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Televangelist & Anti-Vaccine Advocate Marcus Lamb Dies After Contracting COVID

By Josh Shepherd
Marcus Lamb COVID
Televangelist and anti-vaccine advocate Marcus Lamb has died following a weeks-long hospitalization for COVID-19. He was 64. (Photo: Daystar TV)

Marcus Lamb, a televangelist and anti-vaccine advocate, has died following a weeks-long hospitalization for COVID-19. He was 64.

Lamb’s Daystar TV posted a brief statement to social media on Tuesday morning: “It’s with a heavy heart we announce that Marcus Lamb, president and founder of Daystar Television Network, went home to be with the Lord this morning. The family asks that their privacy be respected as they grieve this difficult loss. Please continue to lift them up in prayer.”

The TV network has not publicly acknowledged that Lamb had contracted COVID-19. The Roys Report contacted Daystar through both e-mail and direct phone contacts, but the queries were not answered.

However, reports via social media indicate Lamb was hospitalized for COVID in mid-November. Donna Branham Coleman, a vocalist with Southern Gospel group The Branham Family posted on November 12 that Lamb was “in the hospital with Covid pneumonia and low oxygen levels.” Similarly, on November 25, Pastor Rodney Mullins of Life Church in Leavittsburg, Ohio, called for prayer for Lamb and noted that “Oxygen levels (are) dangerously low.”

In a statement today, Billy Wilson, President of Oral Roberts University, said he “grieves deeply” at Lamb’s passing. He called Lamb a friend and “pastor to millions of people around the world who watched him regularly on Daystar.” He added: “This is a significant loss for the Kingdom of God.”

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Similarly, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said his “heart broke” when he heard the news. “A faithful follower of Jesus, a loving husband, a caring father, (and) a Kingdom visionary with a heart for the lost and broken entered God’s presence today,” said Rodriguez in a statement.

Daystar programs have regularly featured notable anti-vaccine advocates including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in a June 2020 program and Sherri Tenpenny in a March 2021 broadcast. As of Tuesday morning, the network’s content hub Vaccines: The Unauthorized Truth remained prominently promoted with dozens of anti-vaccine video clips.

On November 9, Daystar joined with Mississippi-based Christian media organization American Family Association to file a lawsuit against the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandate. The rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires companies with at least 100 workers to mandate staff be vaccinated, or receive weekly COVID testing.

Last December, Lamb made headlines when Daystar was found to have bought a private jet after receiving $3.9 million in PPP loans. Daystar reportedly agreed to repay the funds.

According to the network, Daystar is the second-largest faith-based network in the world with a reach eclipsed only by TBN. Based in the Dallas area, Daystar claims a potential audience of over 100 million U.S. households and satellite TV reach to “over 200 countries.”

Alongside his wife, Joni, Marcus Lamb founded Daystar Television Network in 1997 when it launched with a live broadcast of T.D. Jakes’ The Potter’s House Church in Dallas. The Lambs were regularly invited by Joel Osteen to speak at Lakewood Church in Houston, one of the nation’s largest churches.

Throughout his decades on-air, Lamb interviewed several prominent public officials including President George W. Bush at the White House; President Barack Obama during his campaign; Texas Governor Rick Perry; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem.

According to his bio, Lamb was born October 7, 1957 in Cordele, Georgia near Macon, where he was raised. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He and Joni Trammell of Greenville, South Carolina were married in 1982. He first founded a Christian TV station in 1985 in Montgomery, Alabama, prior to moving to the Dallas area.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Joni, their three children, Jonathan, Rachel, and Rebecca, and multiple grandchildren.

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.



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52 Responses

  1. How many anti-vaxxers are willing to die because they will not take the vaccine? One would be too many.
    How many people who would have been willing to take a vaccine if he had encouraged them to would be alive today? We will never know.

    1. (1) There are 2.5 million reported injuries due to Covid-19 vaccines on the WHO VigiAccess database to date. That is just a fraction of what medical practitioners are willing to report. Count me out.
      (2) Dr. Shankara Chetty, a medical doctor here in South Africa, has successfully treated 5,000+ Covid patients since last year. His treatment is known as the 8th Day Protocol. He used repurposed medication. None of his patients needed oxygen or ventilation.

      1. For context, over 3.3 billion people have been vaccinated this year. You’d think that hospitals would be overwhelmed with adverse reactions.

      2. In West Michigan, our hospital chain Spectrum is reporting that the unvaccinated make up the VAST majority of the Covid cases. Approximately 90 percent of those hospitalized with Covid are unvaccinated. And 90 percent of the Covid patients that are in ICU are unvaccinated. And 90 percent of Covid ICU patients who are on ventilators are unvaccinated.

