Guest / Limited Access /

The author of Latino Pentecostal Identity (Columbia, 2003), Arlene Sanchez Walsh is in the middle of a three-year Lilly Foundation study on U.S. Latino prosperity churches. CT associate editor Madison Trammel asked the Azusa Pacific University professor how such churches mirror—and differ from—their counterparts in Africa.

How widespread is the prosperity gospel among U.S. Latinos?
Latino prosperity denominations like Maranatha boast 400 churches worldwide. But prosperity might best be measured in terms of influence. I measure its significance by how many Latinos are influenced by prosperity teachings via the media, not only TBN, but also Almavision, which is based in Los Angeles and has more than 30 outlets in predominately Latino areas from New York to Charlotte to Washington state. People hear those teachings and incorporate them into their preexisting Pentecostal-charismatic theologies, creating a hybrid Pentecostalism that is typical in Latino churches.

In what ways are Latino prosperity churches different from their primarily white or black counterparts in the U.S.?
They have often been taught by white or black prosperity teachers. Those who are graduates of Kenneth Hagin's Rhema school are traditionalists: If you don't get healed, it's because you did not have enough faith, period. But the Maranatha denomination is similar to African churches. It does not like the prosperity label and will not acknowledge it is a prosperity church, even when pushed.

How else are Latino prosperity churches similar to African renewalists? Immigrant churches are especially similar, though few are as brazen as some of the African churches described in this article. Maranatha churches will pray for finances and for debt to be ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Sorrow But No Regrets
My life in the troubled, redemptive church.
Current IssueChristianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards
Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
RecommendedHere’s Who Will Pray at Trump’s Inauguration
Here’s Who Will Pray at Trump’s Inauguration
(UPDATED) What the president-elect's unusually broad and diverse clergy lineup tells us.
TrendingThe Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
The Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
What Paula White’s Washington moment implies for the prosperity gospel’s future.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
First Church of Prosperidad
hide thisJuly July

In the Magazine

July 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.