Donna Johnson
Holy Ghost Girl


The Author

Donna Johnson spent years writing about the mysterious workings of technology, most of which she took on faith. She created, wrote, and produced a radio show called Tech Ranch which said everything that could be said about technology and culture in one minute, five days a week, for too many years.

Through the writing of Holy Ghost Girl Donna found a way to connect the disparate parts of her self. The sight of a gospel tent stretched against an evening sky leaves an ache in her heart, but she no longer flees at the sound of a tambourine. She has been known to tell people she'll pray for them. And she does.

The big questions posed by religion continue to occupy Donna. She has written about matters of faith for the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American Statesman. Donna lives and writes in Austin Tx, where with the help of family and friends, she works at becoming a regular person.

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Brother Terrell

Most of the big time tent revivalists have died or retired, but not Brother Terrell. He travels full time and in the summer months can be found sweating and holding forth at full volume under a blue and white canvas. The tent is small compared with the behemoths he once put up and on a good night the crowds may number a couple of hundred, but Brother Terrell still preaches like a man with his hair on fire. He travels to Africa on a regular basis where he draws thousands to a single service. You can follow his ministry on Facebook and Youtube.


The Revivals

The legacy of the tent revivals continues to shape and influence modern Christianity. Oral Roberts started as a tent preacher. Sawdust trail evangelists like Roberts and David Terrell helped usher in the Charismatic movement that swept through many mainline churches during the 1970s. The mode of worship and worldview of the mega churches can be traced to the Pentecostal ethos perpetrated by the tent preachers.

Further reading:

All Things are Possible: The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America; Indiana University Press; David Edwin Harrell, Jr.

Can Somebody Shout Amen! Inside the Tents and Tabernacles of American Revivalists;The University Press of Kentucky; Patsy Sims

The Preachers; St. Martin's Press; James Morris


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