It was announced this morning that Billy Joe Daugherty died. I did not know he was ill. When Van Priest announced it I sobbed deeply with grief; it hurt my heart so badly.
Billy Joe was one of those friends who was close in heart whether we got together only once or twice a year. Every time I we would talk on the phone I would ask how he was doing. His response was always the same, Blessed because of the work you do.
This man had my utmost respect. He preached for one of Tulsa's mega-churches and was what I call "the real deal".
I enjoyed every visit. We were constantly working on showing up at events at the same time. Recently he was planning to meet me at the prayer meeting with the Baptist preachers in South Tulsa. A few weeks ago I shot an email regarding another mutual meeting. When he didn't respond, I just assumed he was out of town; possibly out of the states.
We always discussed the Spirit. He was as much a student as am I. The two of us met for a private breakfast just to catch up. We got off onto healing. I was asking him how he saw that working. Eventually, I inquired of him how it would be decided to let a person die as sometime that had to happen. Such is a terribly shallow question I imagine. But in his typical gentleness he thought it was a good point worth weighing.
Billy Joe is quite a story. As a young man he had a vision while at a church near 4th and Sheridan of what ultimately led to the now-famous Victory Christian Center. He wasn't a showboat. He never left a hint of impure motives. The guy was devoted to Jesus in both his speech and actions.
One of the things I liked most about him is that while he was certainly high up in prestige, position, and connections of famous people, Billy Joe always had time to be attentive to our friendship which meant much to my heart.
Billy Joe Daugherty was a believer that God could do more than man imagined or thought. His fruit is testimonious. He was a sensitive leader. He would not be surprised at my sense of loss. He was more than a good friend; he was my brother.