Religion in America: What makes a televangelist tick?
Do you think your background in television production has helped you get where you are now?
I know it's helped me. We started a station before my dad died and I learned how to run the stationthe lead in, the lead out, all the different aspects thereand I do think that's given me a good background . . . Also, it's important to me that the production of our broadcast is very high quality. I realize that you've got to have good cameras and lighting and good presentation if you expect your message to be received, because you're competing with people, if that's the right word, that are doing the Grammies and local news, and you can't be subpar. That's certainly helped us, because when people flip by and say, "What is this?" it's on that same level.
You've been nicknamed "the smiling preacher" by the media. How do you feel about the moniker?
[Laughs.] Some people thought I would be offended by it, but I'm not. I'm a happy person and I've always smiledin my little baby pictures, I've got a smile, I'm smilingso I don't mind and I think its good because, beyond the funny part of it, it shows that it's ok to be happy, it's ok to enjoy your life. I've got a good marriage, great kids and I'm happy and I love the Lord and it's OK. For a while if you went to church, you were not supposed to have funyou went in there and got told what you were not supposed to do and came out of there kind of draggingand it's really just the opposite. We try to make it a celebration.
Religion in America, a regular feature of usnews.com, probes issues of faith in the United States.