        It is clear where the problem lies.

        1. Greg C,

          Depends on your source:

          “… ICUs are not “full” of unvaccinated covid patients, they’re not even full of covid cases. In fact, they’re not even full at all.

          As of last week, NHS England’s own bed statistics reported that England has 4330 available critical care beds, of which 894 (21%) are being used by Covid patients, 2608 (60%) non-Covid patients and 828 (19%) were empty.

          So, England’s critical care beds are not even 90% full, let alone 90% full of unvaccinated covid patients.

          But let’s be charitable and assume these people misspoke or communicated their point badly. Let’s assume they meant 90% of covid hospitalisations are unvaccinated.

          That, at least, is true right? Wrong.

          The actual number is 35.4%

          According to the UK’s Health Security Agency data (page 31 of this document) 6639 patients were admitted to hospital “with Covid” in the weeks 44-47 of this year. Of those 6639, 2355 were unvaccinated.

          So unvaccinated people do not even make up the majority of Covid cases, let alone the majority of ICU admissions in general.

          So, even going by the official statistics – which we’ve previously shown are routinely inflated to make the “pandemic” appear frightening – the claim is incorrect.

          And that doesn’t even account for the fact that, according to Public Health England, a “Covid hospitalisation” is anyone admitted to hospital for any reason within 28 days of a positive Covid test. This could include people who are admitted to hospital for something else and then happen to test positive while they are there.”

    2. This CNN story adds a few more relevant details that speak to the concerns of spreading misinformation

      It explains that Marcus Lamb was a diabetic. That puts him in a high-risk category for COVID complications. Instead of advocating for the use of the vaccine to his viewers he routinely discouraged it’s use and labeled it as an experimental shot, insisting his protocols are a more effective remedy.

      His son described the COVID virus as an attack from “the enemy” and asked for prayers to restore his breathing and oxygen levels while he was battling pneumonia.

      In a time that this is indeed a sad loss for the family, I’m also concerned (as mentioned before) that his followers are still encouraged to follow his lead. Arguably his was likely a very preventable death, given what is known about his diabetic state. Putting the blame on “the enemy” is disingenuous, misleading, and dangerous in my opinion. Such an assertion puts vulnerable in harms way.

  2. This is not a time to browbeat untruths about Marcus Lamb and the truth they brought us on DayStar about C19! It is a time to pray 4 his family!

    1. K-why not? He likely caused other people to lose their lives needlessly. Those folks need to be prayed for also.

  3. What a sad story. I hope those mourning him have the space to do so and that God works in their hearts to bring comfort and truth.

    1. I’m not answering for Barb (and I cannot confidently say I see covid as God’s judgment), but let’s remember in scripture when God handed out judgments to entire nations, which at times included the death of children.

    2. I do believe Covid is a judgment yes. I’ve read the Bible through probably 50 times. Judgment is all over the NT and OT. Nations, cities were judged. For reasons like violence, divorce, sexual immorality, idol worship, and others. To say God isnt judging today is unbiblical. The bible says God’s wrath is on unbelievers. God has judged me. When I was in college, a Christian college, my Greek professor was overloading us with homework, like 3 hours a night. We all complained and groaned. It was too much. God told me to tell our professor that he was like pharoah in Exodus. I did. I told him to repent and have mercy. He stubbornly refused. A week later he got sick and his teaching assistant took over for the rest of the semester. Yes, God took him out so we students, all Christians, could live and be with our families and still get a decent grade. 1 Corinthians 11 talks about judgment. Jesus pronounced judgment. Why isn’t covid God’s judgment on a nation that lauds abortion, sexual immorality, transgenderism, gay marriage, porn, greed, and the prosperity gospel? Do you think God is in heaven just twiddling his thumbs, only doing nice kind things all the time? Is he a God with boundaries? He is. I’ve seen God judge people. He is kind and good but he is also stern. He is the ultimate father. He is also a consuming fire.

  4. The best way that you can honor him is by making sure that you get your vaccine shot and protect yourself from this deadly disease. I’m always saddened by death, and even more sad when someone dies because they believed anti-vaxxer lies. Please get vaccinated to protect yourself and your family.

    1. I don’t believe this should be a place for vax or anti-vax. I believe it should be about caring that someone has died, no matter what. And praying for his family. I can’t believe some of these comments have been allowed.

      1. Laura, it is possible to pray for his family and call him out for the needless death(s) he likely caused. Pastors should be held to a higher standard and especially when he had a platform that allowed him to affect thousands.

        1. Tom, there are a SLEW of medical professionals and doctors of the highest level, who would disagree with you.

          Just as there are a SLEW of medical professionals and doctors of the highest level, who would agree with you, Tom.

          Folks, I imagine the actual truth is somewhere in the middle.

