Broadcast preacher Carl McIntire in 1962 purchased the historic Admiral Hotel in Cape May and founded the Christian Admiral Bible Conference and Freedom Center there

Before there was Joel Osteen, there was Oral Roberts. And before there was Oral Roberts, there was Carl McIntire, Pennsylvania’s own televangelist juggernaut.

Though he was born in Michigan, the epicenter of McIntire’s religious empire was the Philadelphia area. He had ministries in Cape May, Collingswood, and Atlantic City, plus a conservative talk radio station based in Media that targeted everyone from labor unions and gay people to the Catholic Church and Richard Nixon.

At one point, his sermons were simulcasted by over 600 radio stations across the United States — that is, until the Federal Communications Commission got involved.

In 1967, the FCC charged McIntire with violating the Fairness Doctrine, which basically mandated that radio stations give equal time to opposing viewpoints. McIntire lost appeal after appeal before attempting to broadcast from a ship in international waters (to skirt FCC purview, duh), which backfired.

After that, McIntire’s brand of religious conservatism faded into obscurity, save for one interview in 2002 where he got the last word.

For details on that quip, and more on Pennsylvania’s original talk radio empire, scroll through the thread below.

Avi Wolfman-Arent is co-host of Studio 2 and a broadcast anchor on 90.9 FM. He was previously an education reporter with WHYY, where he's worked since 2014. Prior to that he covered nonprofits for the...