TASTING REVIVAL at Los Angeles
by Mel Larson
BILLY GRAHAM was 30 years of age on September 25, 1949, when he stepped onto the platform of a mammoth canvas cathedral tent at Los Angeles, California's Christ for Greater Los Angeles' evangelistic campaign.
Eight weeks later when he walk off the platform of that canvas cathedral whose seating capacity had been swelled to 9,000, Billy Graham had celebrated a birthday and was 31 years of age.
But a mere birthday celebration was insignificant when compared to what that six-foot-two-inch young American evangelist had seen and experienced in those eight weeks.
Revival flowed through Billy Graham during that time until the entire world was conscious of it.
David Morken in Shanghai, China, working for Christ through Youth for Christ behind the bamboo curtain, picked up his Communist-censored newspaper one day and read on page one of the revival campaign in Los Angeles, California.
Millions of people in England paused in their restricted ways to read in the London Illustrated (the Britisher's LIFE magazine) of an unusual spiritual outpouring in Los Angeles, Calif. (They did not know that one of their reporters had talked by transatlantic phone to Graham for 15 minutes in getting a first-hand report of it).
In Switzerland, an American lady missionary working in a Bible school picked up a German-language magazine full of pictures and read with keen interest of unusual spiritual meetings in California. Right in the middle of the extensive write-up was a large picture of Billy Graham and a platform scene showing Cliff Barrows leading the singing.
Across America from coast to coast and from Canada to the gulf, newspaper readers saw an Associated Press article of November 2, 1949, the story of a new rising evangelist who "tops Billy Sunday." In their November 14, 1949, issue of the Time magazine they read in their religion department that ". . . Graham seemed to be wielding the revival sickle as no one since Billy Sunday had wielded it. . . ." For 14 1/2 inches of type and photograph they read of the moving of the Holy Spirit in the city of angels.
On November 16, 1949, the millions of readers of LIFE magazine paused in their weekend reading to look at four pages of pictures of "A RISING YOUNG EVANGELIST." Readers of Newsweek, Quick and other magazines paused to read with wonder and interest of a man who had stirred Los Angeles and its film neighbor Hollywood as perhaps no churchman had stirred it for a generation.
Nothing perhaps has gripped the thinking of religious and secular Americans as did the revival campaign in Los Angeles in the autumn of 1949. Dr. Wilbur Smith of Pasadena, Calif., noted Bible scholar and theologian, appraised it in these words: "I have no doubt but that this is the most important evangelistic meeting in America this year." Others who were privileged to view the campaign and analyze it, readily agreed.
But just what did happen at Los Angeles from September 25 through November 20, 1949?
What was it that caused the hearts of Christians around the world to change their general revival praying into something specific as they looked at one another and said, "Perhaps it's here!"
What was is that catapulted the 31-year-old president of Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis and the vice-president of Youth for Christ International into international limelight?
So many other questions come to mind. Why this, why that? How this, how that? When did it start, who was behind it?
It may seem trite to say it, but it, of course, must be said. God was in it.
To be sure, God had been in previous campaigns sponsored by Clifford Smith's far-seeing, vision-filled Christ for Greater Los Angeles campaign committee. God had been with Billy Graham as he spearheaded the Youth for Christ work as it forged its dynamic way into 59 countries of the world. God had been in the work of Billy and his co-workers, Cliff and Billie Barrows, in six rugged months in England in the winter of 1946 and 1947 when campaign after campaign resulted in the needed formation of British Youth for Christ.
God had been in the adding of baritone soloist George Beverly Shea to the team in the summer of 1949 to round out the three-man group. God had been with them in city-wide campaigns in Grand Rapids, Mich., Des Moines, Iowa, Charlotte, N.C., Augusta, Ga., Altoona, Pa., Miami, Fla., and many other places. Thousands of converts in those places will be thankful through eternity for what happened when Billy Graham and his co-workers came to their cities.
But, somehow, in the autumn of 1949, things "just bubbled over."
When the campaign was completed, the report given by executive secretary C. C. Jenkins showed that 3000 people had professed Christ as personal Saviour. Another 3000 people either had re-consecrated their lives to Christ or come back to Christ weeping forgiveness for their sins. A total of 350,000 people had filed in and out of the mammoth tent in the 72 meetings. Times without number there were thousands of people standing along the outside. One crowd was estimated at more than 15,000 people, with 600 of them standing on the outside.
