Marcus Daron Lamb (October 7, 1957 – November 30, 2021) was an American televangelist, prosperity theologian, minister, Christian broadcaster, and anti-vaccine advocate. He was the co-founder, president, and CEO of the Daystar Television Network, which in 2010 claimed to be the second-largest Christian television network in the world, with a claimed book value of US$230 million. He died in 2021 of COVID-19 after downplaying the virus and encouraging listeners not to get vaccinated.
Marcus was born October 7, 1957, in Cordele, Georgia, and raised in Macon, Georgia. He grew up attending the East Macon Church of God. He became a Christian at the age of five and continued in church attendance and work as he grew older. He began to preach as an evangelist at age fifteen.
He graduated from high school and enrolled at age sixteen in Lee University (then known as Lee College), Cleveland, Tennessee-based Christian university. He graduated three years later. In 1982, four years after graduation, he married Joni Trammell of Greenville, South Carolina.
The couple spent their early years of marriage as traveling evangelists, visiting churches in the Southeast to teach the gospel. Marcus was ordained as a bishop with the Church of God of Cleveland, Tennessee.
In 1980, the same year that Marcus met his wife Joni, he founded The Word of God Fellowship, the company that would eventually start the Daystar Television Network. In 1984 Lamb moved to Montgomery, Alabama to begin WMCF-TV.
This was the first full-power Christian station in the state. The Lambs sold the station to Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) in 1990 and moved to Dallas, Texas. Lamb launched the Daystar network at the end of 1997.
Lamb’s Daystar TV applied for and was granted a loan under the 2020 United States government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help pay employees’ salaries during restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it received $3.9 million.
Soon after receiving the funds, the church purchased a 1997 14-seat Gulfstream V aircraft worth $8–10 million. In December 2020 Daystar TV paid back the loan with interest after the television show Inside Edition investigated the purchase of the aircraft, which had been used for Lamb family vacations.
During the pandemic, Lamb and Daystar preached an anti-vaccine message, hosting many anti-vaccine notables such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Del Bigtree, and posting on the Daystar website that vaccines are the “most dangerous thing” for children. When Lamb fell ill with COVID-19, his son called the infection “a spiritual attack from the enemy.”
Lamb and his wife lived in Dallas. They have three children. In November 2010, Lamb admitted on the Daystar Network that he had an extramarital affair that had ended several years before. In his admission, Lamb took “100 percent responsibility” for his actions. He and his wife were able to fully reconcile with the help of marriage counselors.
Due to the advice of their marriage counselors, the decision was made to keep this matter private as long as they could, in order to heal adequately. The Lambs decided to publicly disclose the infidelity shortly after they claimed that three women asked for US $7.5 million in exchange for silence on the matter.
The Lambs shared their story publicly on television and refused to pay anything. No criminal charges were filed, although civil suits and counter-suits between Daystar and the three former employees were filed over the matter. By December 2011, all three employee claims had either been dropped or dismissed. Daystar subsequently dismissed its countersuits against each of the women.
Lamb died from COVID-19 complications on November 30, 2021, at the age of 64 in Bedford, Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas. He was diabetic, and thus at an increased risk of serious illness should he be infected.
He had said he had been protecting himself from COVID-19 by taking ivermectin, an antiparasitic medication that has not been established to offer any protection against the disease, and the use of which is not recommended by medical authorities. It is not known whether Lamb was vaccinated.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Hassan, Carma (December 1, 2021). “Christian television network founder and preacher Marcus Lamb, who discouraged vaccinations, dies after being hospitalized for Covid-19”. CNN.
Prominent Christian televangelist and anti-vaccine advocate Marcus Lamb died after being hospitalized with Covid-19, his family announced Tuesday … Marcus Lamb often spoke out against the Covid-19 vaccines on his show. In an episode earlier this year featuring anti-vaccine activists Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Del Bigtree, Lamb said the Covid-19 vaccine was “not really a vaccine,” but an “an experimental shot” that was “dangerous. Marcus Lamb alleged that people were dying or having neurological disorders from the vaccine. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Covid-19 vaccines “are safe and effective” and that any adverse events after vaccination “are rare but may occur.” People who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 were 11 times more likely to die of the disease and 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with the disease, according to a study published by the CDC.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Fink, Jenni (November 30, 2021). “Televangelist Marcus Lamb Who Called Vaccine Mandate ‘Sin’ Against God Dies Of COVID”. MSN.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Lincoln, Ross A (December 1, 2021). “Marcus Lamb, Anti-Vaccine Christian Broadcaster, Dies of COVID-19 at 64”. Yahoo!.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Founders of Christian TV network Daystar say they can handle scrutiny from adultery scandal”. Dallas News. December 27, 2010. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Marcus Lamb, the Christian broadcaster who discouraged vaccines, dies from COVID-19”. Associated Press. December 1, 2021.
