Popular American televangelist Rev Ernest Angley, whose sermons were watched by audiences in the U.S. and internationally, has died.
Rev Ernest Angley was famous for his healing ministry and running a megachurch.
His website, Ernest Angley Ministries, announced his passing on Friday: "Pastor, evangelist and author Rev. Ernest Angley has gone to Heaven to be with his Lord and Master at 99. 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."
His death was also announced in a livestreamed church service at Grace Cathedral in Ohio. At the start of the service, the Rev Steve Millar said Angley had succumbed to failing health after a lifetime of service to God.
"Reverend Angley, because of his decline this past week, around 4:30 today, went to heaven," Millar told the congregation. He went on to cite Angley's commitment to his message and said he was driven by a desire to help people.
Angley, a native of North Carolina ran the Grace Cathedral church , in the Cleveland-Akron area for several decades. He grew up in a family of seven children. He started working as a preacher during the Depression and met his wife, Esther Lee, at a Bible training school in Tennessee, aged 20, as reported by Cleveland.com. His wife died in 1970, aged 49.
Angley moved to Akron in 1954. Starting out in a huge tent, his followers, fans of his non-denominational "fire and brimstone" style sermons rapidly grew and he moved into an old theatre, folllowed by another small building and then into a new structure called the Temple of Healing Stripes.
In 1972, his syndicated television operation was launched. He bought the WBNX television station in 1985 and in 1994 the Cathedral of Tomorrow which was rededicated as the Grace Cathedral.
The popular pastor, known for his faith-healing services, also courted controversy. He was arrested in Munich, Germany in 1984 on fraud charges and practising medicine without a licence. In 2006, he was denounced by officials in Guyana after he allegedly claimed he could cure AIDS.
In more recent years, Angley faced allegations of sexual impropriety. In 2018, a former male employee accused the pastor of harassment and molestation but Angley dismissed the allegations as "a bunch of lies," as reported by FOX 8. Angley countersued and the pair ultimately reached an out-of-court settlement, according to USA Today.
Angley was routinely spoofed by comedians including Robin Williams with a character called Rev. Ernest Angry.
He was the author of several books, including Raptured, Faith in God Heals the Sick, God's Rainbow of Promises and The Deceit of Lucifer.