As Billy Graham aged, he recognized the importance of continuing to connect and be relevant to the younger generation. His evangelistic roots began with Youth for Christ, and he never lost his heart for reaching young people with the Gospel. As he sought to share his message, Billy Graham asked Christian rock groups like DC Talk to bring music to the Crusade events. Their lyrics often infused Billy Graham’s sermons, and thousands of young people came to Christ as a result.
DC Talk first appeared at a Billy Graham Crusade in Cleveland, Ohio in 1994. At the time, no one really knew how a Youth Night at a Crusade would be received, but an overwhelming 65,000 people crowded the stadium where the event was held and over 6,500 accepted Christ that night. Michael Tait, a singer with DC Talk recalls, “We were on stage and Billy calls people forward and we just start bawling.” It was certainly a powerful experience for the Christian band.
At the Sacramento, California Crusade in October 1995, DC Talk presented a gold record commemorating the sale of a million of their album Free at Last to Billy Graham. Each member inscribed a message to Billy on the back, showing just how much he meant to each of them.
Lead singer Toby Mac’s message reads:
Dr. Graham, (Billy)
Thanks for caring about the youth and staying on the cutting edge of evangelism. You’re (sic) open-mindedness about ministering through the musical language of our generation is a “shot heard ‘round the world.” I see and hear your heart, and truly look to you as a mentor.