          Lord forgive me, a sinner.

          1. There are different opinions for sure.

            I’ve never met a frontline medical caregiver who doesn’t recommend that patients get vaccinated.

            Sure, there are some doctors who have contrarian opinions.

            I’m doubtful that anyone in this forum knows a frontline medical worker (someone they have a first name relationship with) that takes an anti-vac stance.

          2. Dean, I doubt there are a slew of medical professionals anti-vax, and those that are would likely be of a certain political party. People willing to die because of politics and not Jesus. I will never understand this.

        2. If we cannot simply show compassion that a man has died and his family is mourning, then we should probably remain silent on the day of his death and for a long while after.

          Using his death to make a point, at the expense of those who are grieving, will just turn people away.

    2. Yes indeed, Bob. Getting vaccinated is also among the best ways for Christians to love their neighbors and be pro-life.

      I remember after Leonard Nimoy died of something smoking-related a few years ago, his widow made some anti-smoking Public Service Announcements. God could bring some significant good out of this needless death if Lamb’s family and/or network would do something similar to reach some of those who have been deceived by anti-vax lies.
      But I’m not optimistic that will happen — seems like once people are so heavily invested in something false very few have the fortitude or wisdom to turn back toward truth. One might hope Christians would do better in that regard, but it doesn’t seem that way.

    3. Absolutely. You’ve got to watch out for those anti-vaxxer lies. I have a very close family member who is also on the front lines as a medical worker. For some reason they didn’t want the jab. I can’t understand that when everyone knows that the medical community is 100% on board with the jab.

      So they finally went ahead and got it a few days ago. They became seriously ill within hours. A few days ago they were perfectly healthy and doing yeoman’s work. Now they struggle for breathe. What treatment is available for them now? What can the medical community do for them now? Nothing!! But I’m just thankful that they will no longer be subjected to those anti-vaxxer lies. They may never work again, but that’s really unimportant isn’t it.

      I doubt this will get posted but at least I got it off my chest and somebody will read it. I only wish it weren’t true.

  5. I interesting no one mentioned what a heretic self seeking glory station Day Star is and was ?

    I find that heretical station much more in danger of damnation than anything else !

    Physical toxins kill the body , however spiritual toxins kill the soul !

  6. First off, this is indeed sad to hear that someone has left behind friends and family. At the same time, it is quite valid, and necessary, to confront the topic of vaccines as Mr. Lamb was a person of significant influence and those that follow his lead may be headed to a very preventable hospitalization or premature death. I’ve been following this debate for more than a year and I remain incredibly curious as to why this topic of COVID vaccinations is such a strong point of contention for Evangelical Christians in particular. What is they payback for taking such a strong stance against vaccines and dismissing the advice of the worldwide medical community, I wonder? Someday history will reveal a story that’s not so clear today.

    Apart from internet stories, I can offer tow personal observations. First, a family member y died of COVID last month. He was unvaccinated, not particularly old, and left behind a sizable family. Secondly, I have another family member who manages a staff of front-line medical workers (nurses) in a major metropolitan area in the Southwest. The story that he shares is that he (regrettably) watches patients die pretty much every single day from COVID. The ones that do die from COVID are almost exclusively unvaccinated (high 90’s percentage). And like clockwork, the family gathers around their loved family member as they pass on and then resolve to get vaccinated themselves. His feedback is that the ones who are dismissive and oppositional regarding masks and vaccinations are consistently white Evangelicals. Take that with a grain of salt if you like, I’m just another voice on the internet. Though, I expect the two data points I’m sharing here are consistent with the experiences of frontline medical workers.

    1. I have a very close family member who is a front-line medical worker who along with much of the other medical staff where they work did not want the jab. There employer imposed a mandate of get jabbed or get fired. My family member waited until almost the last minute before the deadline. That was a few days ago.

      Within hours of getting jabbed they became seriously ill. Whereas they were perfectly healthy the day before the jab, now they struggle to breath. They got the jab because they have several young children they are supporting.
      Depending upon how long their current health issues last, they might be unable to continue with their current employment. Also, they are not Christians so have not been influenced by Marcus Lamb or Daystar.

  7. Sad and tragic. I feel for his family and hope the best for them. That includes hoping they realize the vaccines are effective and would have very likely saved his life and can still save theirs.

    My parents were missionaries and I still remember getting all kinds of vaccinations so we could travel and avoid preventable diseases. Not a single missionary or family member I knew hesitated one second to get vaccinated and protect themselves and their family from deadly diseases. What a difference a few decades and 10,000 miles makes. Now in the U.S. evangelicals are one of the most anti-vax and covid-denying demographics. It makes no sense to me at all.

