1957 New York Crusade

1957 New York Crusade

June 1, 2012

These are items which are not displayed in our permanent exhibit but are offered here for online viewing.

On May 15, 1957, the New York Crusade meetings began in Madison Square Garden and continued for an unprecedented 16 weeks. During those 16 weeks, 2,397,400 persons attended the meetings and 61,148 made decisions for Christ.

But, a Crusade just doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months of prayer, careful planning, training and mobilization of volunteers such as counselors, follow up workers, and ushers.

Every counselor would wear a “Counselor Badge” so they could be identified by those who came forward during the invitation. Mr. Graham would instruct those who had come forward about the decision they had made, and then he would lead them through a prayer of confession, repentance, and inviting the Lord Jesus into their lives. He would inform them saying, “standing near you is a person wearing a ‘counselor badge’ who will help you understand the decision you have made and give you materials to take home that will help you grow spiritually.”

After the Crusade was over, Robert O. Ferm took some of the conversion stories that happened during the meetings, and compiled them into a booklet called They Met God at the New York Crusade (no longer in print). These stories highlight just a few of the lives that were changed over the course of those 16 weeks. 2012 marks the 55th anniversary of the 1957 New York City Crusade. Below are items displayed from the event.


Leave a Comment

  1. David Telando

    During this crusade one night I was watching TV in Fort Worth Texas while I was in the Air Force and accepted Christ. I am still with Christ 2017 but I did backslide a few times.

  2. Jon Brown

    I was there almost every nite because my parents were in the choir and other areas of service. Also at Yankee stadium for the closing with Nixon. I think my father sat on platform that nite. JB

  3. Emily Elliott

    My husband, George, attended one of the first Crusade meetings in 1957 in N.Y., going by bus with a local church group. He received Christ as his Savior that night. I went probably the following week and also received Christ as my Savior. He ultimately went to Seminary and we became missionaries helping small groups of people to establish new churches in areas where there were no fundamental churches. We did that sort of work until the 1980’s but continued to work in local churches. George graduated to Heaven in 2014 but I am still a missionary and teach Bible lessons to after-school children in North Carolina.

  4. Virginia Moore Nichols

    As a fellow TarHeel, I am proud. You have accomplished so much,and following the guidance of the Bible in everything. You set a great example for others to follow, and to learn by your accomplishments.
    Our family, of Chatham County, NC wished you success all the way. Being decendants of devout Christians, it always amazed us the people you reached.
    Thank you, so very much. From my family, Green,Moore,Griffin,Tuck,Moody,Nichols,Atwater…..branches out further.

  5. Rev. Charles Butt

    I was there at age 10, the first time I heard the Gospel. Who Do Men Say That I Am was the message. The same question that men need to hear today. I am thankful for the ministry of Dr. Graham and those like him that preach the true Gospel. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.

  6. Rev. Robert Vetter

    I was a counselor at the N.Y. Crusade and witnessed this greatest miracle in that city – which changed more than 50,000 lives, including mine. I have been in ministry for 60 years and I owe it all to the N.Y. Crusade, in which God called me to serve Him.

  7. I thank God for me being at one of these Crusade meetings Madison Square Garden in 1957. Mahaila Jackson sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” I’ll never forget it as that was the day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. We also went to a. Crusade at a different time in Madison Square Garden. Life changing.

  8. Kate McCain

    When I was approximately 10, 1957, I accepted Christ as my Savior while Rev Graham spoke from the shore of an Adirondack Lake. We sat on the bank and listened. My parents didn’t think I was paying attention or understood what was being preached. I surprised them by jumping up and running to the shore as soon as the call was given. Mom said that the next Sunday at church I ‘scolded’ my Pastor for never telling me how easy it was to accept Christ as my Savior. He always preached on our need but never pointed us to the how. So thankful for the simple message and call that even a 10 year could understand. Was that lake Loon Lake?

  9. Rev. Robert Vetter

    I was a college senior in 1957 and served a counselor every night during the crusade. This dual experience shaped my life’s future and I have been in ministry for nearly 60 years as Pastor; Counselor and missionary leader. In college that year, I took a course in Personal Evangelism, in which we had to memorize 300 verses for our final exam. The foundation these two experiences laid has supported me personally and in ministry for all these years. Thank God for Billy Graham.

  10. Ann Holmes Spanier

    In 1957 I was a student nurse at the Methodist Hospital of Brooklyn. On many evenings of this Crusade, I travelled on the subway to Manhattan to the “Garden” to see Billy Graham. I loved hearing the old familiar hymns sung by the choir and was soon part of it. Vivid in my memories are Billy’s inspiring sermons, and also Cliff Barrows and George Beverly Shay. One night, at the end of his sermon, I went downstairs as everyone was singing “Just as I Am”, responded to the invitation and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and gave my life to Christ. I will always be grateful and thankful for the life of Billy Graham and his preaching, particularly at that time, so many years ago.

  11. Ray Alger

    I attended the 1957 Billy Graham with youngsters (I was 14) from the Methodist Church in Armonk, NY. I have no clear recollection of going forward from the upper rear seating as I was surely lead by the hand of God to the alter down front. I recall having my head touched by someone on the platform and going for counseling. This was the greatest day I had ever experienced and it resonates in my entire being yet today. Praise God for Billy Graham and the entire team! Amen!

  12. Rob Golding

    Amazing crusade. I was 17 years of age at the time – Found the event a great inspiration in my own life here in New Zealand. It was so encouraging to hear Billy Say: “Ïts been a long time since religion and conversion and the gospel has been front page news”
    Rob Golding – Auckland, New Zealand