NBC Evening News for Thursday, Oct 20, 1977
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(Studio) Evangelical movement encompasses 1/3 of American adults; is growing in every section of country and in all Christian faiths.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(Norfolk, Virginia) [ANNOUNCER - announces B.J. Thomas.] Thomas makes kind of comeback at Golden Nugget Lounge in Las Vegas. Before Thomas went broke last year, lost marriage and nearly lost life, he made lot of money and spent it on drugs. [THOMAS - describes extent of drug habit.] Thomas was desperate man when estranged wife introduced him to friend who introd. him to prayer. [THOMAS - describes feeling upon accepting Jesus Christ and being rid of drug addiction.] This is basic experience of evangelical Christian. [THOMAS - will give testimony through song.] Thomas' 1st religious record is best seller of day. Details with regard to Christian music recording and book publishing inds. cited; exs. of types of books and sales records listed, include those by Charles Colson and Marabel Morgan. Religion has even gone into comic books, with cartoon characters Archie and Jughead getting out of mischief through Jesus. "Christian Yellow Pages", now available in 12 states, urges Christians to buy only from advertisers who are born again Christians, like Glory to Cod Pest Control. 4 of last 5 years best seller of year has been religious book; secular market beginning to get into act. Women's sex magazine, "Viva", plans article on evangelicals. ["Viva" editor Kathy KEETON - says religion is business and in America it's very big business.] Amt. and type of Christian broadcasting each year noted. National Religious Broadcasters Association says electronic church has surpassed organized church. Procedure on "The 700 Club", run by Pat Robertson, known as Christian Johnny Carson, noted. [Phone OPERATOR - talks to caller re: religion.] [ROBERTSON - feels that in next 5 years, there is opportunity to fulfill dream of early Virginia settlers, to use America to glorify God.] Next report to with regard to Christian America.
REPORTER: John Hart