  8. This is truly sad all politics aside. I am more than a little bit distressed at the gloating attitude some on the left have towards anti-vax deaths. I wonder how many of these people would have gotten the shots without these dictatorial mandates and the constant bullying.

    No, I do NOT support misinformation about the vaccines, BUT I have to ask “what do they expect” when they are being pushed in such a fascistic manner.

    1. Brian, define the left. There is no gloating over deaths. But, many of the people who have died had opportunities to be vaccinated.

    2. The idea that most of the unvaccinated are crazy right wingers is 100% wrong. I’ve looked at the stats on vaccination rates by age in various states. The average vax rate of senior citizens in red states is barely below the vax rate of seniors in blue states, we are talking 90% vs 95%. If it was all about politics, why are so many seniors in red states getting vaccinated?

      Once you go from senior citizens to younger groups, the vaccination rate drops dramatically. Again, if it’s all about politics, why wouldn’t vax rates of younger people in blue states be 90%+? Younger people are more likely to be liberal and/or Democrat. The friends of my young adult children (both chose to vax) are pretty liberal and mostly unvaccinated. For whatever reason, vaccination isn’t even on their radar, they are preoccupied with the day to day details of their lives.

      1. The assertion that almost all who have not been vaxxed are from a particular political party, have a certain melanin percentage, are right-wing evangelical nationalists etc serves a narrative designed to further divide the Body of Christ.

        John 10 speaks about Jesus as the good shepherd whose sheep will not listen to the voice of another. Somewhere in the morass of competing voices in our broken world, His sheep still hear Him because He said they would.

        With that said, now all I can do is pray earnestly for my non-Christian family member, a medical worker, who just days ago got the jab and now deeply regrets it as they became seriously ill and are struggling.

          1. Thank you Andrew. I very much appreciate that. So far they are stable enough, but only God knows. My hope is they repent and follow Jesus regardless of the outcome.

  9. When I was kid, I remember being in a huge line getting my polio vaccine at a nearby church. How now in 2021 being anti-vax has become some kind of misguided Evangelical red badge of courage seems completely nonsensical.

    1. Yeah… I’m surrounded by it too and I’m at a loss; I pray to God and ask if He would intervene, but I know that God often gives to people what they want… but then the pain and needless suffering (I’ve experience first-hand in family) because of the anti-vaxxism that outlets like Daystar continue to spew… I try not to be angry at the ones mislead by it, but I think there’s some place for righteous anger at people like Lamb and like-minded ilk.

    2. @Roger – I’m not anti-vax = to each his own. But there is obviously a big difference between the polio vaccine and the Covid “vaccine.” People who got polio vaccine did not get polio again. However, people who have been “fully vaccinated” with Covid vax are getting it again and even passing it on to others. People who are “fully vaccinated” from Covid have died from Covid.

      1. And polio vaccine took years, not months to develop. Even then there were manufacturing accidents with the polio vaccine resulting in a number of deaths.

      2. I understand this is an issue, the vaccine isn’t perfectly effective. However, it does guard against serious illness and hospitalization which is my biggest fear, more so than dying of COVID. Regarding the polio vaccine, it and many other childhood vaccines require multiple doses and boosters. The polio vaccine requires 3 doses by 8 months and boosters at four to six years. .
        There are other well accepted vaccines that have to be repeated throughout a lifetime, how about tetanous shots for people or rabies shots for your dog? Will you skip those vaccinations when they are needed?

  10. The anti-vax stuff aside, I find the information about buying a jet after receiving PPP funds both disappointing and disturbing.

    1. Franklin Graham has a private jet also. I was a pilot on corporate jets for 42 years and know the costs involved in operating them. In my opinion there is no way a ministry can justify the cost of a private jet.

      1. I tend to agree with you and this looks even more egregious due to the reception of PPP funds before buying the jet.

  11. Thank you writing your article with integrity and kindness, rather than choosing to attack and judge the Lamb family (including Daystar) for not only their personal free-will choice on vaccinations, but also their Christian beliefs and strong stance Daystar took about exposing the truth about vaccines, etc. You took the HIGH ROAD! God bless you for that!

  12. The arguments between evangelicals about the Covid Pandemic and the events from the 2020 Election has damaged the evangelical church in the U.S..

    Believe me, it is no fun going to church anymore to hear about the Covid Nazi death shots or that the Covid mandates are a precursor to the Anti-Christ.

    Church is a drag….

  13. Be not called doctors: for one is your doctor, even Christ. Matthew 23:10 GNV

    And therefore God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe lies,
    2 Thessalonians 2:11 GNV

    Moreover the works of the flesh are manifest which are….idolatry, witchcraft (pharmakeia G5331 Greek Concordance), hatred, debate, emulations that they which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 GNV

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