The Archive Collection

Billy Graham’s first Crusade

September 1, 2017

Seventy years ago this month, Billy Graham held his very first citywide Crusade in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This rare, colorful advertisement promoting this initial Crusade is featured in a new special display, Answering the Call, located in The Journey of Faith at the Billy Graham Library.

During this initial Crusade, Billy Graham was employed by Youth for Christ as their first full-time evangelist, which is why Youth for Christ’s name appears on this advertisement. (The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association would be created three years later).

Six thousand people came to hear Mr. Graham preach from September 13-September 21, 1947 in Grand Rapids—five hundred of those inquired about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only God knew that this first Crusade would be the beginning of Billy Graham’s lifetime of ministry to the world.

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