Nothing unusual in the way of evangelism or revival happened in the first three scheduled weeks. Hundreds of people found Christ as Saviour, but this had been true in other places as well where the team had ministered or in previous Christ for Greater Los Angeles campaigns. But along toward the end of
the third week, the committee together with Graham felt that something was beginning to stir. Still, it was hard to know what to do. The plans called for stopping the campaign after the final meeting on Sunday night, October 16.
Then one of the most important committee meetings in modern-day evangelical history was held. The question: to continue or to stop the meetings. After much, much prayer, the decision was reached: Continue.
On the night of October 16, into the tent walked a man well known throughout Los Angeles and Hollywood. For 21 years he had been on the radio in the area. At the time he was conducting a program an hour and fifteen minutes each day on KFWB in Hollywood. His horses had won as much as $50,000 in a single race at nearby Santa Anita race track. He was in any man's language a "man's man." He had mentioned on his program the campaign going on at Washington and Hill streets. He even sat in on a few of the meetings at the insistence of his praying wife.
His name: Stuart Hamblen.
Billy Graham said after the campaign was over, "If I could have picked two men in Los Angeles whom I would have liked to see converted in the campaign there, one of them would have been Stuart Hamblen." He realized in even the short while he was in Los Angeles that Hamblen was a key man in the area, with tremendous influence.
The night that the campaign was scheduled to close, Hamblen was in the tent. He had come home from a weekend hunting trip which had not turned out too well. As he explained later, he thought that if he could hold out for one more meeting against conviction surging in his own heart, he would be all right.
When the committee announced that the campaign was to continue another week, his heart sank. He was angry as he walked from the tent that night. He explained later that he did not know how long he could hold out.
The details leading up to the conversion of Stuart Hamblen on Monday morning, October 17, 1949, at 4:30 in the morning in Billy Graham's room in the Langham hotel in Los Angeles, are soul-stirring, and would require a whole chapter in themselves. We could not do justice here, either, to the way in which this tremendously interesting individual has of telling it. But, it happened. God did a thorough job of it. Stuart Hamblen was born again through the power of the Holy Spirit.
That decision electrified the entire area.[watch a YouTube video of Stuart Hamblen singing at the 1963 Graham crusade in Los Angeles, introduced by Billy Graham]
The warmth of the testimony of a newly born-again Christian was heard the following day on a radio program. It startled thousands of listeners. It amazed them. It was a subject of ridicule and scorn by some all along Sunset Strip in Hollywood, a mile-long stretch of boulevard owned and frequented almost entirely by movie people. The odds there were 100 to 1 that he would not hold out a week. Then they slipped to 50 to 1, to 10 to 1. Finally you could not even get even money.
He sold his racing stable except for El Lobo, the favorite which he kept for sentimental reasons. The night that he gave his testimony of what Christ had done for him the tent was packed. Graham did not have to preach. He merely gave the invitation. Two weeks later there was hardly a dry eye in the great tent when Hamblen's aging mother and father from Abilene, Texas, mounted the platform and told of how God had answered prayer in behalf of their wayward son. Stuart Hamblen's father is a preacher of the gospel in the Methodist church.
The newspapers took immediate note. Entire pages were turned over to the campaign as editors realized that something newsworthy was going on. Pictures were taken by the hundreds. Magazines sent crack reporters to get articles on Graham and the team. Three thousand seats were added to the tent, making seating capacity 9000. Yet there was not enough room, other thousands stood or were turned away. Then came the
Associated Press, United Press and International News Service dispatches spreading the campaign to every spot in America and Canada. Life and Time added to it, as well as many others.
Other leading people in Hollywood and Los Angeles were reached for Christ. Television actor Harvey Fritz, a man who only a year before had lined his family up against a wall in an adobe home in Arizona and threatened to kill them all, came to the tent one night. Only the courage of a 13-year old son who had stepped in front of Fritz' divorced wife and said, "Don't kill my mommy," had kept him from being a murderer. He was, in his own words, "a mean man." His program, "Out Wickenberg Way," heard regularly on KFI-TV, in Los Angeles, was one of the favorites in the region. People may have thought he was a good man, but he knew differently.
