My Experiences with the Shepherding Movement

Posted September 22, 2006


In June 1970, I was introduced to the Charismatic movement and also was introduced to Derek Prince at a full gospel businessmen's meeting in Chicago, Illinois. In 1971, God directed me to move to South Florida and manage Turnpike Animal Clinic in Opa Locka, FL. During this period of time, I became somewhat friends with Derek and Lydia Prince and other members of their family. I also became more than a casual acquaintance to Bob and Judy Mumford, and Don and Alice Basham. Just before moving back to Texas in May 1972, I met Charles Simpson. I did not meet his wife. About two weeks after I arrived back to Texas, I received a phone call from a friend of mine in Hollywood, Florida. My friend informed me that Hollywood, Florida was divided for spiritual purposes at Sheridan Avenue. The people that lived south of Sheridan Avenue must attend meetings conducted by Charles Simpson and people that lived north of Sheridan Avenue must attend meetings conducted by Bob Mumford. As soon as this information was given to me, I said without hesitation, "This is not God." I had started at this moment confronting the spirit that ultimately was called the discipleship, shepherding, and relationship movement.


I was living in Denton County, North Texas, practicing veterinary medicine and being taught by God to live by faith. Two or three times a year Derek Prince would be in the Dallas and Fort Worth area ministering and I would attend his meetings. On several occasions, Charles Simpson ministered in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, and I would attend his meetings. I also would attend meetings conducted by Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, John Osteen, and T.L. Osborne. I also attended meetings by various other ministries conducted at Christ for the Nations, Moody Coliseum, as well as other locations.


In 1974, I was invited by Derek Prince to go to Israel and the United Kingdom. While in Israel, God called me into the ministry on a Sunday morning at the Garden Tomb. I was asked by Derek Prince on the following Tuesday evening to speak at Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem for ten minutes. That was my first public speaking appearance ministering the gospel. After I returned from Israel and the United Kingdom in June 1974, I continued to attend meetings conducted by various ministries in Dallas and Fort Worth. By that time, emphasis was growing on the discipleship and shepherding movement. I kept an open mind, guarded my heart diligently, and tried the spirits whether they be of God or not. The spirit of the movement never seemed right to me. I always questioned if it were God or not.


On July 4, 1976, I attended the bicentennial celebration where Derek Prince and Kenneth Copeland were speaking. After Copeland and Prince spoke, Derek approached me and told me that Orlando Reyes had invited him to his house for a meeting the following day. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the activities of Doyle Davidson. There were certain Southern Baptist Charismatic preachers, as well as other Charismatic preachers of the metroplex that considered me the rebel of Dallas and Fort Worth. They not only considered me that way; they publicly voiced that. Following that meeting at Orlando Reyes house, I was not happy about the way it was conducted or about the things that were spoken.


Within a few days, I was invited by Derek Prince to attend a retreat held in North Carolina at the Inn of the Last Resort, owned and operated by Jay and Sally Fesperman. I went there by invitation, but I purposed in my heart to make a decision about discipleship, whether I believed it was God or not. Derek Prince, Don Basham, Jay Fesperman, and thirty-four other men besides myself attended that meeting. Charles Simpson came the last night. I was not a part of the discipleship movement, and Derek Prince introduced me as his guest. I really laughed, because I suppose I knew Derek as well as most people there. A discussion took place between Charles Simpson and Derek Prince in my presence. I knew at that juncture that Charles Simpson did not believe what he taught, and that was, that you should submit to your leader. That along with many other things I observed, and along with prayers and the unction from the Holy Ghost I determined to not be associated with the discipleship movement.


It took me until the summer of 1977 to overcome the spirit of the discipleship people. During that period of time, I spent hours praying and binding witchcraft. My last contact with Derek was September 1977 at the Royal Coach Inn in Dallas, Texas, where he was conducting a meeting. I was invited there as a guest. Following a morning meeting, I met with Derek and Bill Mayne from Midland, Texas, had lunch and we discussed certain things. Derek asked me what I was doing. After I told him, he said, "That sounds like God, but..." I said, "BUT WHAT?" He said, "You need supervision." I said, "I have supervision. Jesus Christ is Lord of my life."


Even though, I respected spiritual authority and still do and have no problems submitting to spiritual authority, I could see that the authority of the discipleship movement was not God but rather a spirit of witchcraft. Except for one telephone conversation in 1987 with Derek Prince, that was directed by God, I had no other contact with him until May perhaps June (not sure) 1988. I was sitting in a meeting room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The man seated to my right was Bill Cooper from Naples, Florida. Bill was the worship leader on our tour to Israel in June 1974. He and I became somewhat friends. As I was sitting at the table at that meeting, Bill Cooper asked me at least a half a dozen times if I was related to Derek Prince in the Spirit. I said, "No."  He said, "Are you related to any one in the ministry?" I said, "No." He said, "And you have a church in Plano?" I replied, "Yes." He said, "That has to be God, Doyle." I said, "Yes." He was most amazed. (Yesterday, I received a picture of the thirty-eight men that attended the conference in October 1976 in North Carolina. In that picture was Bill Cooper along with information that he was deceased and gone to be with the Lord.) As I sat there that night discussing with Bill about my church in Plano that was started by the Lord, the Lord opened up the things of the Spirit and I saw that the room was filled with witchcraft. Some ten minutes later Derek Prince stood up to speak, and he said, "I must be careful what I say, but I have been involved in witchcraft for the past twelve years." I do not believe that Derek, Don, Bob, or Charles ever overcame witchcraft.


We find in Revelation 18 that that spirit is a habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a spirit that causes people to sin (the sin of rebellion). We also see that the rewards of this spirit are plagues, sorrow, torment, and death. This spirit is called sorcery and is witchcraft.





God bless you,


Doyle Davidson



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