Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Billy Graham goes to the Big Apple

Billy Graham Posted by Hello

I recall with great fondness to serve as the co-chair of the Men's Committee on the Middle Tennessee Billy Graham Crusade in June 1-4, 2000. The business leaders, churches, many volunteers and media pulled together for an historic crusade.

Many activities to mobilize Nashville together included pastoral prayer meetings, early morning strategic planning meetings, youth rallies, women's gatherings, training events for evangelism and followups, assembly of backpacks and school supplies to disperse for the upcoming school year, and much more -- all in a tremendous effort bring the city together across denominational lines for the purpose of unity and compassion to all that reside in the Middle Tennessee area.

One fun event was mobilizing the men in the area by holding a warm up rally that gathered a overflow gathering of 7,000 men to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to hear sports figures Chris Sanders, wide receiver of the football Tennessee Titans; Darryl Waltrip, Nascar driver and commentator, Ricky Skaggs, bluegrass musician extraordinaire and motivational speaker / author Zig Ziglar.

Mr. Graham's first crusade of 2000 brought crowds averaging 52,500 to Nashville's Adelphia Coliseum each evening of the four-day event. More than 2,100 individuals responded each evening to the evangelist's invitation to make a commitment to Christ.

The New York Times writes: "When a fiery young preacher named Billy Graham first journeyed to New York City in 1957, his national reputation had already been building. But he arrived in this famously secular city - regarded as something of a graveyard for evangelists - feeling more than a bit of trepidation.

"No other city in America - perhaps in the world - presented as great a challenge to evangelism," he wrote in his memoirs. He confessed during his opening sermon at Madison Square Garden that he had been "frightened" by the prospect of coming.

1 Posted by Hello
Now, nearly a half century later, the Rev. Billy Graham, 86, his once-booming baritone reduced to a scratchy whisper, is set to preach to New York City once again, for what he and his aides say is probably his final crusade. But after preaching his story of God's love to more than 200 million people in 180 countries and territories, he comes this weekend to preach in Flushing Meadows, Queens, to a drastically changed city, according to many pastors and academics.

Here in New York, not only is there a mixture of ethnic background but there's a mixture of the problems of the world,' Billy Graham said. 'There's 100-and-something languages spoken within walking distance of Corona Park, and I know that the problems of the world are there. And I believe that the gospel of Christ is the answer, not part of the answer, but the whole answer.'

2 Posted by Hello

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

No Shortcuts to Heaven

New York Times article

No comments: