Kenneth Copeland

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—Kenneth Copeland in a 2020 sermon.[1]

Kenneth Copeland (December 6, 1936–) is a televangelist, faith healer, and incarnation of Satan from Texas. His TV show is called The Believer's Voice of Victory and is featured on Paul Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network and many local TV stations. He teaches a theology he calls "Word of Faith", also called name it and claim it by critics. He has come under criticism for taking donations from cancer patients who believed his teachings that God would heal them as a result of donating, for leaving business partners in debt from a failed real estate venture, and for spending funds donated to the ministry on lavish personal vacations in his Cessna jet. He defends this by saying that commercial airplanes are filled with demons.[2]

Copeland Ministries have been accused of abusive Discipling and Shepherding that requires unquestioning obedience from members and Copeland has been described as similar to a cult leader. An oath of allegiance was required of church members. When a church employee's mother came out as a lesbian the daughter was told to stop considering her own mother as family. A dissident worker was shunned by former close friends.[3]

Mike Huckabee has uncomfortable links with Copeland.[4] Copeland also supports Donald Trump and participated in a lay on hands ceremony with him at Trump Tower in 2015, later serving as one of his most prominent spiritual advisors along with Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell Jr.[5]

Measles outbreak[edit]

Kenneth Copeland Ministries' Eagle Mountain International Church (Newark, Texas), a megachurch pastored by his daughter, experienced a measles outbreak in August 2013 because many of the parishioners had followed Kenneth Copeland's teaching to rely on Dr. Jesus to keep them healthy rather than vaccinate. Oops… Kenneth Copeland Ministries then reversed their position on vaccination and the church began offering free vaccination clinics. In 2010, 3 years before the outbreak, Copeland claimed he was shocked over how many vaccinations were advised for his grandchild; his wife stated that she and her husband needed no prescription drugs since, "the Lord heals all diseases".[6]

COVID-19 antics[edit]

In 2020, he started using the COVID-19 pandemic as a strategy to peddle more of his bullshit, and hilariously tried to "destroy" the virus by blowing on it with "the wind of God."[7] Since the quarantines and social distancing made him start to lose revenue, he encouraged parishioners to continue to attend church services, even though this made everyone involved, including himself, more susceptible to contracting and spreading the disease.

From August 3-8, 2020, Kenneth Copeland Ministries hosted the Southwest Believers Conference in Fort Worth, Texas despite restrictions on social gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19. Local leaders criticized the event, attended by hundreds of people, but could not enforce coronavirus restrictions because religious gatherings were exempt under Governor Greg Abbott's executive orders.[8]

Copeland repeatedly said during the pandemic that it had ended or would soon end without a vaccine. He said that God told him that it would soon be over as Christians' prayers had overwhelmed it and that the pandemic was brought to America by "displays of hate" towards former President Donald Trump, which had interfered with "divine protection".[9] When many Americans lost their jobs in the economic crisis during the Summer of 2020, Copeland told followers to continue paying him tithes even if they lost their jobs.

Prosperity theology[edit]

Copeland is strongly connected to the prosperity gospel movement. Copeland participated in some of the early revival events with Kenneth E. Hagin,Wikipedia who is considered the founder of the Word of FaithWikipedia movement Copeland promotes (in which the prosperity gospel plays a central role).[10] Copeland's early career is strongly tied with fellow prosperity gospel preacher[11] Oral Roberts. Copeland attended Oral Roberts University, and later worked as a pilot and chauffeur for Roberts himself.[12] For a time, Copeland also served on the board of Oral Roberts University.[10]

In 2021, Copeland's net worth was estimated at $750 million.[13] Not surprisingly for someone with such vast wealth, Copeland is very fond of corporate welfare: under Texas' "parsonage" tax laws, Copeland's luxurious mansion (which, per Copeland, God told him to build), appraised in 2020 at $10.8 million dollars, owes no property taxes whatsoever.[14]

Even the celebrity gossip oriented television program Inside EditionWikipedia found Copeland's luxurious lifestyle (which, in addition to the multiple private jets, also included expensive suits and frequent limousine trips) questionable. In 2019, chief investigative correspondent Lisa GuerreroWikipedia had an impromptu interview with Copeland. During the interview, Copeland was visibly angry, dismissive, and had a demeanor that was widely described as creepy. Copeland weakly defended his vast wealth, in part by referring to the supposed wealth of Abraham, and in part by using an offensive Jewish stereotype ("Do you think the Jewish people believed you should be broke?... They believe in wealth.") The clip went viral, with most of the commentary praising Guerrero and deriding Copeland as a living example of the "wolf in sheep's clothing"Wikipedia that, in the Bible, Jesus warned everyone about.[15][16]


Since the beginning of Donald Trump's presidency, Copeland's messaging has become more explicitly political, with a much greater embrace of dominionism. In particular, Copeland has endorsed the "Seven Mountains" ideology of the New Apostolic Reformation.[10]

Other beliefs[edit]

  • Copeland once famously claimed that anyone who is a "True Believer" should be immune to PTSD and that anyone affected by it should "get rid of it" by praying. This was so offensive that Copeland was barred from giving planned speech on a military base.
  • He once claimed that Barack Obama had the Mark of Cain and would therefore never have God's favor.[17]
  • Despite being one of Donald Trump's chief spiritual advisors, Copeland actually originally supported Ted Cruz, claiming that Cruz had been "anointed by God" to be the next President.[18]
  • He once compared himself to Osama bin Laden, "but in a good way!"[19]
  • He has often criticized "progressive socialism."
  • Once, during a conversation with fellow televangelist Jesse Duplantis, he described flying in an airplane as "getting in a looong tube with a bunch of demons" to justify his ownership of multiple private jets. [20]

In a nutshell[edit]

External links[edit]


  4. Huckabee's Link To TV Preacher Questioned
  6. Measles cases put Texas megachurch under scrutiny
  7. Coronavirus: Televangelist Kenneth Copeland ‘blows wind of God’ at Covid-19 to ‘destroy’ pandemic.
  8. Blake Hanson, Tarrant County leaders unable to stop religious convention in Fort Worth that draws large crowd., 4 August 2020.
  9. William Bredderman and Will Sommer, Trump’s Megachurch Allies Promise COVID-19 Snake Oil and ‘Miracles’. The Daily Beast, 23 March 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "These Christians think God needs you rich and to rule the world" by Steve Monacelli, Texas Observer, 2023 August 17
  11. "How Oral Roberts Changed Religion" by Mitch Horowitz, Politico, 2014 December 30
  12. "Televangelist's family prospers from ministry", Associated Press via NBC News, 2008 July 26
  13. "America's richest pastor avoids $150,000 in annual taxes on a $7 million Texas mansion that he said God told him to build, report says" by Bill Bostock, Business Insider, 2021 December 17
  14. "Kenneth Copeland is the wealthiest pastor in America. So why does he live in a tax-free Texas mansion?" by Jay Root, Houston Chronicle, 2021 December 15
  15. "Full Interview: Preacher Kenneth Copeland Defends Lavish Lifestyle", Inside Edition, YouTube, 2019 May 20
  16. "Televangelist defends lavish lifestyle and use of private jets, calls it a "biblical thing"" by Christopher Brito, CBS News, 2019 June 4
  20. Kenneth Copeland Caught Lying / Long Tube With A Bunch Of Demons - Inside Edition, YouTube