Being too poor to own a home, the Swaggarts lived in church basements, pastors' homes, and small motels.Sun Records producer Sam Phillips wanted to start a gospel line of music for the label (undoubtedly to remain in competition with RCA Victor and Columbia, who also had gospel lines) and wanted Swaggart for Sun as the label's first gospel artist.Swaggart's cousin Jerry Lee Lewis, who had previously signed with Sun, was reportedly making ,000 per week at the time.
Preaching from a flatbed trailer donated to him, Swaggart began full-time evangelistic work in 1955.
He began developing a revival-meeting following throughout the American South.
In 1960, he began recording gospel music record albums and transmitting on Christian radio stations.
Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935) is an American evangelist, Christian music singer, pianist, pastor, and author.
His 1980s telecast was transmitted to over 3,000 stations and cable systems each week. Sexual scandals with prostitutes in the late 1980s and early 1990s led the Assemblies of God to defrock him.