Jimmy Swaggart and the Power of Gospel Music
- The Early Years
- The Assemblies of God
- The TV Ministry
- The Scandal
- The Comeback
Jimmy Swaggart is a world-renowned Evangelist and Gospel music singer who has been preaching the word of God for over 60 years.
The Early Years
Jimmy Lee Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. He was the son of a Pentecostal preacher, and gospel music was an integral part of his childhood. Jimmy Swaggart began preaching at the age of seven and was leading his own revivals by the time he was fifteen. In 1952, he married Frances Anderson, and the couple had three children: Donnie, Gabriel, and Jay.
Jimmy Swaggart is born in Ferriday, Louisiana
Jimmy Lee Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. He was the younger of two sons born to MIlton and Florence Swaggart. Jimmy’s father was a sharecropper and Baptist preacher. His mother played piano at the local Pentecostal church. Jimmy’s parents died within four years of each other when he was still a teenager.
After high school, Jimmy married his fifteen-year-old cousin, Frances Anderson. The couple had three children: Donna, Sammy, and Jerry. In the early 1950s, the family moved to Baton Rouge so that Swaggart could attend Bible college. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in psychology in 1964.
Swaggart is introduced to gospel music at an early age
Jimmy Lee Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. His father, Jimmy Swaggart Sr., was a sharecropper and moonshine distiller who died of a heart attack when Swaggart was 10. His mother, Minnie Belle (née Harper), was a homemaker who later remarried. As a teenager, Swaggart played guitar for various gospel music groups such as the Hunter Lawley Spiritual Quartet. He married Frances Anderson, his second cousin once removed, on December 16, 1952; the couple adopted two children later on.
Swaggart begins his career as a gospel singer
Jimmy Lee Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. He was one of eight children born to Pentecostal Holiness minister Sam Swaggart and his wife, Frances. Swaggart’s father later became a Church of Nazarene pastor and evangelist. Jimmy Swaggart began preaching at the age of seven and by the time he was ten, he had started his own church with just three members.
In 1952, at the age of 17, Swaggart married 18-year-old Frances Anderson. The couple had two sons, Donnie and Jerry. In 1954, Swaggart quit high school to pursue a career in gospel music full time. He played guitar and sang in a style that came to be known as “Swaggartism.”
In 1961, the family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Swaggart began hosting a radio program called “The Camp Meeting Hour.” The program was eventually carried on more than 600 radio stations across the United States. In 1964, he started hosting a television program called “The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast.” The show became wildly popular and was syndicated to more than 200 television markets. By the early 1970s, Swaggart’s weekly telecast reached an estimated 8 million viewers.
The Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people. The founders were Charles Harrison Mason, who was the son of a former slave, and Charles Parham, a white Holiness preacher. The Assemblies of God is now the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world with over 67 million members.
Swaggart joins the Assemblies of God
In 1952, at age 17, Swaggart married Frances Anderson, his 16-year-old childhood sweetheart, whom he had known since he was eight. Together they had three children: Rochelle, Donnie, and Gabrielle.
Swaggart’s parents were members of the Assemblies of God church, and as a child he attended services there with them. In 1952, Swaggart joined the Assemblies of God himself and was soon appointed as a youth pastor in a small church in Bell City, Louisiana. He also began preaching in surrounding churches.
Swaggart begins preaching
In the early 1950s, Swaggart began preaching in nearby towns. He later founded the Jimmy Swaggart Assemblies of God Tabernacle in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When he started out, Swaggart had no vision for building a large ministry. However, as his popularity as a preacher grew, he began to draw larger and larger crowds.
At first, Swaggart preached across Louisiana and in other parts of the American South. He later began to hold crusades in larger cities across the United States. By the late 1970s, Swaggart was preaching to crowds of tens of thousands of people. He also began to build a large media ministry, which included radio and television programs.
Swaggart starts his own ministry
In 1952, at the age of 17, Swaggart married Frances Anderson, whom he met at a bus stop. Together they began a ministry called “Family Worship Center” in Baton Rouge. In time, the young couple started holding crusade meetings across America. After several years of success, Swaggart was inspired to start his own ministry.
In 1971, he founded the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. The ministry grew quickly and soon became one of the most popular ministries in America. Swaggart’s style of music and preaching was very popular with Pentecostals and Charismatics. His music was a mixture of Gospel, Country and Western, and Jazz. He became known for his lively preaching style and his ability to play the piano.
Swaggart’s popularity reached its peak in the 1980s. At one point, his television program was being watched by over 10 million people every week. His radio program was heard on over 600 radio stations across America. His crusade meetings were attended by tens of thousands of people. In 1987, Time magazine named him one of the 25 most influential evangelical leaders in America.
The TV Ministry
In the 1980s, Jimmy Swaggart was one of the most famous televangelists in the world. His weekly TV show, The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast, was watched by millions of people. Swaggart’s success was due in part to his ability to connect with his viewers. But it was also due to the power of gospel music.
Swaggart’s TV ministry begins
In 1971, Jimmy Swaggart began his longest-running television program, The PTL Club. Before that, he had been preaching on local television in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but the PTL Club brought his message to a much wider audience. Swaggart’s TV ministry quickly became one of the most popular programs on Christian television.
