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From 'Televangelist' to 'Intervangelist': The Emergence of the Streaming Video Preacher

TitleFrom 'Televangelist' to 'Intervangelist': The Emergence of the Streaming Video Preacher
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBekkering, DJ
JournalJournal of Religion and Popular Culture
KeywordsChristianity, Evangelicalism, internet, Streaming Video, Televangelism

The present study begins by recovering the origins of the terms "televangelism" and "televangelist." "Televangelism" first appeared in 1958 as the title of a proselytization project of the Southern Baptist Convention that combined dramatic television programs with efforts to engage viewers in person. "Televangelist" was introduced in 1975 to describe an emerging type of American television preacher, the most successful of whom built powerful parachurch organizations. The neologism "intervangelist" is then presented to label contemporary video preachers broadcasting online. A content analysis of video platforms on the site Streaming Faith reveals a group of intervangelists who head established or aspiring megachurches. It is demonstrated that the information and opportunities for interaction surrounding the videos of these intervangelists provide their ministries with tools for gaining the attention and donations of viewers, as well as resources for attracting physical attendees to their churches.