Conviction hit him so hard at the tent and in the prayer room following the message by Billy that he became belligerent. He tossed chairs around. No one was going to convert him! In anger he even tried to strike Clifford Smith, chairman of the committee. But near midnight that evening, God won another important victory. When Harvey Fritz opened his next television program he opened it with "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and "Shall We Gather at the River." He explained to his audience that they were more than words to a mere song. He also told what God had done for him.
When the program was over, his sponsors told him not to mention the name of Jesus Christ on his programs again. To which a now-gentle but born-again Fritz could only say, "Jesus Christ means more to me than all of the radio programs in Hollywood." The contract was cancelled. He was a man without a job. But . . . he had Christ. Within a week he had visited his estranged wife in Arizona and left the children with not a fear for their daddy but a Gospel of John and a way to say grace at the table!
A faithful neighbor told Louis Zamperini, Olympic miler in 1936 and survivor of 47 days on a life raft in the recent war,
of the meetings. Zamperini finally attended with his wife. They came back again, and again. On the third night, they went into the prayer tent and accepted Christ as Saviour.
As the press carried the reports of the campaign in increasing quantity, people in underworld as well as other walks of life took notice. Curiosity drew Jim Vaus, a friend of Mickey Cohen, to the tent one night. In Vaus' pocket was a ticket East to start a new job and make a tremendous amount of money as a wire tapper. But God had an eternal ticket ready for him. That night in the prayer tent, Jim Vaus took Christ as his personal Saviour. The plane ticket was ripped into bits. A new life was started. To the district attorney's office he went to make false testimony correct. Around the city he traveled to various people to make restitution. Opportunities unlimited opened to him to talk to his former friends of what Christ had done for Him. Again, the city sat up and took notice.
These are but four of the thousands who came to Christ. There is no doubt but that the turning to Christ of these four men and others equally as prominent did much to reach many unconverted people in the Los Angeles area. But, and here again it was made clear, it was no more important that they were converted than any of the other 3000 who came.
Graham wrote in an article in the January, 1950, Youth for Christ Magazine, that to him the success of the campaign was rooted in three things. First, the prayers of God's people. Secondly, the power of the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, the power of the Word of God.
Prayer meetings in behalf of the campaign had been started a full 18 months before even one service was held! Nine months before the opening night, they had begun to meet regularly. They kept it up steadily for the next nine months, with very few breaks. Several all-day prayer meetings had been held. During the campaign, a number of all-night prayer meetings were conducted. As Billy explained to the religious press after it was over, "Anyone could preach with that prayer support."
Wires and cables from all parts of the world reached the team, signifying that the senders were praying. Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis took an entire day off classes to remember their leader. Prayer meetings at the evening services started 30 minutes prior to the opening song. Many times there was standing room only in the prayer tent! Cliff Smith very often had time only to read a fraction of the prayer requests which stacked high in his hand at that vital service.
No one but the men closest to the work of Christ for Greater Los Angeles committee will appreciate the definite answer to prayer which came only a few weeks before the campaign opened. That concerned where the tent was to be erected. Location after location had closed up. The committee was in human desperation before God. Suddenly the lot at Washington and Hill streets opened up, a corner to become sacred to thousands.
So deep was the moving of the Holy Spirit that at times Graham did not have to preach. After some of the testimonies from the converts all he had to do was give the invitation. And the sinners came, seeking Christ. One night of the final week he was half way through his message when a man ran down the aisle, called up to Graham on the platform and asked if he could become Christian right then. Billy referred him to T.W. Wilson, assistant president at Northwestern Schools, who then was helping him, and they went into the prayer tent. When Billy stood up again to get back into his sermon, he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to give the invitation right then. He did, and about 200 people went into the prayer tent.
All possible hindrances to the working of the Holy Spirit were removed during the campaign. Applause was kept at a bare minimum. There was little instrumental music or singing of choruses. Beverly Shea concentrated on the old gospel songs which had been used of God so greatly in the past. Cliff Barrows centered his song leading and programming around the hymns
of revival of days past, using as a theme song, "Send a Great Revival in My Soul."
Skeptics who came to find fault with Graham's messages went away with but one conclusion. They could not argue with Graham. Their argument was with the Word of God.
Those huge crowds were told a number of times each night, it seemed, that "This isn't Billy Graham's opinion. This is the Word of God." The sermons he gave were peppered and sprinkled freely with the Word of God. Illustrations went out the window. Graham merely declared the Word of God and hungry people responded. As the campaign continued he would spend from six to eight hours a day in working out new messages, secluding himself from everyone in order to get alone with God and receive the message He had for him to give to people.