Swaggart’s show featured not only his sermons but also live music from some of the biggest names in gospel music. Some of the artists who appeared on The PTL Club include Mahalia Jackson, Tammy Faye Bakker, and Pat Boone. The show was also known for its flashy graphics and over-the-top production values.
The PTL Club was so successful that it spawned a second show, The Jimmy Swaggart Telethon. This annual fundraiser for Swaggart’s ministry raised millions of dollars for charitable causes. The telethon was broadcast live from Los Angeles and featured Swaggart and other gospel performers doing live musical performances.
In the 1980s, Jimmy Swaggart’s TV ministry reached its peak with an estimated weekly viewership of 2.5 million people. However, Swaggart’s popularity would soon take a steep decline after he was caught with a prostitute in 1987. Despite this scandal, Swaggart continued to preach on television and his ministry remained popular into the 21st century.
The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast is launched
On September 25, 1975, the Jimmy Swaggart Telecast was launched. It was a half-hour gospel music show that aired every Sunday on two hundred thirty-six stations across America. The telecast quickly became one of the most popular religious programs on TV, and within a few years, it was airing on over seven hundred stations. By the early 1980s, the telecast was seen in over one hundred countries around the world and was reaching an audience of millions.
The Jimmy Swaggart Hour is launched
The Jimmy Swaggart Hour is a one-hour, weekly television show featuring Jimmy Swaggart and other ministries of the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. The program originally aired on CBLT in Toronto, Canada, and later on various US television networks including CBN, TBN, and the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
The show features music, preaching, and teaching by Jimmy Swaggart and other ministers of the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. It is produced by the ministry’s media arm, Family Worship Center Productions.
TheJimmy Swaggart Hour has been airing since 1975. It is currently aired on over 100 television stations around the world, reaching an estimated audience of over 2 million people each week.
In the 1980s, Jimmy Swaggart was one of the most popular gospel singers in the world. But in 1987, his career came to a screeching halt when he was caught with a prostitute. The scandalous event not only ruined his reputation, but it also turned many people away from gospel music altogether.
Swaggart is caught with a prostitute
In 1988, Jimmy Swaggart, one of the most well-known and controversial televangelists, was caught with a prostitute. This scandal caused a rift in the evangelical community and left many wondering if Swaggart would be able to continue his ministry.
The power of gospel music helped Swaggart weather the storm and emerge from the scandal relatively unscathed. Gospel music has always been a source of hope and inspiration for African Americans, and Swaggart’s ability to tap into that reserve of faith allowed him to maintain his large following.
Despite the negative publicity surrounding the scandal, Swaggart bounced back and continued to be a powerful force in the world of televangelism. His passion for gospel music and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life kept him relevant in the years after the scandal.
Swaggart confesses to his infidelity
In February 1988, Christian televangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed to his congregation that he had sinned and asked for their forgiveness. This confession came after he was caught with a prostitute. This event caused a major scandal in the Christian community and led many to question Swaggart’s piety.
Swaggart is defrocked by the Assemblies of God
In February 1988, Swaggart was caught with a prostitute named Rosemary Garcia in a motel room near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He initially denied the allegations, but admitted his guilt when confronted with evidence and resigned from the ministry. He subsequently regained his ordained minister status in October 1991.
It has been over three decades since televangelist Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute and subsequently lost his ministry. But he has recently made a comeback in the world of gospel music. Swaggart has been able to regain his place in the gospel music industry and has found a new audience.
Swaggart begins his comeback
In 1987, three years after he was forced to step down from his ministry in disgrace, Jimmy Swaggart made a triumphant return to the pulpit. His comeback was propelled by the power of gospel music.
Swaggart’s career had imploded in scandal after it was revealed that he had been paying for sex with a prostitute. He disappeared from the public eye for awhile, but slowly started making appearances again in 1986. His big return came in 1987 when he headlined a gospel music concert in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The concert was a huge success and signaled Swaggart’s revival as a preacher and recording artist.
Gospel music had always been an important part of Swaggart’s ministry. He grew up singing gospel songs with his family and started his own gospel group, the Jimmy Swaggart Singers, in the 1960s. When he made his comeback in 1987, he leaned heavily on gospel music to help him win back his audience.
Swaggart released several successful gospel albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “Live at Carnegie Hall” and “he healing Waters Flow Down.” He also continued to headline regular gospel music concerts, often appearing with other well-known artists such as George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
The power of gospel music helped Jimmy Swaggart stage a remarkable comeback after his career was derailed by scandal. It also cemented his place as one of the most popular preachers of his generation.
The Jimmy Swaggart Bible Institute is founded
In 1978, Swaggart founded the Jimmy Swaggart Bible Institute (now called the World Evangelism Bible College) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The institute trains its students in evangelism and music ministry. Many of Swaggart’s effectual ministers got their start at the institute, including Donnie Swanson, Gabriel Swaggart (Jimmy’s son), and Frances Anderson.
Swaggart is reinstated by the Assemblies of God
On October 11, 1991, more than four years after his first sinners’ prayer, Swaggart was once again reinstated by the Assemblies of God. He returned to the pulpit with a message entitled “The Prodigal Son”, in which he said, “I have returned home to God and ask your forgiveness.” At the time of his reinstatement, Swaggart was quoted as saying: “I believe that forgiveness is a divine quality that God offers to everybody. And I have asked and received forgiveness from God.”