Mike Murdock is a contemporary Christian singer turned televangelist, and the pastor of The Wisdom Center ministry in Haltom City, Texas.
He is an advocate—and beneficiary—of prosperity theology.
He’s also a Trump supporter who apparently owns two private jets.
Here’s what else we know about the charismatic pastor with the gift of the gab.
But first…what is prosperity theology?
The prosperity gospel—sometimes called seed faith—is a religious belief held by some Christians that God means for the faithful to be financially and physically blessed.
It posits that if you are faithful enough, positive enough, and donate enough money to the church and its causes, God will boost your bank balance.
Essentially, prosperity theology says that all worldly problems—including sickness and poverty—are curses that can be broken by proving your faith in the church.
While prosperity theology has been around for a long time—since the Healing Revivals of the 1950s—it has risen to prominence in the ’90s and 2000s with a new breed of prosperity pastors.
These include Mike Murdock, Creflo A. Dollar, T.L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, and the scandalized Jim Bakker.
The Origin Story
Michael Dean Murdock was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on April 18, 1946.
He is the only son of J.E. and Willie Murdock, who also have four daughters.
Murdock claimed that he had preached his first sermon at age 8, and at 17 he had joined Jimmy Swaggart—who he listed as one of his mentors.
Swaggart is the founder of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and the owner of the SonLife Broadcasting Network.
He was a much-respected prosperity theology pastor for decades. Multiple sex scandals in the ’80s and ’90s led to him being stripped of his title by the Assemblies of God, and stepping down from his role at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.
Murdock graduated from Lake Charles’s LaGrange High School in the summer of 1964, and headed for the Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.
He didn’t graduated, dropping out after 3 semesters.
Mike Murdock goes by the title Dr. Mike Murdock. This is an honorary title bestowed on him in 1999 by the International Seminary of Florida.
In 2020, he began treatment for a brain tumor.
Rising Through The Ranks
In the late ’80s, Murdock was a pastor at the PTL Club.
He gained notoriety when he asked viewers to donate to a fund for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker—the former of which would soon be sentenced to prison for fraud and rape charges.
He also drew attention for bragging about paying cash for a private jet during a sermon.
His congregation, who appeared uncomfortable in video footage, were then berated by an angry Murdock, who claimed they were “jealous” and should “act happy” for their leader. The video was shared with John Oliver of Last Week Tonight.
It spread across mainstream media shortly thereafter.
Murdock was often embroiled in some form of controversy over money.
In 2003, Fort Worth media ran a series spotlighting Murdock’s church donations—given by his congregation—being given to his own family members.
The Associated Press also exposed him that year—this time for spending more than 60% of total donations on overheads and his own salary.
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The Birth of a Church
In 2004, Murdock started a new church of his own.
His LLC bought the International Faith Center in Haltom City, Texas, changed its name to The Wisdom Center, and opened its doors to Murdock’s congregation.
Between 2004 and 2019, things changed a lot for the charismatic pastor.
Inside his 135,000 square foot megachurch, which features a ballroom, a throne, and classic Grecian columns, Mike Murdock reigned supreme.
He wore large, ostentatious jewelry.
He dyed his gray hair jet black.
But he continued to beg his congregation for money.
For most of the church’s life, $58 has been the going donation rate—based on Murdock’s 58 principles.
He also continued writing books, claiming to have published over 600 of them.
Murdock expanded his ministries to include social media—you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
He expanded his material wealth, too.
Murdock continued to talk about money, including the big homes and expensive luxury cars he owns.
He attempted to sell his sprawling 25-room Texas home in 2011 for $3.2 million—eventually reducing the price to $2.7 million in 2013.
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Friends in Low Places
Murdock has one more ace up his sleeve—or toad in the hole, depending on how you look at it.
He endorsed Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, complimenting his “warrior spirit for restoring America” and saying the former reality TV personality has a “phenomenal mind.”
At one point while Trump was in office, Murdock called him a “genius”—and he wasn’t being satirical.
Mike Murdock – Net Worth
Murdock earned most of his wealth from selling copies of his books and serving as the pastor of The Wisdom Center ministry based in Haltom City.
Therefore, pastor Mike Murdock has an estimated net worth of $7 million.
Want to get to know Mike Murdock better? You can visit him on Instagram.
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