William Martin

William Martin is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at Rice University and Chavanne Senior Fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute, where he directs two programs, Religion and Public Policy and Drug Policy. After graduating from Abilene Christian University and Harvard Divinity School, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1969. During his 45 years at Rice, he has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is the author of seven books, including A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story; regarded as the authoritative biography of the famed evangelist; With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America, the companion volume to a PBS mini-series of the same name; and My Prostate and Me: Dealing with Prostate Cancer. In addition to nearly 90 articles in Texas Monthly, beginning in 1974, his writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Harper’s, and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His reviews of religious services throughout the state (1979 to 1983 and 2006 to 2008) were the subject of a 60 Minutes segment in 1979. Bill and his wife, Patricia, divide their time between Houston and Wimberley.

Stories

Oak Hill Church of Christ

William Martin reviews our places of worship.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

William Martin reviews our places of worship.

First Baptist Church of Austin

William Martin reviews our places of worship.

Cornerstone Church

William Martin reviews our places of worship.

Prime Minister

The fastest-growing church in the world. The biggest congregation this side of the Vatican. The highest ratings of any religious broadcaster. One of the best-selling religious books in years. Can Joel Osteen get an “Amen”?

Amen

Three decades after his last megamission in Dallas, age and poor health haven’t slowed Billy Graham down (well, not much). He’s still the most powerful evangelist since Jesus, and there will never be another like him.

Sunday Best

With love, discipline, and old-time religion, Kirbyjon Caldwell has built one of Texas’ most vital churches.

Focus: Old Faithful

In Texas, spirituality ebbs and flows, but fundamentalism remains a dominant force.

Billy and Lyndon

Lyndon Johnson understood all too well the advantages of being Billy Graham’s buddy.

What’s the Sound of One Texan Meditating?

John Toler switched from advertising to Zen, Emerson to Buddha, and Lubbock to the Land of the Lotus.

The Fastest Nice Christian Boy in the World

Bobby Morrow was America’s most celebrated Olympic athlete in 1956. Today he wishes he’d never left the starting blocks.

Good Christian Pageant Fans, Rejoice

Houston’s First Baptist Church wants to be number one in Texas, and an eye-popping Christmas spectacle is one way it beckons the faithful.

Good Christian Pageant Fans, Rejoice

Houston’s First Baptist Church wants to be number one in Texas, and an eye-popping Christmas spectacle is one way it beckons the faithful.

The Guardians Who Slumbereth Not

Textbook watchdogs Mel and Norma Gabler are good, sincere, dedicated people, who just may be destroying your child’s education.

The Tongue-Lashing

A host of Pentecostals gathered in Dallas to hug, kiss, sing, babble, and get the chewing-out of their lives.

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