A Hometown Boy Returns to Share God’s Love

October 4, 2023

In September and October, 1958, Billy Graham held his second Crusade event in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The five-week event was held in the Charlotte Coliseum, and more than 420,000 people flocked to hear the young evangelist over the course of the Crusade.

Billy Graham preaches during his 1958 Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina

Throughout the Crusade, The Charlotte Observer, the local newspaper, printed the text from Rev. Graham’s sermons each day. He spoke on a variety of topics over the course of the month – always pointing people to salvation through Jesus Christ.

Ticket from Billy Graham’s 1958 Crusade in Charlotte, North Carolina
Article from The Charlotte Observer on October 9, 1958, reporting the text from the previous night’s sermon by Billy Graham

Below is a portion of what Billy Graham preached the evening of October 8, 1958 from his pulpit in the Charlotte Coliseum:

Newspaper people are always asking me, and a lot of people ask the question, they have a right to, “Do the people last who come forward?” Those that have been born again of the Holy Spirit do last, because God gives them a new nature. They receive God’s own life. You see in your present position the Bible says that sin has come between you and God and you are cut off from God’s life just like this leaf is cut off from that plant. All right, this leaf looks perfect. It has life now but it has been cut off from the source of life. You come back tomorrow afternoon and it will be wilted and you come back in two or three days from now and it will be dry and dead, though it looks perfect now. You look perfect now. You look fine now, but you are separated from God. You are cut off from life. Sin has cut the connection between you and God. You are separated from God, and the Bible says you are dead. Your soul is dead towards God. The moment the Holy Spirit speaks to your dead soul, you hear His voice, but God has to help you to respond because you have no life within you to respond on your own. God helps you to respond and God will help you even when you walk down the aisle to give your life to Christ. You take that first step and God will help you take that other step. When you do, by faith, receive Christ, immediately your life is grafted into God’s own nature. You become a partaker of God’s divine life and the sap, the life of God, begins to flow through you. In the Bible, that is called “eternal life,” God’s own life flowing through you…

You do not live the Christian life by yourself. If you are trying to live the Christian life without depending on the Holy Spirit, I can tell you right now that you are a miserable flop. You are a failure. You are a wash-out. The Holy Spirit lives in you. You say, “But Billy, I do not see Him.” Take Him by faith. He lives in you, and it is the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness. Those are the fruit of the Spirit…

Peace, why let all the atomic bombs in all the stock piles fall. Let the world tumble around you. Thank God in the midst of it all there is quiet, inward peace…

Now when you come to that moment of death, as surely you will, God will give you peace, peace that the world does not know anything about! You will not go out into eternity screaming.

Find out more about Billy Graham’s more than 70 years of ministry by taking The Journey of Faith tour at the Billy Graham Library. Admission is always free. Plan your visit.

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