Richard Dortch

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Richard W. Dortch (October 15, 1931 – June 15, 2011) was an Assemblies of God District Superintendent for Illinois (1970–83) and an Assemblies of God Executive Presbyter (1971–1985).[1] Born in Granite City, Illinois, Dortch served as a pastor early in his ministerial career, and was also a missionary to Belgium (1959–1964) where he helped found and lead Emmanuel Bible Institute in Andrimont, Belgium [nl].

While pastoring in Alton, Illinois, in 1967, Dortch was elected as secretary-treasurer for the Illinois district of the Assemblies of God, serving until 1970. He became president of the PTL Christian evangelical television network in 1983, a network typically featuring speakers affiliated with the Pentecostal movement.

In 1988 he, along with other executives of PTL, was indicted on federal charges of fraud and conspiracy. In a plea bargain, Dortch pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to eight years in prison, later cut to two and a half years.[2][3] His ministry credentials were restored by the Assemblies of God in 1991.[4]

Dortch wrote several books about personal integrity and restoration. Until just prior to his death he hosted a long-standing two- to three-hours prayer service called "America's Prayer Meeting" on the Christian Television Network.


  1. ^ "History". Illinois District Council Assemblies of God. 2009. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  2. ^ "Bakker Aide Receives 8-Year Fraud Sentence". New York Times. August 25, 1989. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  3. ^ "Prison Sentence of Top Aide To Bakker Cut to 2½ Years". New York Times. April 26, 1990. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  4. ^ Blind Spot, Christianity Today, July 1, 1991.

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