|Born||Michael Dean Murdock
April 18, 1946
Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.
|Occupation||evangelist, songwriter, pastor, author|
Michael Dean "Mike" Murdock (born April 18, 1946) is an American Contemporary Christian singer-songwriter, televangelist and pastor of the Wisdom Center ministry based in Haltom City, Texas. Murdock preaches around the world and is best known for his promotion of prosperity theology. He often preaches with David Cerullo and Benny Hinn and has also preached with Tammy Faye Bakker. He hosts the Wisdom Keys with Mike Murdock television program.
Life and work
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 1999, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Murdock refused interview requests and had previously declined to answer questions about money.
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.
On March 3, 2003, the Associated Press reported Murdock asked followers for money to help the poor but spent more than 60% of donations on overhead, 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'.
In 2004, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Murdock "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, Texas, and changed its name to The Wisdom Center, which it operates as a church.
On March 22, 2012, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Murdock's home, assessed at $1.5 million, was for sale. The 9,943 sq ft 25-room home with built-in wine cooler located on 6.89 acres at 2010 Whitebridge Rd., Argyle, TX 76226 was first listed for sale on Realtor.com on November 29, 2011 for $3.2 million and then subsequently on September 4, 2013 (MLS 12020088) for $2.7 million. According to public records, Murdock also was the owner of 2013 Whitebridge Rd.
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.
Murdock was one of several televangelists profiled by John Oliver, a British comedian, on a segment of television program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that exposed "churches that exploit people’s faith for monetary gain". A clip of Murdock prompting his congregation to applaud the purchase of several private airplanes was featured, as well as his extolling viewers currently mired in credit card debt to add another $1,000 in credit charges in order to support his church and "wipe out your credit card indebtedness" by having faith in God. 
Mike Murdock is the author of numerous books (most are considered pamphlets), including:
- * The Leadership Secrets of Jesus
- * Secrets of the Jesus - The Richest Man Who Ever Lived
- * Jesus Was Rich
- * The Uncommon Leader
- * The Law of Recognition
- * The Winning Wisdom
- Darren Barbee, "Behind the Hype: Mike Murdock exaggerates his accomplishments and cites dubious statistics," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 4, 2003
- Ministry gives money to Murdock’s relatives," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 3, 2003 | http://www.trinityfi.org/press/murdock01.html
- "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
- "Ministry's practices questioned," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10 Jan 1999
- "Evangelist Spends Most Charitable Donations on Himself," Associated Press, March 3, 2003 | http://www.twcnews.com/archives/tx/austin/2003/03/02/evangelist-spends-most-chairitable-donations-on-himself-TX_63283.old.htm
- "Televangelist Mike Murdock moves financial books behind closed doors," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 15, 2004 | http://trinityfi.org/press/murdock04.html