One of the big questions many of us have had about why Southern California became the place that championed Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and then Ronald Reagan for the presidency, why Southern California became a place where huge conservative mega-churches were founded, why Southern California became a place where mighty entrepreneurial empires were founded in the post-depression era. That question has been answered in careful historical detail by Darren Dochuk in his From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism. He details how during the Depression, evangelicals from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and other Southern states fled west looking for work. And they stayed. And they built conservative schools to counter the effects of Berkeley and UCLA. And they built great churches (and some, maybe not so great). For anyone seeking to understand these developments, this book by Dochuk is indispensable reading.
Chad Owen Brand