During the course of 2022, we’ll take a look at memorabilia from locations where Billy Graham preached and will be locations where Franklin Graham or Will Graham will preach this year during evangelistic events, continuing the legacy Billy Graham and his team began more than 70 years ago.
In 1974, Billy Graham visited Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of any Crusade effort, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association worked in the local community around a year leading up to the actual event in order to coordinate churches and training efforts. Billy Graham was always very much concerned with counseling and follow-up with new believers and wanted to make sure anyone who came to accept Christ would get connected with a church near their home so the church could provide continued discipleship.
One training that was commonly done before Crusade events was called “Schools of Evangelism,” where people who would be volunteering during the Crusade could learn about how to effectively share Christ and the good news of the Gospel. During the training, attendees would receive packets of information about how to clearly and simply share the story of Jesus’ love and sacrifice and what it means to each and every person.
This month’s archive feature is a folder from the Rio de Janeiro School of Evangelism event prior to Billy Graham’s Crusade event there in 1974. During that Crusade more than 590,000 people attended the 5-day event, signaling the large desire of Brazilians to hear the truth of Jesus Christ.
Of the event, Rev. Graham wrote in his autobiography, Just As I Am: “A quarter-million people gathered for the concluding meeting in Maracanã Stadium, a record for that facility. During the service, I could hear people beating on the locked doors as tens of thousands more tried to get in. The closing meeting was televised on all the networks across the country on the orders of the president; Crusade director Henry Holley was told that up to 50 million people saw the program. When we were ready to leave the stadium, the police escort was reluctant to open the gates for fear the crowd, in their enthusiasm, might riot.”
The Legacy Continues
On June 11, Franklin Graham will follow in his father’s footsteps as he visits Rio de Janeiro for a Festival event, Esperança Rio, there on the world-famous Copacabana beach. For more information, visit: https://esperancario.com/