300 Full gospel movement

Greater St. Stephen Bishop and pastor, Paul Morton,

The New Orleans Advocate

In July 1994 The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International held its first convention in New Orleans.

The Full Gospel movement changed the way thousands of New Orleanians went to church. Started in the 1990s by Bishop Paul Morton, the movement has grown exponentially throughout New Orleans and the nation.

Morton, pastor of Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church, began adding Pentecostal elements to his services – including speaking in tongues and laying on of hands. The more dynamic service drew more people, and by the mid 1990s, the church had 10,000 members. Other young preachers were taking the same path as Morton, including J.D. Wiley and Robert Blakes in New Orleans. In 1994 they came together as the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International and held their first convention in New Orleans, marking an informal split with the National Baptist Convention of African American churches.

Hurricane Katrina forced the city’s Full Gospel churches to rebuild. Morton began splitting his time between Atlanta and New Orleans. His wife, Debra, is now co-pastor of the New Orleans church with Morton.