Many of us might not remember Marvin Gorman, I hardly do, but he passed away today. He was a pastor in Baton Rouge that has issues with Jimmy Swaggart. While it is not clear if he ever worked out his differences with the televangelist, both ministries remained in ruins and only a shadow of what they was at their peaks.
He took First Assembly of God from 100 members in 1965 to over 6,000 members in the mid 80’s. It was considered to be one of the fastest growing churches in the Pentecostal movement at its’ height. However, it all ended with Jimmy Swaggart calling him out for adultery.
I am not sure what was and what was not the truth about the affair with Marvin Gorman but it did cost him his position in the church and very possibly an appointment to the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
The Jimmy Swaggart mess
The next year, Gorman got a picture of Swaggart with a prostitute in a motel in New Orleans. There is no question about the motive behind it. It was to get payback for what happened a year before.
In the end, it destroyed both ministries and Gorman nor Swaggart would ever recover from the damage. It is a lesson that dealing with other failure with grace. Galatians tells us to restore people, not expose them.
It did not just hurt them but it hurt the wider Pentecostal movement in general. It was not an easy time to be Assemblies of God when that happened. It took several years for the movement to get back on track. In some ways, those wounds are still open.
What happened to Marvin Gorman after Jimmy Swaggart?
He went on a start a church called Temple of Praise in Gentilly, Louisana just outside of New Orleans. He would pastor there until 1999 when he retired from full time pastoral ministry.
It would never grow to be what First Assembly of God was but it did see some amazing fruit in people’s lives. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.
His last act in ministry was a revival that broke loose from four nights to almost four months in a Pentecostal church in Louisiana. It was said to be the next Pensacola. (Brownsville Revival)