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Thousands Celebrate The Life Of Tulsa Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

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Victory Christian Center Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, 57, died Sunday, November 22 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Victory Christian Center Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, 57, died Sunday, November 22 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
ORU's Mabee Center was filled with those who traveled from all over the world to attend Pastor Daugherty's memorial service, some coming from as far as Nigeria and Russia. ORU's Mabee Center was filled with those who traveled from all over the world to attend Pastor Daugherty's memorial service, some coming from as far as Nigeria and Russia.
Members of Victory Christian Center smile fondly when they speak of their Pastor who they say had a single vision. Members of Victory Christian Center smile fondly when they speak of their Pastor who they say had a single vision.

By Jeffrey Smith and Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK – Thousands of mourners gathered in Tulsa Monday afternoon to bid farewell to Victory Christian Center Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty. Daugherty, 57, died Sunday, November 22 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Daugherty was the founder and leader of Victory Christian Center, one of Green Country's largest churches with a membership of 17,000. He also founded Victory Christian School, a private school with an enrollment of about 1,300 students and Victory Bible Institute.

ORU's Mabee Center was filled with about 8,000 people. They traveled from all over the world to attend Pastor Daugherty's memorial service, some coming from as far as Nigeria and Russia. 

Those who worked closely with Pastor Daugherty in Tulsa say it was an honor to work with the man who left behind such a legacy of faith.

One of the strongest messages resonating throughout the memorial service, which lasted for four hours, was the one of hope. Those who personally knew Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty say it's his teaching that caused them to be expectant of good things, to not be mediocre, but most importantly to excel while serving others.

"He had a heart for the world. He had a heart for nations. He had a heart for helping hurting people, helping the hopeless," said Sarah Daugherty Wehrli, Pastor Daugherty's daughter.

Daugherty served as interim president of ORU two years ago. Oral Roberts delivered a pre-recorded eulogy, calling him one of the most inspirational men of God he had ever met.

"Everybody he touched, he loved," said Oral Roberts.

Billy Joe Daugherty married his high school sweetheart, Sharon.

"He had like this vision, a vision of him and me together. We hadn't even dated, but he had a vision of us together, in a mass of people," said Sharon Daugherty, Pastor Daugherty's wife.

Their love story spanned four decades. Each of their four children took the podium, as well. To them, he wasn't just Pastor Billy Joe, but their father.

"I remember sitting on the bench at our varsity basketball games, and I would turn around, and he'd just be giving me two thumbs up, and I was like, I'm not even getting to play," said Paul Daugherty, Pastor Daugherty's son.

Paul Daugherty says his father was a man of integrity.

"I looked up to my dad so much. I hung on every joke he said. I believed in him so much, just admired everything about him," said Paul Daugherty.

"I think he will leave behind an eternal legacy," said Julie Tetsworth, a Victory Christian Center member.

Pastor Daugherty was diagnosed in October with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

"It's still a shock. We're all walking through it and reality of it hasn't sunk in yet," said Pastor Rod Baker, Victory Christian Center Outreach Director.

The disease took his life Sunday, November 22.

"I had the privilege to see him right before he was transferred to Houston. And we laughed," said Pastor Rod Baker.

"In fact, one of the family members said it was one of the last times they heard him laugh, that it was with me," Pastor Baker said.

Members of Victory Christian Center smile fondly when they speak of their Pastor who they say had a single vision.

"Pastor's vision was solely and purely focused on winning the lost," said Rick Fenimore, Victory Christian Center member.

And it's that vision of serving people that the members of Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty's congregation plan to carry on.

"We know that he is going to be a great cheerleader. A great person that we know is in Heaven and that he's looking down expecting all of us to take that baton, to do the right thing, and to continue on better than we ever have before," said Julie Tetsworth.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Victory Christian Center Missions or its Land and Building Fund. The church has set up a Memorial Page for Pastor Daugherty with more information on his life and the funeral service.

11/30/09  Related Story: Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty's Memorial Service Underway In Tulsa

11/23/2009 Related Story: Tulsa Dream Center To Continue Reverend Billy Joe Daugherty's Legacy

11/23/2009 Related Story: Details On The Cancer That Claimed The Life Of Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

 

 

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