Throughout 2021, we’ll be honoring our local heroes by showcasing items given to Billy Graham by law enforcement, firefighters, and military personnel throughout the course of his ministry.
Billy Graham held many significant Crusade events in New York City. In 1957, he held his first Crusade in the city at Madison Square Garden. That Crusade lasted an amazing 16 weeks and millions were reached with the message of the Gospel. Over 2.4 million people attended the meetings and more than 61,000 made decisions for Christ. While Billy Graham had been on the national scene for more than eight years, this Crusade helped seal his reputation as “America’s preacher.”
The final night of the New York Crusade was held in Yankee Stadium, and more than 100,000 people crammed into the venue to hear him preach. At the time, this was the largest crowd that had ever attended an event there.
Billy Graham returned to New York City several times: June 1969, June 1970, September 1991 when 250,000 filled Central Park, and his final Crusade in June 2005.
Certainly with such high levels of crowds, Billy Graham recognized the significant contribution of the local police in maintaining security for his team and all those who attended. When he returned to New York City in 1969 in preparation for his upcoming Crusade, he met with officers from the St. George Association of the police department. They presented him with a “Golden Rule Award” plaque honoring his efforts as an evangelist.