Billy James Hargis was born in Texarkana, Texas, on 3rd August, 1925. He was ordained by the Rose Hill Christian Church in 1943. Later he worked as a full-time minister at the First Christian Church at Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Granby, Missouri and at Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
In 1947 Hargis organized Christian Crusade, as "a Christian weapon against Communism and its godless allies". Hargis also ran an Annual Anti-Communist Leadership School. His daily broadcasts were carried by around 250 television and 500 radio stations across the United States.
A close friend of General Edwin Walker he became a member of the John Birch Society. Hargis used his national media network to promote right-wing politicians. This included writing speeches for Joseph McCarthy. In 1953 he travelled to West Germany where he launched 100,000 balloons, with Bible verses attached, over the iron curtain.
Hargis believed that the John F. Kennedy was assassinated as a result of a communist conspiracy and in 1964 published a book attacking communism entitled The Far Left. He also believed that the KGB and the American Communist Party tried to place the blame on right-wing organizations. "In spite of the absolute, indisputable evidence that Lee Oswalds mind was molded by Communist conspiracy propaganda, that his hatred was of the American free enterprise system and all it embraces, and that no one with even the remotest connection with what is considered to be the extreme right has any remote connection with the entire hideous affair, the propaganda voices of the left continue to try to blame right wing conservatives for creating the atmosphere of 'hate' which caused Oswald to commit the assassination of President Kennedy. Do they really think the American people are that stupid? There is no doubt in my mind that the Communist assassin, Lee Oswald, intended to kill the President of the United States and disappear in the confused crowd, thus letting the conservative, anti-Communist element of Dallas take the blame. But it didnt work. God is on the throne. He saw to it that Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended by a courageous Dallas policeman, Officer Tippit, who, in turn, gave his life for the cause of freedom in attempting to arrest the Communist assassin of the President."
Hargis was a strong supporter of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Presidential Election. In one radio broadcast Hargis accused the journalist, Fred Cook, of smearing Goldwater. When Red Lion, a Pennsylvania Radio Station refused Cook a right of reply, he sued. As a result of this case the Supreme Court established the "fairness doctrine".
In 1966 Hargis set up American Christian College in Tulsa. In his radio broadcasts he attacked the Beatles, long hair, the Anti-Defamation League, women's liberation and sex education and X-rated movies. He also promoted his college choir, the "All-American Kids".
It was rumoured that Hargis had been seducing members of his college. In 1974 two of his students claimed that they had had sex with him - one was female, one was male (they had discovered they had both had sex with Hargis on their wedding night) - other students corroborated the story. This story was revealed by Time Magazine in 1976. As a result of the scandal Hargis was forced to close his American Christian College.
Hargis continued to promote his right-wing Christian fundamentalism and published Why I Fight for a Christian America (1974), Federal Reserve Scandal (1984), My Great Mistake (1985) and Communist America (1986).
Billy James Hargis died on 27th November, 2004.