Biography of Preacher and Evangelist Billy James Hargis Part 2

About the famous preacher and evangelist Billy James Hargis, history and biography of the religious figure and leader.


A few years later Hargis was quoted as an expert on communism in an official U.S. Air Force manual for noncommissioned officers. The Tulsa crusader used the opportunity to denounce the "treasons" of the National Council of Churches. The NCC bitterly complained to the Pentagon and Reverend Hargis found himself back in the salubrious glow of national publicity.

Though his politics are at very least "exotic," in relation to the American mainstream, he counts a number of congressmen, governors, and several high-ranking military men among his supporters.

The Hargis mind-set is described in reports from his 11th annual conference of the Christian Crusade, held in Tulsa in 1969. Alabama Governor George C. Wallace appeared and praised the delegates for their work "against subversive elements." Retired Brig. Gen. Clyde G. Watts announced that there are "one or more Communist cells in every major educational institution in the U.S." And longtime Hargis intimate retired Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker flatly stated that President Nixon was "financing revolutionists at home" while "tripping around like a fairy in Asia."

Reverend Hargis, a graduate of the "bawl and jump" school of Southern evangelism, has done well for himself in the rarefied atmosphere of the fringe right. In 1965 the Christian Crusade Cathedral was built in Tulsa for 3/4 of a million dollars. It houses a chapel, administrative offices, publishing and broadcasting facilities, an auditorium, and a museum of Christian art and artifacts. Later, data processing equipment, a bookstore, and library were added.

Meanwhile, Reverend Hargis has traded in the $40,000 home he said was "a shack by U.S. standards." In 1971 the Oklahoma Journal reported that the Church of the Christian Crusade had purchased a hilltop home for the Hargis family in Tulsa's "Executive Estates." The new homestead had been listed for $500,000 but was probably sold to the preacher at a somewhat lower price. Its exterior is white marble. It contains 11,000' of floor space, including a heated indoor swimming pool, a 40' game room, an 85' sun deck, a fallout shelter, and 90 telephone outlets.

Billy James Hargis has "arrived," at last.

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