The California doomsday preacher Harold Camping lived to be 92 years old. Ironically, he was known for his preaching style of gloom and doom. The Christian preacher died peacefully with his family in his California home earlier this week due to complications sustained from an unfortunate fall sometime last month. According to a representative, “He passed away peacefully in his home, with his family at his side.” He leaves behind a wife.
Pastor Camping spoke frequently on the topic of Judgment Day via his Christian talk show in Oakland, California. The last time he predicted “the end of the world” was in May 2011. He told his listeners to “get right” with God and to stop sinning. Some of his followers went so far as to quit their jobs, and other outrageous actions like paying for billboard ads to broadcast Judgment Day. Obviously doomsday never came which led the preacher to place blame on the Bible. His next prediction was October 21 – again, no doomsday.
Shortly after the predictions, Camping had a mild stroke. However, he continued to announce predictions that never came true – another one of his predictions was about the Rapture, which he predicted to take place in 1994 – this too never happened.
One of his former listeners, Gary Vollmer, of Glenn Dale, Maryland said he lost interest in the doomsday preacher after his failed predictions. Vollmer, 71 years old added, “I turned him off in my mind. I don’t believe any person can know the date or time (of Judgment Day).”
After his numerous fails with prophecy, Camping and his wife ran off in hiding. He made a statement to his followers, who gave away their possessions, believing that the world would come to an end, “If people want me to apologize, I can apologize, I pray all the time for wisdom.”
The preacher admitted in March 2012 of his erroneous predictions and vowed to never forecast doomsday again. Mr. Vollmer, said that he believes the preacher made it safe and soundly to the pearly gates of heaven. “Technically, you’re judged by what you’ve done here. He probably did more good than otherwise.”
The billboards Camping posted in his prior predictions caused him to be the subject of laughter by atheist, and questioned by many pastors for his lack of credibility. He was also criticized for taking donations to pay for billboards.
Dave Muscato of American Atheists, a strong supporter of separation of church and state, said Camping’s legacy will be that of a false prophet. Dave told NBC News, “I hope that those people come to realize that he was just another person who had a voice just like everybody else, he wasn’t special.”