Grant Wacker, a nationally known expert in American religion, will present a lecture on Friday, October 12, 2012 at 2 p.m. in the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. The public is invited to attend.
His lecture, entitled "Billy Graham and the Shaping of Modern America," will reflect his recent research about the famous evangelist for a book of the same title, under contract with Harvard University Press.
Wacker is a professor of Christian history at Duke Divinity School. He is the coeditor or author of seven books, including Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture. He recently authored, with Randall Balmer and Jon Butler, a survey textbook of American religious history from Oxford University Press, called Religion in American Life: A Short History.
Professor Wacker, who is the immediate-past president of the American Society of Church History, has served as a senior editor of the quarterly journal, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture.
Wacker deposited his Pentecostal research materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, where they are now accessible to students and researchers. The Grant Wacker Collection consists of 13.75 linear feet of files and numerous books, together constituting the raw materials from which he crafted his scholarly assessments of the Pentecostal movement. The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, led by AGTS alumnus Darrin Rodgers ('98) and located in the Assemblies of God national offices in Springfield, Missouri, is the world's largest Pentecostal archive and research center. Its expanding archival collections are an important resource for students at AGTS and elsewhere.
Wacker will be honored during the Evangel University Homecoming, when President Robert Spence will dedicate the Grant Wacker Collection on Thursday, October 11, at 3:30 p.m. The ceremony will be held in Riggs Hall, which is named after Wacker's grandfather, Ralph Riggs, who served as general superintendent of the Assemblies of God from 1953 to 1959.