TV Evangelist: I’m Being Extorted Over Affair

The Rev. Marcus Lamb, who created DayStar Television Network with his wife Joni, said Tuesday on the air that three people were trying to extort millions from him to stay quiet about an affair he had years ago.

NEW YORK (AP) — A prominent televangelist appeared before a worldwide television audience Tuesday to admit that he had an affair with a woman years ago — and to allege that three people had tried to extort millions of dollars from him to stay quiet about his infidelity.

The Rev. Marcus Lamb, who created DayStar Television Network with his wife Joni, said he and his wife had healed their marriage and had hoped to keep his adultery private, but went public because they would not pay extortionists. The three people demanded $7.5 million, he said.

“They’re trying to take our pain and turn it to their gain,” said Lamb, during a one-hour live broadcast with his wife by his side and supporters surrounding him. “We’re not going to take God’s money to keep from being humiliated.”

A spokesman for the Lambs, Larry Ross, said they went to authorities with their allegations, but he said he could not discuss specifics for fear of interfering with any investigation. He said the extortion attempt was made within the past few weeks.

DayStar, based in Dallas, airs some of the highest-profile evangelists in the world, including Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyers.

The network says it operates more than 70 stations in major U.S. television markets and also broadcasts to more than 200 countries.

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Joni Lamb described her husband’s affair as “an emotional relationship” with a woman that became “an improper relationship.” When she learned of his infidelity several years ago, she was devastated and prayed to the Holy Spirit, who told her, “He’s worth fighting for.”

She confronted her husband and the two decided to undergo Christian counseling with Fred and Anna Kendall of the Life Languages Institute, which specializes in training communicators.

Marcus Lamb said he took responsibility for the affair by confessing what he had done to his wife’s parents and asking some members of the DayStar ministry to help hold him accountable for his promise to stay faithful.

“I said, ‘Honey, I’ll do whatever it takes to heal the hurt and right the wrong,” Marcus Lamb said.

Fred Kendall appeared on the broadcast along with his wife and said he advised the Lambs to stay quiet about their marital problems because he feared they would not overcome their troubles if they had to do so in public.

The Lambs’ supporters on the broadcast repeatedly described the affair and the extortion plot as an attempt by the devil to discredit the evangelist couple and their ministry. DayStar is rooted in Pentecostalism, the Christian tradition known for its spirit-filled worship, and its belief in modern-day miracles and everyday battles with evil influences.

“I think this was a direct attack from the devil,” Fred Kendall said, although Lamb responded that only he is to blame for his wrongdoing.

Lamb said he had contacted his denomination, the Church of God in Cleveland, Tenn., and about 30 other Christian leaders with the news ahead of the broadcast. He also directly addressed viewers, asking for their prayers.

“To our beloved partners and friends,” he said, “we’re not here to excuse sin, but we are here to celebrate the goodness and the grace of God. He has helped Joni and me.”


Comments (5)

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mike tomasino says:

December 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Did you know that the Hebrew word that is translated “Lucifer” in the King James Bible actually means Day Star. What I find interesting is DayStar runs all the heretics mentioned in this article, and then also carry “Cross Examine” with Del Tacket. Del was an elder at a church that I was formerly a member of. He is a good guy, unlike those mentioned above.

Billie Rodely says:

December 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm

One simple way to keep from being blackmailed–keep it in your pants!

Gregg Palermo says:

December 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Let he who without sin cast the first stone. I wasn’t aware there were so many saints on this comment board.

THOMAS MERRIMAN says:

December 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Credit where credit is due:

This evangelist has gone FAR beyond the other recently disgraced Christian congregational leaders who’ve “come out” with various transgressions.

Props to Rev. Lamb for manning up, and doing the brave and right thing to keep his wife, family, and larger extended congregation in the loop through this exhaustive process of admitting the problem, working through the backlash and disgrace, and still keeping DayStar relatively intact during all the chaos.

That being said…

…shouldn’t all the continued exposure of nearly every broadcast religious person’s particular downsides remind the FCC about their past promises to effectively monitor and evaluate the people they license the public airwaves to, through local broadcast stations?

DayStar operates (according to this article) more than 70 stations across the country.

The other mentioned evangelists with recent problems operate more than 200 other broadcast outlets licensed by the FCC.

There are clauses that relate to competancy of the licensee that the FCC regularly wiffs on at renewal.

There are also the ongoing IRS issues relating to the majority of these mentioned evangelist/licensee/religious broadcasting groups that are not being cross-referenced between the FCC and the IRS for joint-investigation.

Given that spectrum has been deemed a diminishing and increasingly valueable resource…

…it seems logical that the FCC could retrieve significant portions of their recently identified goals of a third of the existing spectrum…

…by just doing the most basic portion of their job in seperating and identifying competant and legal licensees within their current universe of participants from those with less qualification and legal standing who have either moral or tax issues outstanding.

The FCC needs to reconsider whether religious broadcasters (particularly the larger groups who have amassed dozens of stations within their group) are allowed to continue to receive an automatic free pass on renewals, or be subject to stronger and increased scrutiny as a result of the constant parade of problems from this subset of broadcast licensees.

    mike tomasino says:

    December 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Of course we all have to remember the First Amendment issues at stake. From my last comment you know that I (as a conservative evangelical Christian) don’t agree with most of what is broadcast on DayStar, but I have to stand for their right to broadcast it. When people start restricting the right of political and religious expression for some it quicky becomes a restriction on all!!!


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