The prayer tent was a separate canvas building right alongside the main tent. Entrances to it were from both sides of the platform. As these who responded to the invitation reached the smaller tent, they were met by I. A. "Daddy" Moon at one entrance or Ben Weiss at the other. These two men were in a large way responsible for the follow-up work and the personal counselling in the prayer tent. The experiences they can tell and have told could form a book in themselves. On at least two instances, divorced couples met in the prayer tent, were re-united after making decisions to accept Christ, and made immediate plans to be remarried. Entire families were converted. One personal worker led 92 people to Christ during the eight weeks. Two pastors of the city came to know Christ as Saviour. A member of the vice squad of the Los Angeles police department was saved. And so many more, each with a separate story of God's power to cleanse and save from sin.
In the background of it was the Christ for Greater Los Angeles committee headed by Smith and Jenkins. They had done in a human way all that could be done to prepare the way for revival. J. Edwin Orr, well known around the world for his
keen interest in revival, was sent through the area for an entire month prior to the campaign, speaking and creating prayer interest. Armin Gesswein of Pasadena, veteran of the Norway revivals of the 1940's, spent two weeks doing the same thing. Grady Wilson, Billy's associate evangelist, came two weeks early. Graham and Barrows came a week prior to the campaign to meet the committees for prayer and check final details. (It was during that week that Graham made his first contact with Stuart Hamblen.) Everything was done to make 480-foot long tent as comfortable and as attractively decorated as possible. Everyone agreed when it was over that "This was of God," but a mountain of human effort and work also had gone into it.
Through it all, the men of the team moved with an easy and confident step that God was working. Cliff Barrows was in charge of the music from beginning to end, as well as the conducting of the meeting. The 26-year old graduate of Bob Jones University and his wife, Billie, at one of the organs made a perfect musical team. God had prepared them for this challenge through their experience on both sides of the Atlantic and in thousands of Youth for Christ rallies and other meetings.
Beverly Shea, son of a Methodist pastor, brought the songs of the gospel to the throngs in a quiet, reverent way. His solo immediately preceding Graham's message was of special depth as it prepared the hearts of the listeners for the sermon. As Graham once said, in starting to speak, "We might even give the invitation right now."
Associate Evangelist Grady Wilson spent the first three weeks of the campaign there, then had to leave for another campaign at which he was scheduled. Thus he did not get to see God working in the amazing way that the Los Angeles meetings developed. Wilson is a native of Charlotte, N.C., and grew up along with Billy in that city. On his shoulders fell much of the detail of the team as well as the carrying on in the preaching on a number of occasions.
In this day of wondering what makes atomic energy develop and all of the discussion about the hydrogen bomb, other people are wondering as they look at Billy Graham and see the tremendous job he is doing, "What keeps Billy ticking?"
What is it that has brought this lank, handsome southern lad to the place where people are tagging him as the next great revivalist?
What has been the molding process of this unusual young man of God as he has developed into an international figure?
Billy was born in Charlotte, N. C., the son of Frank and Morrow Graham, on November 7, 1918. His father was a dairy farmer. The family was Southern Presbyterian and it was in that church that Billy grew up. He developed into a sports-loving young fellow who loved baseball above the rest of them. First base was his specialty and he played it well.
One day in 1936, evangelist Mordecai Ham came to Charlotte to hold a campaign. Billy scoffed inwardly at the efforts he made at winning people to Christ, but one night the lanky first baseman was in attendance at the tent. When the invitation was given, 16-year old Billy walked down the sawdust aisle to accept Christ as his Saviour.
He felt an urge to preach almost immediately, and did a lot of it in the missions and churches around home as he finished high school. Then he enrolled at the Florida Bible Institute in Tampa, Florida, for Bible training. When he had completed his training there he went to Bob Jones University (then at Cleveland, Tenn.) for a term or two before transferring to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where he completed his college work. It was at Wheaton that he met the daughter of a returned Southern Presbyterian medical missionary to China, Ruth Bell. Things progress in a normal romantic way and they were married on Friday, August 13, 1943, at Montreat, N.C. Into their home at Montreat, a few miles from Charlotte, have come two girls, Virginia, 4, and Ann, 2. Reporters once asked
Mrs. Graham how she liked it with Billy being away from home so much. She told them, "I'd rather spend a little time with him than a lot of time with any other man in the whole world." Her heart is solidly behind the work being carried on by her husband no matter what the sacrifice she may be called on to make.
