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

Main Street Religion

The power and charm of the Reverend Charles Allen go beyond his own church, First United Methodist of Houston. Simple, standard churches like First Presbyterian in Brownsville are the solid rock of American religion.

Main Street Religion

The power and charm of the Reverend Charles Allen go beyond his own church, First United Methodist of Houston. Simple, standard churches like First Presbyterian in Brownsville are the solid rock of American religion.

Mustard Seeds

Ninety-four per cent of Americans believe in God. That and other gleanings from recent polls reveal that the nation’s faith is stronger than ever.

Mustard Seeds

Ninety-four per cent of Americans believe in God. That and other gleanings from recent polls reveal that the nation’s faith is stronger than ever.

A Flourishing Bride Of Christ

El Paso’s Ysleta Mission, the oldest church in Texas, is also one of the liveliest; what Houston Christian Scientists lack in testimonial passion they make up for in self-possession.

A Flourishing Bride Of Christ

El Paso’s Ysleta Mission, the oldest church in Texas, is also one of the liveliest; what Houston Christian Scientists lack in testimonial passion they make up for in self-possession.

The Soaps Get Religion

Another Life, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s born-again soap, hasn’t discarded the essentials of the genre: sex, crime, and violence.

The Lord Giveth And The Lord Giveth

Evangelist Kenneth Copeland has good news: the faithful don’t have to wait for heaven to reap their reward. An Eastern Orthodox congregation in Austin is strict about performance of the liturgy but lax about getting to the church on time.

The Lord Giveth And The Lord Giveth

Evangelist Kenneth Copeland has good news: the faithful don’t have to wait for heaven to reap their reward. An Eastern Orthodox congregation in Austin is strict about performance of the liturgy but lax about getting to the church on time.

Stumpers in the Pulpit

Potlicking in Houston churches is nothing new for a lot of black Baptist preachers. It just comes with the territory.

Stumpers in the Pulpit

Potlicking in Houston churches is nothing new for a lot of black Baptist preachers. It just comes with the territory.

Time of Repentance, Season of Joy

On Yom Kippur, Jews in Dallas mark the Day of Atonement; on Christmas Eve, Episcopalians in Houston gather for a night of adoration.

Time of Repentance, Season of Joy

On Yom Kippur, Jews in Dallas mark the Day of Atonement; on Christmas Eve, Episcopalians in Houston gather for a night of adoration.

Tell It, Brother Hill!

A visiting revivalist lays some eloquent preaching on Pasadena Baptists. Nearby in Houston, the festival of Purim gives templegoers good reason to dress up, drink up, and raise a ruckus.

Tell It, Brother Hill!

A visiting revivalist lays some eloquent preaching on Pasadena Baptists. Nearby in Houston, the festival of Purim gives templegoers good reason to dress up, drink up, and raise a ruckus.

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