Harvard University Receives the Vast Archives of Televangelist Carlton Pearson

051216_Pearson_273.jpgCarlton Pearson, a former Pentecostal televangelist, has donated his personnel archives to the Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School. The archives include thousands of hours of raw and produced footage from Pearson’s days as a televangelist. Pearson broke with the Pentecostal Church in 2005.

Pearson is a graduate of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is the author of God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu . . . : God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us (Atria Books, 2013).

maria_f._frederickMarla Frederick, professor of African and African American studies at Harvard notes the importance of the collection by stating that “it’s one thing to be in a service with them and actually see what happens, and it’s another to get the hyper-produced version that’s then marketed and sold. You can see how theology has changed over the years, from the ’70s to now, the evolution in American religious broadcasting. We think of this as an often-conservative theology, but there’s movement and dynamism in what takes place in religious broadcasting.”

Professor Frederick is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta and holds a Ph.D. in cultural studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She is the author of Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith (University of California Press, 2003).

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