Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Letter to Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

On November 22nd, my pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty, entered into his heavenly reward.

He has joined the great crowd of witnesses and passed the baton to us who are still running the race. His life and example will continue to inspire all of us.

Below is a letter of appreciation that I wrote to Pastor Billy Joe last month. I share this letter with you as a way to honor him.

October 17, 2009
Dear Pastor Billy Joe,

Thank you! I want to take a moment to let you know how much I appreciate you. Today at your son's wedding, tears came to my eyes when you walked out onto the stage. I started thinking about how much you mean to me.

When I was six-years-old, my parents moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and became members at Victory Christian Center. You have been my pastor ever since. Now I am thirty and so thankful for everything you have taught me over the years. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from watching you.

You taught me ministers should be harvest- minded. Both in Tulsa and around the world, you go after souls. I have never seen a service at Victory where someone did not get saved. Souls has remained your primary focus. Your example has inspired me to go to the nations and you have a part in every person who receives salvation in our services.

You taught me ministers should be visionary. You went from one Victory Bible Institute to almost a 1,000 IVBI's to setting a goal to plant 10,000 IVBI's. As the work grows, your vision just gets bigger and bigger. I am inspired by your example to believe God for big things.

You taught me ministers should give generously. Every month, for over twenty years, Victory has supported my parents on the mission field. They are only one of many missionaries that Victory has supported over the years. The amount that you have been able to give to the mission field over the years is absolutely amazing. Thank you!

You taught me ministers can live debt-free. In our modern age, few are able to live debt-free, yet Victory has been able to build millions of dollars worth of buildings without a dime of debt. What a miracle! I am sure that the buildings could have been finished much sooner if you had submitted to the yoke of debt, but slowly and steadily God provided, and now Victory has such tremendous financial freedom.

You taught me ministers should live holy lives. Over the years, so many talented and anointed ministers have fallen because of sin, but you have remained steadfast, an example to the body of Christ.

You taught me ministers should live conservatively. Some ministers have used money inappropriately, but over the years you have lived a conservative lifestyle, always focused on giving to others instead of flaunting wealth. In this time where many question the motives of some ministers, I think your way of living speaks volumes.

You taught me a minister's wife can be anointed too. I have always admired the way that Pastor Sharon ministers alongside you. When I was praying for a wife, I asked God to give me a girl like Sharon Daugherty or Daisy Osborn. God gave me Jessica, and now we minister together around the world.

You taught me ministers can have Godly families. So many PK's end up hating God and the church, but all your kids are serving with you in the ministry. From you I learned that God does not just call individuals, He calls entire families. Jessica and I are believing God for our children to be mighty in the Lord.

You taught me ministers should remain committed to the truth. I remember hearing you preach at a meeting in Florida where many pastors from a wide variety of denominations were present. I know some of them did not believe in healing, yet you preached a strong healing message and gave God an opportunity to prove His Word with signs and wonders. Over the years you have been a strong defender of the faith. Thank you.

You taught me ministers should reach out in love. You always reach out in love to other denominations and Christian groups. Instead of drawing lines in the sand, you draw circles of love.

You taught me ministers should always speak positively. I have never heard you say a negative word about another pastor in town or against someone who has hurt you. Pastoring is one of the hardest jobs in the universe, but you do the job with such grace that it looks easy.

You taught me ministers should never get bitter. I can't count the number of times that I have heard you tell the story of the preacher who told you, "If you don't get bitter, you are going to make it." This advice has kept me going many times. It is amazing how often the opportunity comes for me as a minister to get bitter, but I just remember your advice and keep working at forgiving people.

You taught me ministers should honor those who have gone before us. I have seen how you have honored Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, Freda Lindsey, Dick Mills, and other great men and women of God who have served God faithfully. Because you have honored others, many will honor you.

Pastor Billy Joe, you demonstrate love through your life and actions. Thank you for your Godly example. You inspire me to follow God wholeheartedly. I appreciate you more than words can tell.

With Love,

Daniel King