Pentecostal/Charismatic evangelist and author specializing in the topic of prayer and " spiritual warfare.
Lea is the founder and former pastor of the Church on the Rock of Rockwall, Texas and former dean of the school of theology at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
first came to national prominence in the 1980s via publicity in the media regarding his
evangelistic crusades emphasizing "coming against territorial spirits" in metropolitan areas.
In October 1990, Lea organized a crusade in San Francisco, sponsored by Jubilee Christian Center of San Jose and its pastor Dick Bernal, to be held beginning Hallowe'en evening.
and I are beginning to look like a couple of wackos," says Bernal.
For the next few years, Lea
used Pryor's amazing conversion story as part of his
efforts during the following year, which included more crusades and his
own regular television show.
Then on November 21, 1991, the ABC show PrimeTime with Diane Sawyer ran an investigative reporting piece on several televangelists, including Larry Lea
most embarrassing moment may have been when ABC ran videotape of the televangelist persuading viewers that when his
house burned to the ground he
was left virtually homeless, losing everything he
family had but the clothes on their backs.
When Prime Time cut to Lea's other, unmentioned home -- a mansion filled with furniture and other valuables -- his
fate was sealed.
Donations dropped off, churches canceled his
appearances, and for many Lea became persona non grata.
ministry crippled and floundering in up to $800,000 in debt, Lea
left Tulsa and in February  assumed the pastorate of friend Jerry Barnard's Christian Faith Center
in La Mesa, California.
According to staffers at Barnard's office, Lea's
organization -- now called "The Prayer Ministry" -- is on the rebound and looking like "the old Larry Lea."
In an April appeal letter, the unrepentant evangelist reminds his
followers of "the horror of the 'Prime Time' television program that ABC-TV aired nationwide" and "the lies and distortions about me and about our ministry that they spoon-fed to an unsuspecting American public.
describes a prophecy in which Pentecostal leader Jack Hayford
compared him to the biblical Joseph, condemned to languish in "a prison of disbelief" in North America for two years.
, the predicted release came in February at the "National Conference on Prayer & Spiritual Warfare" in Anaheim, California.
At the conclusion of Lea's message, Fuller Seminary church growth specialist C. Peter Wagner unexpectedly approached Lea on the platform and, "as a representative of the Body of Christ," asked the stunned televangelist to forgive the church for believing Satan and his "false reports."
then summons his
"worldwide Prayer Army
" to give to "Operation Goliath," his
debt-reduction campaign, urging them to "obey the Lord" even if He
impresses them to give "an amount that seems impossible."
no longer has a television program or an extensive Internet presence.
The website of Larry Lea ministries seems to just offer his
books for sale, without even a schedule for speaking engagements.
And the website of Jerry Barnard's ministry no longer shows any direct involvement by Larry Lea
In Charisma magazine
, 1988, Lea
was quoted making the following assertion:
"Several years ago one of my dear pastor friends said, "Larry
, when I was praying for you the other day, I had a vision.
I saw you with great big 'Mickey Mouse' ears.
Everything else about you looked normal except for those elephant-sized ears.
When I asked the Lord to tell me what the vision meant, the Spirit of the Lord spoke back to me and said: 'Larry Lea
has developed his
has developed his
(Quoted from Charismatic Chaos byJohn F. MacArthur, p. 67, citing Larry Lea
, Are You A Mousekateer, as published in Charisma
, August 1988, 9)
It would appear that Larry Lea's
friend was in error and not "hearing" from the Lord at all to arrive at his
interpretation of his
For the fruit of Lea
's ministry from that point on in time shows very little evidence that Lea had the sort of spiritual discernment that such Big Ears would indicate.
A festival offers fun for the whole family-fantastic food, top Christian musicians, a VeggieTales children's area complete with Bob and Larry
, and a 10,000 square-foot skate park featuring some of the best professional skaters and BMX riders.