Donnie Swaggart is an evangelist who has been married and divorced three times. He got back together with his first wife after his second divorce. Swaggart is one of the many interesting evangelists who have lived in the U.S.
Who Is Donnie Swaggart?
The only child of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and his wife is Donnie Swaggart. He went into ministry like his father, but he hasn’t been as well-known as his father. Swaggart is the pastor of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Family Worship Center. He talks a lot at his dad’s camp meetings.
Swaggart and his wife Debbie have three kids and eight grandchildren. Gabriel, his oldest son, works at the Family Worship Center as a youth pastor. Mathew, who is his second son, is an artist. Jennifer, his daughter, is married and has a child.
Donnie Swaggart got married to Debbie for the first time. She also gave birth to his three kids. They split up in 2003, and he later married a woman named Judy. In 2006, Donnie and Judy split up. He eventually got back with his first wife.
A Short History of Evangelists in the U.S.
From the beginning, evangelists have been a part of American history. Some of the first people to move here came because they wanted freedom of religion. In the 1740s, evangelists like George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards led many people to Christianity. This was called the “Great Awakening.”
Evangelists in the 19th century combined their religious passion with social issues like alcoholism and slavery. African-American pastors got people to join their churches by saying that they would have a place to belong both on earth and in heaven.
Modern American Evangelists
The tent revival began in the United States at the start of the 20th century. Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody were two examples of travelling evangelists who would set up in a town and preach the gospel.
Print media were used by evangelists like Norman Vincent Peale and Mary Baker Eddy. Oral Roberts, Rex Humbard, and Jimmy Swaggart were televangelists who preached and raised money through television.
The most well-known preacher
Billy Graham, a preacher from North Carolina, was one of the most well-known evangelists in the United States. When he went on a radio show during a revival in Los Angeles in 1949, he became a big deal. Graham preached to huge crowds in stadiums all over the world during his life.
Graham met with presidents and leaders from other countries. He also said what he thought about communism and abortion. Graham died in 2018, but his work has gone on through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The Troubled History of the Swaggart Family
Jimmy Swaggart, the father of Donnie Swaggart, had to deal with scandals in the 1980s and 1990s. When Jimmy Swaggart’s ministry was at its peak, two million American homes watched his TV show. In 1988, photos of Swaggart with a prostitute came to light after he called out two other evangelists for cheating on their wives. He was kicked out of the Assemblies of God church. He kept going as a preacher on his own.
In 1991, when Jimmy Swaggart was pulled over for speeding in California, he was caught with another prostitute. Not long after this second scandal, he gave Donnie his ministry.
Jimmy Swaggart isn’t the only pastor who has been in trouble. One of the evangelists Swaggart picked on, Jim Bakker, had his own problems with affairs. In the 1980s, Robert Tilton was another televangelist who asked his followers to send in prayer requests along with money. A reporter who looked into Tilton found that the preacher threw away prayer requests but kept the checks.
Evangelists like Bill Gothard and Dave Reynolds got caught up in scandals involving pornography and having inappropriate relationships with children. Other televangelists, like Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar, have been criticised for using the money they get from their followers to live well.