While at Wheaton, Graham pastored the Village Church of Western Springs, a few miles from Wheaton. When he finished school, he accepted a call to be a full-time pastor there. Included in his church schedule was a Sunday evening radio program of 45 minutes duration which brought his ministry into the homes of thousands in the Chicago area. The program, "Songs in the Night," has Beverly Shea and the King's Kar-rollers as the main musical basis with Graham interspersing brief comments between the musical numbers. The program soon became one of the most popular in the region.
One day in January, 1945, Dr. Torrey M. Johnson of Chicago, then the pastor of the Midwest Bible church, director of the Chicagoland Youth for Christ and beginning to assume the responsibilities of Youth for Christ International in its formative stages, called Billy Graham on the phone and invited him to come to Chicago to talk about Youth for Christ. The two men met in a barren office room at 130 N. Wells Street in Chicago, and after a long prayer session, Johnson asked Graham to become the first paid employee of Youth for Christ International. Billy was led of God to accept it.
Then followed three years in the most strenuous evangelistic campaigning that he ever has gone through. Billy reached all parts of the United States and Canada in speaking at Youth for Christ rallies and conferences as the movement mushroomed in all parts of the continent. He spared himself not a bit as he moved through the swirl of the beginning of this movement which now has rallies in 59 countries of the world.
Only eternity will reveal the tremendous amount of work done through Graham in working with Torrey Johnson, Charles
Templeton, Dick Harvey, Bob Cook and others in those early days of Youth for Christ. He was one of the five men Johnson Graham, Templeton, Stratton Shufelt and newspaperman Wesley Hartzell who made that important Youth for Christ European survey trip in the spring of 1946. In the fall of 1946 he left America along with Cliff and Billie Barrows to spend six months in England as a Youth for Christ team. That was one of England's coldest winters because of the low temperatures and the lack of fuel. By March, 1947, the campaigns had been so successful that a national Youth for Christ conference called in Birmingham resulted in the formation of British Youth for Christ. Thousands of people were won to Christ in those six months of campaigns. British Youth for Christ then was left with the challenge to carry on the work.
On four other occasions Graham has been to Europe since the end of the war. His ministry has been felt in almost every country of Europe, both through messages delivered in those places or through contact with the many delegates at the Youth for Christ World Congress on Evangelism at Beatenberg, Switzerland, in August, 1948.
Anyone watching him at work in those days might well have said even as they say now when he is in the midst of a revival campaign, "How can he stand up under it?"
It has been only through strength given to him by God that he has been able to stand the pace. He was a sick man after the six months spent in England. As one reporter wrote in one story, "Graham looks and feels like a dishrag, after a message." But a burning passion and zeal to win men to Christ forces him to go on.
On December 7, 1948, he accepted the presidency of Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the school founded and directed for so many years by Dr. W. B. Riley. On his sick bed a number of months before he died, Dr. Riley had designated Billy Graham as his successor. Graham turned the offer down first, but later accepted it. He is able to spend
about 20 per cent of his time in Minneapolis and has gathered around him a capable teaching faculty which is doing a thorough job in Christian education in the Bible school, seminary and college departments. In 1949-50 school year there were 1150 students in a day school from 41 states and 17 foreign countries. In traveling in Europe, Graham saw the need of trained personnel in those countries and has instigated at Northwestern a policy whereby foreign students need pay no tuition or board or room.
At about the same time that he assumed the presidency of Northwestern Schools he formed the evangelistic team which in a unique way has been used of God to bring revival fires burning in many sections of our land. Barrows was a natural choice for the songleader. Methodist-backgrounded Beverly Shea, who said once, "I was brought up with the smell of Methodist camp meetings in my nostrils," came along as the soloist. It meant it would keep him away from some of the meetings because of his having to return to Chicago each Tuesday morning for his network broadcast, but Shea was willing to do that.
So they started, with their first campaign in Grand Rapids, Mich., Des Moines, Iowa, was next, followed by Augusta, Ga., then Miami, Fla., Altoona, Pa., and others. In each place the Lord blessed their efforts and many converts were won to a personal faith in Christ. Day in and day out they came to know each other in a better way and to mold their three personalities into a workable revival unit. Mrs. Billie Barrows accompanied at the organ or the piano. Grady Wilson, boyhood chum of Billy's, rounded out the team in the roll of associate evangelist.
