(Spartanburg). Evangel Cathedral of Spartanburg, one of the state’s megachurches, has its roots in an old-fashioned tent revival in 1928. Participants in the revival founded an Assemblies of God church on Wofford Street. In 1968, when Houston Miles became pastor, membership was 175. A new revival, led by Venita Mack and organized by the Full Gospel Businessmen International (FGBI), took place in the church beginning in July 1971. After two weeks the FGBI pulled out, but the meetings continued for several months under the church’s sponsorship. The revival dramatically changed the church. It became a center of the charismatic movement in the Southeast, a position it would maintain for several years. It also left the Assemblies of God to become nondenominational and became racially integrated, one of the first churches in the state to do so.
In 1973 the church moved to a location close to the intersection of Interstates 85 and 26. Continued growth led in 1988 to another move, to a sanctuary with a seating capacity of five thousand. As it has grown, Evangel Cathedral has had an impact worldwide. Informal networking with pastors in the 1970s culminated in the creation of Evangel Fellowship International (EFI), an umbrella organization and fellowship that includes hundreds of churches worldwide and functions effectively like a denominational structure. Although Miles retired from the senior pastorate of Evangel Cathedral in 1999, he continued to lead EFI. In 1999 membership was 2,500. Theologically, the church is evangelical. Its worship style is contemporary, making use of drama and multimedia presentations, and has left its Pentecostal roots behind.