|Birth Day:||March 15, 1935|
|Birth Place:||Ferriday, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He started preaching on street corners at the age of nine.
Jimmy Lee Swaggart was born on March 15, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. By relation, he is the nephew of Arilla (née Swaggart) Wells (1916–2015), who was also the manager of Wells Grocery in Tunica, Louisiana. He is the cousin of rock'n'roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis and country music star Mickey Gilley. He also had a sister, Jeanette Ensminger (1942–1999). With his parents, Swaggart attended a small, 25-member Assemblies of God church in Ferriday. In 1952, aged 17, Swaggart married 15-year-old Frances Anderson whom he met in church while he was playing music with his father. They have a son named Donnie. Swaggart worked several part-time odd jobs to support his young family and also began singing Southern Gospel music at various churches.
Preaching from a flatbed trailer donated to him, Swaggart began full-time evangelistic work in 1955. He began developing a revival-meeting following throughout the American South. In 1960, he began recording gospel music record albums and transmitting on Christian radio stations. In 1961, Swaggart was ordained by the Assemblies of God; a year later he began his radio ministry. In the late 1960s, Swaggart founded what was then a small church named the Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the church eventually became district-affiliated with the Assemblies of God.
In 1973, Swaggart proposed to television producers in Nashville, Tennessee a television program including a fairly large music segment, a short sermon, and time for talking about current ministry projects, after two faltering attempts to tape the half-hour program in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. They accepted, and within weeks the Jimmy Swaggart Telecast was being broadcast around the United States.
By 1975, Swaggart's television ministry had expanded to more stations around the U.S., and he began to use television as his primary preaching forum. In 1978, Swaggart's weekly telecast was increased to an hour.
In 1980, Swaggart began a daily weekday telecast featuring Bible study and music, and the weekend, hour-long telecast included a service from either Family Worship Center (Swaggart's church) or an on-location crusade in a major city. In the early 1980s, Swaggart's broadcasts expanded to major cities nationwide. By 1983, more than 250 television stations broadcast Swaggart's telecast.
In 1981, Swaggart launched a daily television program titled A Study in the Word. From the beginning, the primary cable channels which the program was aired on were CBN Cable (now Freeform), TBN, and the old PTL Network (now the Inspiration Network).
In autumn 1984, Swaggart opened Jimmy Swaggart Bible College ("JSBC"). The college originally provided education and communication degrees. It flourished during the 1980s, reaching an enrollment of 1,450 students in the fall of 1987.
Swaggart's first exposure was in retaliation for an incident in 1986 when he exposed fellow Assemblies of God minister Marvin Gorman, who he accused of having several affairs. Once he was exposed, Gorman was defrocked from the Assemblies of God, and his ministry was all but ended. Gorman filed a successful lawsuit against Swaggart for defamation and conspiracy to ruin his reputation which led to the award of damages amounting to $10 million in 1991, reduced after an appeal and an out-of-court settlement to $1.75 million.
In 1988, Swaggart was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute initially resulting in his suspension, and ultimately defrocking, by the Assemblies of God. Three years later Swaggart was implicated in another scandal involving a prostitute. As a result, Swaggart's ministry became nonaffiliated, nondenominational, and significantly smaller than it was in the ministry's pre-scandal years.
According to Swaggart: The Unauthorized Biography of an American Evangelist, by Ann Rowe Seaman, Gorman secured a promise from Swaggart that he would publicly apologize to Gorman and start the process of Gorman's reinstatement to the Assemblies of God. Gorman offered to remain silent if Swaggart would state publicly that he lied about Gorman's affairs. Gorman waited almost a year, then hand-delivered a note to Swaggart informing him his time was up; Swaggart did not respond. On February 16, 1988, Gorman contacted James Hamil, one of the 13-man Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God, who called G. Raymond Carlson, the Assemblies Superintendent. Carlson summoned Hamill and Gorman to fly to Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, and arranged for an emergency meeting of the presbyters. He was shown photos of several men coming in and going out of Room 7 at the Travel Inn Motel in New Orleans. This was done to establish that the room was being used for prostitution. One of the men shown leaving Room 7 was Swaggart. The presbytery leadership of the Assemblies of God decided that Swaggart should be suspended from broadcasting his television program for three months.
On February 21, 1988, without giving any details regarding his transgressions, Swaggart gave his "I have sinned" speech. He spoke tearfully to his family, congregation, TV audience, and finally said "I have sinned against You, my Lord, and I would ask that Your Precious Blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgetfulness."
The scandals inspired the Ozzy Osbourne song "Miracle Man" on Osbourne's 1988 album No Rest for the Wicked, and a reference in the Iron Maiden song "Holy Smoke", a hit single outside the USA, from the 1990 album No Prayer for the Dying.
During his 1988 concerts, Bruce Hornsby would begin his song "Defenders of the Flag" from Scenes from the Southside with a tongue-in-cheek dedication to Swaggart.
In 1988, Swaggart lost some of his broadcast and merchandise rights following his first prostitution scandal. In 1991, Swaggart's career as standard televangelist came to an end after more local TV stations cancelled their contracts with him following a second prostitution scandal.
JSBC enrollment dropped drastically in 1988 when students left as a result of Swaggart's scandal with Debra Murphree, followed by accreditation issues. In 1988 the enrollment at the Bible college was projected to drop 72% that year but the school was planning to proceed with plans to open a theological seminary. Enrollment in August 1988 was projected to be about 400 students, compared to 1,451 students last year in 1987. The estimate was based on the number of students who had registered and the inquiries from potential students. In July 1988 the college dormitories were re-branded and listed as apartments.
On October 11, 1991, Swaggart was found in the company of a prostitute for a second time. He was pulled over by a police officer in Indio, California, for driving on the wrong side of the road. With him in the vehicle was a woman named Rosemary Garcia. According to Garcia, Swaggart had stopped to propose sex to her on the side of the road. She later told reporters: "He asked me for sex. I mean, that's why he stopped me. That's what I do. I'm a prostitute." This time, rather than confessing of his sins to his congregation, Swaggart told those at Family Worship Center, "The Lord told me it's flat none of your business." Swaggart's son Donnie then announced to the audience that his father would be temporarily stepping down as head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for "a time of healing and counseling."
In 1991, JSBC was renamed to World Evangelism Bible College and enrollment dropped to 370 students. The college shut down programs in music, physical education, secretarial science, and communications that October and disbanded its basketball team.
As of 2007 Jimmy Swaggart Ministries mainly comprised Family Worship Center, The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast, radio and television programs called A Study in the Word, SonLife Radio Network, a website JSM org, and a 24/7 cable and satellite television network, SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN).
In 2010, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries launched a 24 hour-a-day television network entitled the Sonlife Broadcasting Network (SBN), on DirecTV channel 344, Dish Network channel 257, Glorystar channel 125, AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, and various cable TV providers and broadcast stations.
Jimmy married Francis Anderson in 1952. Jimmy's son Donnie also became a preacher.
Currently, Jimmy Swaggart is 87 years, 6 months and 11 days old. Jimmy Swaggart will celebrate 88th birthday on a Wednesday 15th of March 2023. Below we countdown to Jimmy Swaggart upcoming birthday.