Anti-gay televangelist Irvin Baxter Jr, who in March blamed coronavirus on the “sin of fornication”, has died after a battle with the virus.
Reverend Baxter, founder of Endtime Ministries and host of End of the Age on Christian TV network Trinity Broadcasting Network, died aged 75 on Tuesday (3 November), the network said.
Televangelist Irvin Baxter had blamed coronavirus on the ‘sin of fornication’.
The Texas-based pastor was known for his doom-mongering doomsday prophecies and repeated preaching against homosexuality, citing Bible passages calling for gay people to be “put to death” as he raged against same-sex marriage and the acceptance of LGBT+ people in Christianity.
As the virus first hit the United States in March, Baxter had blamed “the sin of fornication” for the pandemic.
He had complained: “There are 7.5 million couples living together in the United States, this is not worldwide, just in America. 7.5 million couples. That means 15 million people that are living together unmarried.”
Baxter had added: “If we think we can just ignore God and live a sinful lifestyle, well, we cannot do it. You know, I believe in what you’re saying, that God may be using this as a wake-up call. This coronavirus may be a privilege, because I’ll tell you right now, there’s a much bigger judgment coming. It’s in the Bible.”
Pastor died after battle with COVID-19.
In a message, Endtime Ministries said: “It is with deep grief that we announce the passing of Irvin Baxter. Though, we find comfort in knowing that he has without a doubt entered his great reward. He was 75.
“Irvin was hospitalised last week with COVID-19. Since then, a vast network of churches and ministries, have been in almost constant prayer for him. The team at Endtime wants you to know that we appreciate your prayers and support through this season.
“A memorial service is being planned for later this month. As we have updates on arrangements, we will make you aware.
“In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations to Endtime Ministries to continue advancing Irvin’s God-give vision and the Kingdom of God.”
In the press statement, his televangelist co-host Dave Robbins said: “Irvin went on to his great reward. We celebrate his life, but at the same time, there is sorrow, there is grieving.
“We will miss him, but he’s with Jesus. His entire life was about one thing, sharing the message of the Gospel. We will continue in his legacy, sharing the message and good news.”