Family Radio President Harold Camping will no longer be able to deliver his sermons over radio waves and reach out to millions of people worldwide because his popular daily Open Forum show is shutting down for good.
Camping, who had falsely predicted that about 200 million people will Rapture on May 21 and followed it up by saying that the world will be destroyed on October 21 through a series of violent natural disasters, including earthquakes that will make Japan's earthquake look like a Sunday school picnic in comparison, suffered a severe stroke on June 9.
Camping, 89, was hospitalized and though he recovered from the stroke, it left him with a slurred speech.
Ever since the stroke, Camping had been unable to give sermon and Family Radio played repeats of his previous sermons.
According to Family Radio Program Department Secretary Judi Rathbone, Family Radio will air the most recent recordings of Camping's sermon and when those are over, we will have other programming that is scheduled to run in that time slot.
Family Radio said Camping is still in the hospital and continues to recover. Family Radio owns over 66 radio stations worldwide and is estimated to worth around $72 million, according to Fortune Magazine.
A special announcement posted on Tuesday on Family Radio website said, Mr. Camping has been moved to a Skilled Nursing Facility, where he is undergoing rehabilitation to regain his strength.
Camping received worldwide attention after famously predicting that the Biblical Judgment Day would occur on May 21 when 200 million people will Rapture.
The evangelical preacher also said the world will witness series of natural disasters, including violent earthquakes that would make Japan’s recent earthquake “look like a Sunday school picnic in comparison.”
The world, Camping said, will be completely destroyed on October 21, 2011.
When nothing happened on May 21, Camping excused himself by saying he meant spiritual Rapture and not physical. However, he continued to claim that the world will be physically destroyed on October 21.
God...brought judgment on the world. We didn't see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until Oct. 21, 2011, and by that time the whole world will be destroyed, Camping said in a press conference on May 23.
Camping’s prediction earned him a lot of scorn, ridicule and criticisms from atheists and other Christian leaders, because many of his followers, believing in his prophecy, had sold their possessions and quit their jobs in preparation of Doomsday. There were even reports of suicides committed by those who wanted to avoid The Great Tribulation.
Some atheist groups have called for a fraud investigation, accusing Camping of defrauding his followers. The atheists have accused Family Radio of unjust enrichment - they believe the radio station has grown even richer, thanks to the offerings and donations made by his followers who prepared for Doomsday.
Nearly all of the money of Family Radio comes from donations, including more than $18 million in 2009 - up from $15 million the year before, according to IRS filings. Since 2005, the nonprofit organization received $81 million in donations, the records show.