Campaign after campaign proved to be the "biggest held in our city for many years." The ripples of revival were not felt in those cases, but the Holy Spirit did eternal work in hundreds of lives in each city.
Billy's preaching style remained the same. His command of the platform increased with each series. As one of the top orators in evangelical Christianity he attracted people to hear him just to study how he spoke. Many remained to be converted. Up and down the platform he strode, his arms raised or lowered as the case might be, his eyes aflame with the message on his heart. Photographers by the scores watched him catlike as he delivered his messages. Veteran preachers were warmed in a strange way as he held aloft his Bible and quoted freely from the Word of God as he spoke.
In Los Angeles he used for the first time the lapel microphone which allowed him freedom of action as he spoke. Keeping the attention of that vast throng in Los Angeles was a task in itself. A portion of the people sat in front of him, looking at him straight on. Another great section would have had to look at one side of his face had he preached straight ahead all of the time. The other great section would have seen the other side of his face. So he walked back and forth five long strides each way sometimes stopping halfway across and coming back toward one side. Sitting behind him to see that the lapel cord did not trip him up was his buddy Cliff Barrows.
There was no holding back in his preaching. Every ounce of his energy was poured into the message. His voice gave out in all of its strength as power as he declared the power of God and the salvation of people through belief in Christ's death for them on the cross. His messages were fresh each night. Some of them may have been given before, but they were delivered from a warm heart which was thumping with the challenge of lost and dying people sitting before him.
The Bible would be laid on the pulpit to give him more freedom. He would stop, place his hands on his knees and drive home another point in all its sincerity and power.
When invitation time came, he again was in command. There was no sugary-voiced pleading for people to come to Christ. It was a man-to-man approach. The invitations were
not prolonged after people had stopped coming. When he felt that God had completed His work in a service, he would close the meeting. After a brief time of shaking hands with friends, back to the prayer tent he would go for personal counselling of the converts. This was a vital part of his night of ministry as he told them of things which would help them in their Christian living.
Then back to his room after stopping in some off-the-path eating place for a little food refreshment. Once in his room he would relax and review the day's activities, especially the night's service. Many a time sleep would not be his for hours as his body and mind recuperated from the efforts of the evening. But, when sleep did come, he would sleep the rest of the faithful servant of Christ whose life is centered in Him.
During the day, and while at home, he reads much to keep abreast of the times. His messages are up-to-date. He is right to the minute on what is happening around the world. He eats healthy normal meals, though the time he eats varies with his preaching schedules. At times when his mind is tied in with the message to come, you may see him just sitting and pecking away at the food.
Space does not permit here a well-detailed picture of the man whom Oswald J. Smith has described as "America's next great revivalist." When you see him you'll find him well dressed. His ties are bright, his clothes found in the young business men's and youth's department of a store. Wide-brimed hats are a favorite. Flaming argyle socks are the rule, not the exception.
If two words could describe him, they would be "sincerity and humility." Any time people tend to praise him for anything, he says, "This has been God's doing. He deserves ALL the praise."
And he means it.
His heart is soft, he has a kind word for anyone he meets. If time permits, he will speak to anyone he sees. If not, he will be pleasant in excusing himself.
When he returned from Los Angeles to Minneapolis after the campaign there, he slipped into the city the night before to avoid a student welcome home for him at the depot. That noon he talked to the Northwestern faculty and a few pastors at a luncheon in the Curtis hotel in Minneapolis. He was a subdued man as he spoke, subdued in the sense that God had watered him down to a usable size in the previous eight weeks. He reported on the meetings, gave a few personal opinions of how God was working and the reasons he had for the success of the meetings.
In the closing words, the great heart of Billy Graham bared itself wide open. He could not thank the faculty members enough for their prayers in his behalf. When he came to mention the lengthy telegram they had sent him when the decision was made to continue the seventh week and thus necessitate his staying away from the school's annual founder's week, in which the closing words were, "We love you, Billy," he broke down. Tears filled his eyes, he choked up, said a few more words, and sat down.
So we have seen a glimpse of Billy Graham, man of God for the mid-century.
Chapter Two || Table of Contents