Visionary Preachers from the 70’s & 80’s, where have they gone?
When I was saved in 1972, there were numerous big-name preachers, who wielded strong influence in and outside the Church with the Word of God. These were men of vision; who put into action their vision throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
Billy Graham was still in his heyday and holding his city-wide crusades and counseling Presidents. Multitudes were making decisions for Christ in large stadiums and countless others responding in their living rooms to Billy’s invitation for sinners to come, “Just as I am.”
Oral Roberts’ television program was popular and he was promoting healing and seed faith over television. OR University had been established and was growing. Roberts was breaking with classical Pentecostalism and to become a leader of the Charismatic Movement. He was determined to unite divine healing with the Medical Arts by establishing a hospital.
Jerry Falwell was promoting the Moral Majority and politically activating fundamentalists, who had traditionally removed themselves from politics. Republican presidential candidates were seeking the support of Falwell. Without Falwell, there may not have been a President Reagan. Falwell’s influence was to follow through his son, who was instrumental in the election of President Trump.
Robert Schuller pastored Garden Grove Community Church, which was founded in an outside drive-in theater; he was the successor to the legacy of Norman Vincent Peale. Schuller’s “Hour of Power” TV program introduced the witness of Christian celebrities to the masses.
Chuck Smith, generally known as the father of the Jesus Movement, was baptizing new believers in the Pacific Ocean. Soon Calvary Chapel Churches were being established in cities nationally and internationally. Those affected by the Jesus Movement took Christ into the streets.
Pat Robertson, Jim and Tammy Bakker and Paul and Jan Crouch were establishing Christian TV networks and hosting Christian Talk Shows and introducing Christian groups and singers on a world-wide stage. Robertson became politically influential enough to make a serious run for the presidency in 1988; he also established Regent University.
Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ was the leading voice of Christianity on college campuses. Meanwhile, Holy Hubert Lindsey’s open-air preaching at Berkeley was usually gathering larger audiences than the leftist anti-war radicals of the era. Other voices would follow Holy Hubert and confront sin on university campus and in the streets.
Kenneth Hagin from Tulsa, Ok, and his disciples were broadcasting a message of faith for healing and prosperity.
Jimmy Swaggart out of Baton Rouge, LA, at the time of his fall may have surpassed all the others on this list in national and world-wide influence. Considering his singing and piano playing and preaching abilities, he may have also been the most talented preacher of his time. Had not he fallen, he could have become was of the most influential preachers in the history of the Church.
There were other famous and popular preachers of that era, which need to be acknowledged.
My question is who and where are the preachers today with a vision, who are having the impact that these men had?