The Rev. Irvin Baxter Jr., well-known for his television program “End of the Age,” died Tuesday of complications from an intense weeklong bout with COVID-19, said his Endtime Ministries. He was 75.
“We will continue in his legacy, sharing the message and good news,” said Dave Robbins, Baxter’s co-host, who will now take a higher-profile role in the broadcast. Robbins anchored a video tribute to his former leader that was released late Wednesday. Baxter’s operations director and grandson, Vince Stegall, will have added responsibilities in off-camera facets of the ministry.
The television program reaches 100 million households in North America and millions more globally through satellite and cable channels. TBN, Daystar, TCT, WHT, FETV, WACX, PTL, Uplift TV and Faith TV have carried the show. His radio program has been aired by many AM and FM stations, gaining significant followings in some large cities, such as Dallas, Texas. He also published a magazine.
Saved at an early age, Baxter started traveling as an evangelist at 19. He never lost his passion for souls, often reminding audiences of the need to give their lives to Christ.
“Even though I believe in a post-Tribulation Rapture, I’ve never put that in our magazine because I wanted Endtime Magazine to be a soul-winning tool, not a debating forum,” he once said on the televised “End of the Age.”
Baxter became a pastor at 26, and led Oak Park Church in Richmond, Indiana, for nearly a third of a century. The church is affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church International, which believes there is only one God – Jesus – not a Trinity. However, Baxter's Endtime Ministries is not connected to the UPCI.
Endtime Magazine debuted in 1991 and “End of the Age” about a decade later. Baxter also authored books, including A Message to the President in 1986, in which he said the United States, Russia, and other contemporary countries are identified in Scripture. In the work, he predicted the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany, which happened just three years later.
Baxter took his knowledge of prophecy into public affairs with “No National ID,” an impassioned campaign against The Real ID Act signed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Endtime Ministries said that and other activism led to the delay in the act’s implementation, scheduled for this fall but put off yet again due to COVID-19 difficulties.
“Prophecy says that the Mark (of the Beast) will be in your hand or in your forehead. Well, my fingerprints are on my hand and my iris, my retina that the machines read, that’s in my forehead,” Baxter said on his show in commenting on Revelation 13:18. “Could this be what this prophecy is talking about? Or could it be talking about just a national ID card, because you can either hold the ID card in your hand, or you can memorize your number in your head?”
The Israel Project was his best-known effort of his last several years, encompassing help to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital, sending Gospel broadcasts and mailings to the country, and establishing the Jerusalem Prophecy College on Jaffa Street in the city's downtown. The college’s courses are online, and the school claims over 4,000 students attend. Endtime Ministries also became a partner with The Jewish Agency for Israel to assist those of that faith in migrating to the Holy Land.
Baxter’s Bible knowledge and views on prophecy led to appearances on HBO, Discovery Channel, History Channel and CNN, plus interviews for stories by The Washington Post and The Associated Press. He was a frequent guest of Marcus and Joni Lamb’s on Daystar and TBN’s “Praise the Lord” program.
He leaves behind his wife, Judy, three children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He also has a legacy of proclaiming the Gospel across media, continents and denominations.
“Brother Baxter was always looking for the next great revival,” remembered a caller on the “End of the Age” tribute just before breaking into sobs.