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.


War Without End

For many military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, their only relief comes from a drug that is illegal in Texas: marijuana. Can a growing band of cannabis advocates persuade our legislators to change that?

Head of The Class

The question isn’t how the followers of an obscure Turkish imam came to operate the largest charter school system in Texas. It’s whether the incredible success they’ve had can help our ailing public schools.

Texas High Ways

A growing chorus of unlikely voices, from the El Paso City Council to the Arizona attorney general, has called for a serious look at legalizing marijuana. Why Texas should lead the way.

American Idol

Although many people haven’t heard of him, Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of the most famous—and richest— preachers in the country. Whence cometh this man?

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”?


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.

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.

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.

God’s Angry Man

Evangelist James Robison is using the pulpit, prime time
television, and Cullen Davis to try to save the world.

God’s Angry Man

Evangelist James Robison is using the pulpit, prime time
television, and Cullen Davis to try to save the world.

The Baptists Want You!

Don’­t take this wrong, but they’­ve hired Eldridge Cleaver to get you.

Preparing the Fatted Calf

America is alive and well at the Houston Livestock Show.

Growing Old at Willie Nelson’s Picnic

What is it like to miss the sexual revolution (and some others) by a mere handful of years?