Prostituting Pentecostal Preacher to Give It Another Go at Niagara Falls
Tears streamed down Swaggart’s face. And then he blubbered the infamous line: “I have sinned against you my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain.”
It was a YouTube moment long before there was YouTube.
Swaggart’s mega-ministry never was the same. The Assemblies of God defrocked him. TV viewers stopped tuning in. Fiscal problems ensued.
And there was an encounter with another prostitute three years later.
Swaggart’s profile dropped dramatically, but he hasn’t disappeared altogether.
Now 78 and white-haired, he’s on television again on a network launched in 2009. And in August, he’s scheduled to make a rare crusade appearance in Niagara Falls as part of “Field of Miracles, the Return,” a three-day event in Sal Maglie Stadium sponsored by the Joshua Revolution and a host of area churches.
Organizers of the event say they believe God is using Swaggart to spread a message of hope, forgiveness and restoration in a city with desperate needs.
“He is the perfect candidate to win a broken city to Christ because he was a broken man and has been wonderfully restored,” said Pastor Jim Cassidy of Walnut Avenue Christian Church in Niagara Falls.
Michael Chorey, director of the Joshua Revolution, compared Swaggart with the biblical David, whom God continued to rely upon even after he fell into sin.
“I think he’s a modern-day David in many ways,” said Chorey, who personally invited Swaggart to the event. “What the Lord has done with Jimmy Swaggart is a great symbol of his power to restore.”