my life". During the next three years, he was posted to North Africa, where he served in Egypt, the Sudan, and Palestine, and continued his bible studies.

Marriage and the growth of his ministry[edit]

While serving in Palestine, Prince met Lydia Christensen, a Danish woman who ran an orphanage in Ramallah and who had adopted eight girls (six of whom were Jewish). Despite Lydia being 25 years Prince’s senior, they married. Prince strongly supported the establishment of the State of Israel, which he saw as the fulfilling of Biblical prophecy, but he left for the UK with the last British convoy out of Jerusalem. In 1949 he resigned his Fellowship at King's. In the UK, Prince used Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, London, to encourage people to join a Pentecostal church he was leading at his home in Notting Hill. In 1957 he and Lydia moved to Kisumu in Kenya, where he became a school principal and adopted a Kenyan baby.

In 1962, the Princes moved to Canada, and from there to a pastorate at Peoples Church in Minneapolis, becoming US citizens. From here they moved to Broadway Tabernacle in Seattle where he ministered along with James A Watt whom he had met in Canada. During this time Prince was becoming widely known through his cassette-tape Bible lectures, and he became involved with the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. This led to a move to Faith Tabernacle in Chicago, and then to Good News Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In May 1971 Derek Prince Publications opened offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.[2] Derek Prince Publications became Derek Prince Ministries in December 1990.[3]

Lydia Prince died 5 October 1975, the same year her biography was published, Appointment in Jerusalem. Prince later married Ruth Baker, who he had also met in Jerusalem. They married on 17 October 1978. In 1981 they moved from Florida to Jerusalem where they lived six months out of the year. The 1980s saw tremendous growth of the ministry.

1984 - Derek Prince Ministries (DPM)-South Pacific office opened in New Zealand and DPM-South Africa. The Global Outreach Leaders Program began which made Prince's material available for free to Christian leaders around the world. Distribution reached 200,000 books to 124 pastors and leaders by 1995. Living Sacrifice (in Chinese) began airing under Prince's Chinese name Ye Guang-Ming (Clear Light in English).

1985 - DPM-Australia and Canada offices opened.

1986 - DPM-UK office opened and The Workman God Approves started airing in Chinese. Derek Prince Interpretiruet Biblia started airing in Russia.

1987 - German missionary to Mongolia heard English broadcast (from Seychelles) and began to translate program into Mongolian.

1989 - DPM-Netherlands office opened,overseeing Eastern Europe and CIS countries.

Prince and Ruth traveled extensively in ministry up until the time of Ruth's death on 29 December 1998. The following list of countries covers their ministry from 1993 to 1998. Some of these countries were visited more than once: Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Hungary, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Poland Bahrain, Cuba, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Portugal, India and England.[4]

Prince's radio program, which began in 1979, has been translated into more than a dozen languages and continues to touch lives. His main gift of explaining the Bible and its teaching in a clear and simple way has helped build a foundation of faith in millions of lives. Prince's nondenominational, nonsectarian approach has made his teaching equally relevant and helpful to people from all racial and religious backgrounds, and his teaching is estimated to have reached more than half the globe.

In 2002, Prince said, “It is my desire — and I believe the Lord’s desire — that this ministry continue the work, which God began through me over 60 years ago, until Jesus returns.”

Derek Prince Ministries continues to distribute his teachings and to train missionaries, church leaders, and congregations through the outreaches of more than thirty DPM offices around the world, including primary work in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For current information about these and other worldwide locations, visit[5]

Lydia Christensen Prince (1890–1975)[edit]

"Lydia Christensen Prince (1890–1975) was born in North Jutland, at the northern tip of Denmark, the youngest of four sisters in an affluent family. Her father was a successful builder who played an important role in developing their hometown of Brønderslev.

Lydia became a teacher in the state school system of Denmark and was a pioneer in the field of home economics. By 1925 she had obtained a post as director of home economics in a large new school in the town of Korsør. While seeking more meaning for her life, she started reading the Bible and received a vision of Jesus Christ that led to her salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit. After months of earnest prayer and waiting upon God, she became convinced that God was asking her to give up her position as a teacher and go to Jerusalem in the tumultuous days before Israel became a nation.

In October 1928, at the age of thirty-eight, she set out for Jerusalem with about $200 in traveler’s checks, no mission or church to support her, and no idea of what she was to do when she arrived. She soon established herself there, learned Arabic, and founded a children’s home, becoming the cherished “mother” to dozens of Jewish and Arab orphans, mainly girls, eight of whom became her own children. She also began ministering the gospel to Arab women and later to the British soldiers who visited Jerusalem during their furloughs in World War II.

In the mid-1940s, she met and married Derek Prince, a philosophy and language scholar who was serving in the British army and was stationed in Jerusalem. They ministered there together until the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 when they moved to England with their eight girls.

