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Southern Religion, Southern CultureEssays Honoring Charles Reagan Wilson$
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Darren E. Grem, Ted Ownby, and James G., Jr. Thomas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820471

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820471.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 15 July 2020

Spirit in the Air

Spirit in the Air

Pentecostal and Holiness Media Innovation in the Twentieth-Century South

(p.79) Spirit in the Air
Southern Religion, Southern Culture

Randall Stephens

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter traces out the long and complex relationship between Holiness-Pentecostals and technology, innovation, and mass media. One of the most significant religious phenomena of the 1980s was the emergence, or at least widespread public awareness, of the electronic church. Indeed, in 1987, four of the most-watched religious programs on television were hosted by southern Pentecostals. In coming years, African American Word of Faith and Pentecostal ministers like T. D. Jakes and Creflo Dollar would join the ranks of these highly visible religious stars. The link between Holiness and Pentecostal faith and tech savviness was not accidental. Pentecostals have used these resources to spread the movement. While media-driven Pentecostalism made enormous headway in the Global South, it also gained ground in other unlikely places as well. Pentecostal ministers outside the states proved just as adept at using radio, TV, and, later, social media to champion the cause.

Keywords:   electronic church, religious programs, southern Pentecostals, Pentecostal ministers, Holiness, Pentecostal faith, Pentecostalism, mass media, Pentecostals, media innovation

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