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Evangelism's First Modern Media Star: Reverend Bill Stidger [Hardcover]

By Jack Hyland (Author)
Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 139081  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.34" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   1.48 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 25, 2002
Publisher   Cooper Square Press
ISBN  0815411871  
EAN  9780815411871  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This fascinating biography recounts the life, innovations, and impact of Reverend William Leroy Stidger (1885-1949), the Methodist preacher who brought modern marketing and publicity tactics to his crusade to save souls. A fervent, galvanizing speaker with a social conscience, he served on the front lines in World War I, provided social outreach for the destitute during the Great Depression, and performed missionary work in China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. Stidger's creative zeal revolutionized evangelical worship and the way preachers present themselves to the public. There was no form of media he did not embrace and use. He invented and patented an electric revolving cross-"A Lamp to Lighten the World"-to adorn church roofs and to attract worshippers. He advertised and wrote newspaper columns to publicize his church services and activities. He believed in pulpit editorials, defended the one-hour service, and even advocated bowling alleys on church grounds. A forerunner of Billy Graham, Norman Vincent Peale, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell, Stidger was the first minister to bring religion to the air waves with his nationally broadcast "Getting the Most out of Life," one of the country's most successful radio programs. His revolutionary tactics aroused controversy and fierce criticism, but ultimately changed the way we worship in America. But this book is more than a biography of a particularly effective and inspirational preacher. Evangelism's First Modern Media Star is also a social history of a large portion of America's past: the advent of industrialization; the era of Prohibition; the Great Depression and New Deal; the country's evolution from isolationism to internationalism; the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II; and the ever-changing role of religion in society. Stidger was a friend, confidante, and sometime critic to prominent figures like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Sinclair Lewis, and Ethel Barrymore, and this book details the reverend's remarkable relationships with them and an array of others. As inviting and illuminating as Stidger's electric cross, this biography introduces readers to a unique figure in American history: an impassioned minister, social activist, and media innovator whose influence resonates into the twenty-first century.

Publishers Description
Bill Stidger was the most famous preacher in America in the 1930s and the model for Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry. Norman Vincent Peale and Cardinal Sheehan acknowledged their friend Stidger as the source of many of their ideas. Stidger was the first person to realize the potential of modern media promotional techniques for evangelizing. A fervent preacher with a social conscience, he invented and patented an electric revolving cross to adorn church roofs and attract worshippers. He used advertising and wrote newspaper columns to publicize his services and even supported bowling alleys on church grounds. He brought religion to the radio with his program "Getting the Most Out of Life." His tactics aroused controversy and changed the way we worship in America.

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More About Jack Hyland

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jack Hyland, an investment banker, is Reverend Bill Stidger's grandson. He lives in New York City.

Jack Hyland currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. Jack Hyland was born in 1938.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General   [38596  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious   [5128  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General   [2161  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism   [541  similar products]

Reviews - What do our customers think?
Captivating, well written, and extremely well-researched, this biography of one of the formative preachers of this century brilliantly blends biography and social history. This is not a religious book, but a story of one man seizing every opportunity to make the most of his life, to have "an adventure a day", to 'Zelig-like' be at "the center of immensities" of the issues and personalities of his day. Parallel to the story of this powerful and influential preacher is the story of Stidger's relationships to his fellow man, particularly the rich relationship that he sustained with his only daughter. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BOOK.
A well written and very timely biography...  Jun 4, 2002
This book explores the place where religion and pop culture meet. It is an honest and revealing look at the search for the American Dream via the church. Bill Stidger was a man who truly put himself on the line for what he believed. But like anyone, he had his imperfections. Jack Hyland illuminates the humanity in all his subjects. His earnest and devoted writing exposes the complexities of religion, family, fame and success. A highly recommended book.
A Great Read  May 24, 2002
This is a marvelous volume. It is meticulously researched and lovingly written by Bill Stidger's grandson. The book tells the story of the evangelist who inspired Sinclair Lewis to write Elmer Gantry. It is fascinating to observe the birth of the relationship between the electronic media and religion that would give rise years later to people like Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. The book is also a study of innovation and marketing and publicity in the Church in the first half of the last century, a reality normally overshadowed by the work of people like Billy Sunday and Father Coughlin. It is also the story of a family and a nation and the impact of a national ministry upon them. All in all it is a great combination. I am always thrilled when I really enjoy a book and learn a lot from it.
An interesting book, enjoyable to read  May 13, 2002
This book is both informative and interesting. As much a history book as a book about religion. This is a personal account of a very famous man and the times in which he lived. The recognizable names of important people that came into his life are impressive, and the actual stories of the last fifty years of history are told with such detail, that it is like re-living those times. His sincere dedication to people of every faith, from every walk of life; and to his religion, comes out strongly in the story. Underlying this story of the church and its changes, is a personal testimony of his great love of family. The book is well written and describes this colorful personality with such clear detail that you feel as though you actually knew him, or at least wished that you had known him.

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