The Princes served congregations, taught, and ministered while living in England, Africa (where they adopted their ninth daughter), Canada, and the United States. After settling in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they began traveling internationally as Derek preached and taught the Bible in many nations of the world. Throughout these years, Lydia took care of their family, worked tirelessly and faithfully alongside Derek in their ministry, and even returned to her home economics roots when they were in Africa, teaching home economics to the African women students.

Following a stroke and a two-year illness, Lydia Prince died in October 1975. her death was deeply mourned by her family and thousands of people worldwide from a wide variety of backgrounds whose lives she had touched in her nearly fifty years of enthusiastic, energetic, and compassionate ministry."[6]

Ruth Baker Prince (1930-1998)[edit]

"Ruth came from a farming family, the eighth of ten children. Her father was of Norwegian descent. His ancestors in Norway included a number of pastors and schoolteachers. Ruth’s mother could trace her lineage back almost to the Mayflower.

The family was never wealthy. At times they were downright poor. Ruth grew up knowing that hard work and domestic chores are a part of daily life.

The family all attended the local Norwegian Lutheran church, but Ruth herself never came into any kind of personal relationship with Christ. In fact, she never knew that such a relationship was possible.

At the age of twenty Ruth enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. The commitment and discipline demanded by the Marine Corps had a profound and lasting effect on the rest of Ruth’s life. Her whole conduct invariably demonstrated discipline and dependability, and these were characteristics that she looked for and valued in others.

In the Marine Corps Ruth met and married a fellow Marine, who was Jewish. Neither of them had any strong religious convictions, but Ruth felt it appropriate to adopt her husband’s religion and went through a Conservative conversion to Judaism. This resulted in a lifelong commitment to the Jewish people. In due course, the couple adopted three Jewish children-a boy and two girls.

Some years later Ruth’s husband left her for another woman, and a divorce ensued. Ruth was left as a single mother with the responsibility of raising three children. Nevertheless, she succeeded in putting herself through college and was awarded a B.A. degree in education. Later, in ministry, Ruth was particularly sensitive to the problems of a single mother.

In 1968 Ruth received a supernatural revelation of Jesus Christ, accompanied by a miraculous healing. For about two years she struggled to reconcile this with her Jewish identity and her place in the synagogue. Eventually in 1970 she made a total, unreserved commitment of her life to Jesus and became involved in the early phases of the charismatic movement, which was then sweeping through the church in America.

Later Ruth participated in a Christian tour to Israel. While she was there, God sovereignly directed her to six successive passages of Scripture. From these she understood that God was asking her to leave everything that she had in the United States and to immigrate to Israel. After many struggles and frustrations she eventually succeeded in doing this, taking her youngest daughter with her."[7]


At the time of Prince's death in September 2003 "he was the author of over 50 books, 600 audio and 100 video teachings, many of which have been translated and published in more than 100 languages."[8] Some of the subjects that are covered in his teachings are prayer and fasting,[9] foundations of the Christian faith,[10] spiritual warfare,[11] God's love[12] and marriage and family[13] to name a few.

Demons and deliverance[edit]

As a Pentecostal, Prince believed in the reality of spiritual forces operating in the world, and of the power of demons to cause illness and psychological problems. While in Seattle he was asked to perform an exorcism on a woman, and he came to believe that demons could attack Christians. This was at odds with the more usual Pentecostal view that demons could only affect non-Christians. Prince believed that his deliverance ministry used the power of God to defeat demons.[14]


Prince, who taught on many themes and subjects including the foundational truths of the Bible, was probably most noted for his teachings about demons, deliverance ministry, and Israel.[15] He strongly opposed replacement theology. His book The Destiny of Israel and the Church argues that the Church has not replaced Israel and that the covenant that God made with the nation of Israel still stands today. Prince also believed that the creation of the state of Israel was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Derek states in his book Promised Land, "The central theme of biblical prophecy, as it is being unfolded in our time, revolves around the land and the people of Israel. God is carrying out His predetermined plan to regather the Jewish people from their worldwide dispersion and restore them to their ancient homeland."[16]

The Shepherding controversy[edit]

In 1968 Prince joined the Holy Spirit Teaching Mission (HSTM), which linked him to three other Charismatic Christian pastors living in Ft. Lauderdale: Don Basham, Bob Mumford, and Charles Simpson. The HSTM had been founded by businessman Eldon Purvis; but after the discovery of Purvis’s homosexuality the leadership team of the HSTM asked Basham, Mumford, Prince, and Simpson to help in managing the crisis.[17] Prince and the others changed the name of the HSTM to Christian Growth Ministries (CGM)in 1972.[18] CGM sought to counter what were seen as excesses within the Charismatic movement by emphasizing discipleship and pastoral care which later on was abused by those in leadership positions. CGM continued with the publication of the New Wine magazine which began under the HSTM in June 1969.[19] David Moore, author of The Shepherding Movement, states "Essential for an accurate history of the Shepherding movement is a complete collection of New Wine. The magazine, published from 1969 through 1986, was the principal publishing voice of the five teachers and the movement."[20] The group was joined by Ern Baxter, and the five men became known as the Fort Lauderdale Five. Their ministry became known as the Shepherding Movement. Different factions of the movement began to emphasise submission and authority.

