Televangelist Ernest Angley dies at 99

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — Televangelist Ernest Angley, whose syndicated television broadcasts and controversial career made him an international figure, has died, according to his ministry. He was 99.

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“Pastor, evangelist and author Rev. Ernest Angley has gone to heaven to be with his Lord and master at 99,” Ernest Angley Ministries posted on its website on Friday. “He touched multitudes of souls worldwide with the pure word of God confirmed with signs, wonders, miracles and healings. He truly pleased God in all things.”

A native of Gastonia, North Carolina, Ernest Winston Angley was one of seven children. His father worked at a textile mill, The Plain Dealer reported. Angley left the Baptist church when he turned 18 to become a Pentecostal and was a traveling preacher during the Great Depression, the newspaper reported.

Angley moved to Akron, Ohio, in 1954, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. His syndicated television broadcasts began in 1972, the newspaper reported. Three years after moving to Akron, Angley’s church had grown from a parking lot tent to a $1 million building that drew 3,000 parishioners every week, The Plain Dealer reported.

Angley served as pastor for Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls for several decades, WJW reported. Best known for his faith-healing services, Angley started an online Bible college in 2011, WEWS reported. He also hosted the “The 90 & 9 Club” on WBNX and bought a Boeing 747SP to transport missionaries and humanitarian aid internationally, the television station reported.

He bought Cuyahoga Falls television station WBNX in 1985 and the Cathedral of Tomorrow in 1994, WEWS reported.

Angley’s faith-healing claims drew worldwide criticism. In 1984 he was arrested in Munich, Germany, on charges of fraud and practicing medicine without a license, the Beacon Journal reported. In 2006, officials in Guyana criticized Angley for claiming he could cure AIDS, the newspaper reported.

Angley’s odd speaking voice, mannerisms and toupee made him an easy target, the Beacon Journal reported. Comedian Robin Williams mimicked Angley with a character named “Rev. Earnest Angry.” Williams also spoofed Angley on “Saturday Night Live,” on a comedy album and in the television situation-comedy “Mork & Mindy,” the newspaper reported.

Angley’s later years were plagued by lawsuits by those who worked for him and by the federal government, The Plain Dealer reported.

In 2014, 21 former church members detailed accusations of wrongdoing by the pastor, according to the Beacon Journal. Four years later, former Assistant Pastor Brock Miller filed a lawsuit against Angley and the church, claiming that the pastor had sexually abused him off and on for nine years. Miller said he quit his job in 2014 because he could no longer handle the abuse, the newspaper reported.

Angley and the church countersued for defamation, and an out-of-court settlement was reached in February 2020 for an undisclosed amount, according to the Beacon Journal.