…who was outspoken against COVID-19 vaccines,…Lamb and Daystar — based in Bedford, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — have promoted views opposing COVID-19 vaccines and restrictions to stop the spread of the disease. The network’s programs have featured vaccine skeptics and health care professionals who promote alternative COVID-19 treatments. It’s unclear whether Lamb received a COVID-19 vaccine.
- ^ Lukpat, Alyssa (December 1, 2021). “Marcus Lamb, a Christian Broadcaster and Vaccine Skeptic, Dies of Covid”. New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
- ^  Archived March 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Jump up to:a b “About Daystar Television with Marcus Lamb and Joni Lamb”. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- ^ Crowley, James (December 15, 2020). “Televangelist network returns millions in PPP loan after buying private jet”. Newsweek. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- ^ “Marcus Lamb’s Daystar TV Pays Back $3.9M PPP Loan After Inside Edition Investigates Church’s Jet Purchase”. Inside Edition. December 11, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- ^ “Inside Edition Investigates Religious Network’s Buying Jet”, YouTube, December 11, 2020
- ^ Jump up to:a b “D-FW Christian TV network reportedly returned $3.9 million PPP loan after investigation into jet purchase”. Dallas News. December 17, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- ^ “Daystar Ministries Founder, President And Chief Executive Officer Is Marcus Lamb”. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010.
- ^ “TJB – SC” (PDF). Retrieved April 15, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- ^ Heller, Matthew. “Woman Sues TV Preacher for Failing to Disclose Affair – Employment”. Archived from the original on June 8, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- ^ “Bedford police: No laws broken in alleged televangelist extortion plot”. star-telegram.com. December 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
- ^ “Former employee sues Daystar over affair”. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- ^ “Daystar countersues former employee, alleges extortion attempt – News – Dallas News”. December 4, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- ^ “High-profile sexual harassment lawsuits against Christian broadcaster Daystar quietly withdrawn – News – Dallas News”. March 21, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- ^ “Marcus Lamb, anti-COVID vaccine Christian broadcaster, dies at 64”. Religion News Service. November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- ^ “Marcus Lamb, Founder of Daystar Television Network, Has Died”. CBN News. November 30, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- ^ “EMA advises against use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 outside randomised clinical trials”. European Medicines Agency. March 22, 2021. Archived from the original on October 19, 2021.
- ^ Garegnani, Luis Ignacio; Madrid, Eva; Meza, Nicolás (April 22, 2021). “Misleading clinical evidence and systematic reviews on ivermectin for COVID-19”. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. BMJ: bmjebm–2021–111678. doi:10.1136/bmjebm-2021-111678. ISSN 2515-446X.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Fernando, Christine (December 1, 2021). “Marcus Lamb, founder of Christian network Daystar and vaccine opponent, dies after contracting COVID-19”. USA Today.
Marcus Lamb had encouraged unapproved treatments for COVID-19, including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. He called ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that federal health officials have not approved for treating the virus, a “miracle drug.” The Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have warned Americans against using the drug to treat COVID-19. The Lamb family and Daystar have made controversial statements about the pandemic and promoted misinformation about the virus and vaccines. The network hosted prominent anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose Instagram account was removed for sharing debunked claims about COVID-19 vaccines. Daystar’s website also peddles a host of misinformation about vaccines, urging readers to rethink getting vaccinated and raising concerns about vaccine mandates.
- 1957 births
- 2021 deaths
- 20th-century American businesspeople
- 21st-century American businesspeople
- American television evangelists
- American television personalities
- Deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas
- Pentecostals from Georgia (U.S. state)
- Pentecostals from Texas
- People from Cordele, Georgia
- People from Macon, Georgia
- Lee University alumni