CGM’s strong emphasis on submission was controversial. Lydia Prince herself disapproved, and as stories of abuses came out the movement was condemned by Pat Robertson, Kathryn Kuhlman, and the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. Most of the opposition to these teaching came from those who heard of the abuses yet never studied the actual teachings. Many leaders eventually reversed their position (e.g.; Bill Britton Ministries). Lydia died in 1975, and when Prince later wanted to marry Ruth Baker, his fellow shepherds prayed about it, and each of them initially felt it was not God's will. Prince chose to submit to their discernment. A very short time later each of the men said God made it clear to them it was His will, and Prince was re-married in 1978. Prince believed this was a test by God to see if he would live what he taught. Prince was the elder statesman of the group and lived by the principles he taught. Nowhere in any of his teaching on submission and authority does it suggest any person has the authority to demand submission. Nor does it suggest that those in authority make decisions for those under authority. The fact that these teachings were perverted and used by the immature and unscrupulous is something seen in every facet of human endeavor.

Prince later left the group and repented in public over being a member of this group.[21] There are several sermons where Prince commented on the shepherding controversy (sometimes referring to it as "discipleship movement").,[22] even in Ft. Lauderdale years after.[23]


Prince published dozens of books and recorded over 600 audio teaching sermons and 100 video teachings. Books which he published include, The Grace of Yielding, The Foundations Series, The Destiny of Israel and the Church, The Last Word on the Middle East, Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose, They Shall Expel Demons, Bought with Blood, Rules of Engagement, Faith to Live By, Through the Psalms with Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, Marriage Covenant, God's Remedy for Rejection, War in Heaven, Entering the Presence of God, Promised Land, Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, God Is a Matchmaker, Husbands and Fathers, Prophetic Guide to the End Times and God's Medicine Bottle.


  • Stephen Mansfield Derek Prince: A Biography (Charisma House, 2005)
  • Obituary in King's College Cambridge Annual Report, 2004


  1. ^ Derek Prince Ministries
  2. ^ Stephen Mansfield. Derek Prince A Biography (Charisma House, 2005), 281.
  3. ^ Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations
  4. ^ Stephen Mansfield. Derek Prince A Biography (Charisma House, 2005) 281 - 283. .
  5. ^ Derek Prince. God's Word Heals (Whitaker House, 2010). About the Author in back of book.
  6. ^ Derek & Lydia Prince Appointment In Jerusalem (Whitaker House, 2005)
  7. ^ Derek Prince A Life Laid Down - Remembering Ruth Prince (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 1999) 3-5
  8. ^ Derek Prince Secretes of a Prayer Warrior (Chosen, 2009) About the author in the back of the book.
  9. ^ Derek Prince.Screts of a Prayer Warrior (Chosen, 2009), Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting (Whitaker House, 1993), Fasting (Whitaker House, 1993)
  10. ^ Derek Prince.Foundation Truths for Christian Living(Charisma House, 2006), Founded on the Rock (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 2007), Authority and Power of God's Word (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 2009), , Through Repentance to Faith (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 2009),
  11. ^ Derek Prince.Lucifer Exposed (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 2006), Spiritual Warfare (Whitaker House, 1992), War in Heaven (Chosen, 2003)
  12. ^ Derek Prince.You Matter to God (Chosen, 2010), Extravagant Love (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 1990), God's Remedy for Rejection (Whitaker House, 1997)
  13. ^ Derek Prince.Husbands and Fathers (Chosen, 2000), The Choice of a Partner (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 1990), Marriage Covenant (Whitaker House, 1993), God Is a Matchmaker (Chosen, 1984)
  14. ^ Derek Prince. Blessings or Curse: You Can Choose! (Chosen, 1990, They Shall Expel Demons (Chosen, 1998)
  15. ^ Derek Prince Ministries
  16. ^ Derek Prince Promised Land: God's Word and the Nation of Israel (Derek Prince Ministries-International, 2003) 55
  17. ^ S. David Moore The Shepherding Movement (T&T Clark International, 2003) 28 (Mr. Moore does not mention what the miscoduct was out of deference to Mr. Purvis, but it was well known at the time that it was homosexual activity.)
  18. ^ S David Moore The Shepherding Movement (T&T Clark International, 2003) 53.
  19. ^
  20. ^ S. David Moore The Shepherding Movement (T&T Clark International, 2003) 11
  21. ^ Linda Howard A New Beginning (Charisma magazine, April 1984) 38,S David Moore The Shepherding Movement (T&T Clark International, 2003) 165, 175
  22. ^
  23. ^

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