Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Vernon Mattson

Number of Pages



Las Vegas has long been stigmatized with the label of "Sin City." While it is not difficult to understand how this image of Las Vegas came about, the power of this stereotype has masked one of the most interesting aspects of the local culture. It is a common assumption of many outsiders that Las Vegas is a spiritual wasteland devoid of any significant religious community and bereft of meaningful values or culture. But this is not the case. Las Vegas has a large, healthy, and expanding religious community. Within the religious milieu, there is a strong and rapidly expanding pentecostal dimension to the city's profile of faith; This study will focus on the pentecostals in particular. Not only are they a rapidly growing part of the local religious community, but pentecostalism is growing as a national and international movement. Some religious sociologists and historians recognize a sea change among American Christians. Most traditional mainstream denominations are in decline, but pentecostals are growing in number and in influence; These pietistic-minded Christians have made impressive inroads in a culture that represents so much of what they reflect. There exists a paradoxical relationship between the Las Vegas Strip and pentecostalism. This dissertation will explore the interplay between one of the most intense religious subcultures in America and its most secular twentieth century city.


Abounds; Charismatic; History; Las Vegas; Nevada; Pentecostal; Religious; Religious History; Sin; Vegas

Controlled Subject

Religious history

File Format


File Size

5232.64 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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