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|Born||Michael Dean Murdock
April 18, 1946
Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.
|Occupation||evangelist, pastor, author|
Michael Dean Murdock (born April 18, 1946 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States) is an American televangelist and pastor of the Wisdom Center ministry based in Fort Worth, Texas. Murdock preaches around the world and is best known for his promotion of prosperity theology. He often preaches with Benny Hinn and has also preached with Tammy Faye Bakker. He hosts the Wisdom Keys with Mike Murdock television program.
Murdock was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana to J.E. and Willie Murdock, and has one sister (Deborah Murdock-Johnson) who works for his ministry. In 1964, Murdock graduated from LaGrange High School in Lake Charles. He attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, but left after three semesters in 1966. In 1989, he received an honorary doctorate from International Seminary in Florida.
In 1966, Murdock married Linda Lormand (married from 1966–1979) and they adopted a boy, Jason, in 1979. On October 4, 1979 the couple divorced. Linda Lormand Murdock was given custody of Jason following the divorce. She is said to have had difficulty providing for the child despite her former husband's income.
In addition to preaching, Murdock is known for his publications and songs. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram alleged that Murdock exaggerates his accomplishments and that he would have written an average of 300 songs per year based on his claims. The newspaper also reported that he had registered 76 songs with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, according to unofficial data kept on those groups' Web sites.
In 1973, prior to his divorce, he established the Mike Murdock Evangelistic Association and began preaching and fundraising throughout the country.
In 1989, as a pastor on The PTL Club, Murdock gained national attention during the PTL scandal when he asked viewers to donate to Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker claiming they helped broken marriages and people. The PTL later declared bankruptcy and Bakker went to prison for fraud related to his ministry.
In 2003, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a series about Murdock giving association (donor-raised) money to select family members who were on his association's board. The Associated Press reported, Murdock asked followers for money to help the poor but spends more than 60 percent of its funds on overheads, including his salary, and only a tiny amount (reported to be "legal minimums of 1% to 3%") on helping the needy, or any other 'public interest'. Murdock refused interviews and has previously declined to answer questions about money. The next year the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported "he has started a church and the law allows him to keep his financial records behind closed doors." In August 2004, the association purchased the International Faith Center in Haltom City and changed its name to The Wisdom Center, which it operates as a church.
Murdock has appeared on TBN, CBN, BET, INSP, WORD, Daystar Television Network and other television networks, and his weekly television program, Wisdom Keys with Mike Murdock. Murdock is a Founding Trustee on the Board of International Charismatic Ministries along with the late Oral Roberts.
Mike Murdock is the author of numerous books, including:
- The Leadership Secrets of Jesus
- Secrets of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived
- The Uncommon Leader
- The Law of Recognition
- Darren Barbee, "Behind the Hype: Mike Murdock exaggerates his accomplishments and cites dubious statistics," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 4, 2003
- Darren Barbee, "Ministry gives money to Murdock’s relatives," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar. 3, 2003
- "Sunday," News and Courier, 4 August 1990
- "Bakkers Ask for $1 Million Defense Fund," Orlando Sentinel, 8 Aug 1989
- "Jim, Tammy Bakker Return To Television," Harlan Daily Enterprise, 3 Jan 1989
- Barbee, Darren (3/02/2003). "PROFIT in the pulpit". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- Evangelist spends most charitable donations on himself, Associated Press, 03/02/2003
- "Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Ministry's practices questioned," Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 10 Jan 1999
- Darren Barbee, "Televangelist Mike Murdock moves financial books behind closed doors," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 15, 2004