John Ashcroft was raised in the Assemblies of God, the nation’s largest Pentecostal denomination. Ashcroft served as governor of Missouri, U.S. senator, and Attorney General of the United States. In keeping with a practice widely used in Pentecostalism, he was anointed with oil each time he took a new political office.
Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Host of "Believer’s Voice of Victory," Kenneth Copeland has long been a popular minister in the Word of Faith wing of Pentecostalism. His televised Bible studies emphasize the need to believe that God will bring health and prosperity.
Paul and Jan Crouch, Trinity Broadcasting Network
In 1973, Paul and Jan Crouch founded Trinity Broadcasting Network with partners Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, who are also connected to the Pentecostal movement. Today, TBN is the largest Christian network in the world, reaching 100,000,000 homes around the globe. The network features a variety of Christian ministers from Catholic to Southern Baptist, but its content is overwhelmingly Pentecostal and Charismatic.
Harper's has called Ted Haggard, the senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, the most influential evangelical in American politics. Along with James Dobson, the powerful founder of Focus on the Family, Haggard put Colorado Springs on the map as the epicenter of evangelicalism. He also serves as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 30 million evangelical Christians. A graduate of Oral Roberts University, Haggard's teaching emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers.
John Hagee, Cornerstone Church
John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas has more than 18,000 members. Hagee’s Charismatic teaching can be heard on radio and television broadcasts around the world. He is perhaps best known for his vocal support of the State of Israel and his work on Jewish-Christian relations.
Jack Hayford is senior pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and the Chancellor of King’s College and Seminary. Christianity Today recently named Hayford the "Pentecostal Gold Standard" because of his reputation for clear theology and his efforts to unite Pentecostalism with mainstream evangelicalism.
Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn Ministries
Benny Hinn's television program "This Is Your Day" is one of TBN’s most popular shows. His globetrotting "Miracle Crusades," where Hinn preaches about God’s healing power and lays hands on people asking for physical miracles, pack stadiums throughout the world. The Los Angeles Times has called him the most successful faith healer working today.
T.D. Jakes, Potter’s House
In 2001, Time named T.D. Jakes America’s Best Pastor. Jakes began as a part-time minister, speaking at any Pentecostal service he could find while digging ditches to support his family. Today, Jakes’ Potter’s House, a Dallas-based megachurch, is home to 30,000 members. His messages of personal empowerment through Jesus have made him both a household name among evangelicals and a highly regarded mentor for celebrities (such as Deion Sanders) and politicians (such as presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush).
Joyce Meyer, Joyce Meyer Ministries
Joyce Meyer's no-nonsense preaching style has made her radio and television programs an international hit, and her self-improvement books have reached the New York Times bestseller list. Meyer encourages believers to have faith that God will improve their physical health and financial situations. Her ministry also provides humanitarian aid to groups overseas.
Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church
Joel Osteen took the helm of Lakewood Church in Houston after his father John passed away in 1999. His message of optimism and faith empowerment have helped transform Lakewood into the nation’s largest church, housed in the former Compaq Center sports arena. Osteen’s book "Your Best Life Now" was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and his church services are broadcast to 200 million homes in the United States alone.
For several years, Rod Parsley has been pastor of World Harvest Church in Ohio and the host of "Breakthrough," a popular Charismatic television program. More recently, Parsley’s influence has been felt in American politics. His leadership at organizations such as the Center for Moral Clarity is said to have helped the Republican Party win the pivotal state of Ohio in the 2004 presidential election.
Oral Roberts, Oral Roberts University
One of the most well known revivalists in the second half of the twentieth century, Oral Roberts’ influence once rivaled that of Billy Graham. His university generated widespread acclaim when it was chartered in 1965. Though the focus of a brief financial scandal in the late 1980s, Roberts and his ministry recovered. He continues to preach to thousands each year and his legacy is felt throughout Pentecostalism.
Richard Roberts, Oral Roberts University
As a self-described prodigal, the son of Oral Roberts was an unlikely heir to his father’s throne. Today, Richard Roberts is president of Oral Roberts University and the host of “Something Good Tonight,” a nightly television program that features faith healing and prophecy.
Licensed as a minister at age ten, Al Sharpton has been a Pentecostal preacher all his life. Though he has never held political office, Sharpton is an active political organizer who has conducted widely publicized campaigns for the seats of mayor, senator, and president. He has stated his intention to campaign again for President of the United States in 2008.
Stephen Strang’s media conglomerate, Strang Communications, publishes the flagship magazine of Pentecostalism, Charisma, in addition to several other Christian titles. The company’s book division publishes dozens of the most popular Pentecostal speakers, pastors, and ministry leaders.