Then and Now: Scotland Crusades

June 20, 2018

On June 15-17, Will Graham held a Celebration of Hope in Scotland where he preached the Gospel to thousands of Scots. Billy Graham preached the same message of hope in Jesus Christ to the people of Scotland 63 years ago in 1955. During Billy Graham’s multi-city Scotland Crusade, about 50 percent of Scots attended church regularly. This number has shifted drastically, as today only 7 percent of Scots attend church regularly. Although these messages occurred at different times, and the structure looks different, the truth of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ remains the same. Take a look at the comparison between the Grahams sharing the Gospel with Scotland today versus 63 years ago.

Billy Graham preaching in Glasgow in 1955.

THEN: Billy Graham Crusade – All Scotland Crusade 1955

In 1954 Billy Graham held a Crusade in London that opened the doors for his Scotland crusade in 1955. Referred to as the “All Scotland Crusade,” this event started on March 21, 1955 and lasted six weeks. Billy Graham had the opportunity to preach in metropolitan Glasgow to coastal Aberdeen. More than 2.5 million people attended his Crusade, resulting in over 52,000 recorded decisions for Christ.

During this Crusade, the music was directed by Cliff Barrows who was accompanied by a choir. Billy Graham would assume the pulpit and preach about the Gospel, explaining that everyone is a sinner but the hope of salvation can be found in Jesus Christ. Many came to know the Truth through his preaching, and were invited to go forward and take a stand if they wanted to commit their lives to Christ.

This Crusade was broadcasted by the BBC, and it became the program to have the largest audience since the coronation of the Queen. “We reached a half-million more people in our six weeks in Glasgow… than the 2 million we had touched in twelve weeks in London.” Mr. Graham said in Just As I Am. Billy Graham was able to return to Scotland in 1991 for his “Mission Scotland” crusade.

Billy Graham’s grandson, Will Graham, preaching in Falkirk in 2018.

NOW: Will Graham Celebration of Hope – Falkirk, Scotland 2018

Having visited Peterhead, Scotland in 2016, Will Graham was excited when he received the invitation to return to Scotland and hold a Celebration of Hope in Falkirk. The Celebration was a resounding proclamation of everyone’s need for salvation and the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. After each message of hope, Will invited anyone who wanted to take a stand for Christ to come forward and make a commitment to Him.

The music style has changed a bit from Billy Graham’s crusades to Will’s Celebrations. Will was accompanied by musical guests Aaron Shust, The Afters, and Newsboys throughout the weekend. A special Kidzfest was also held Saturday morning where Will was joined by Duggie Dug Dug.

The three day Celebration brought in many people who were hungry for truth, and just like the Crusades of Billy Graham, hearts were won over to the Lord. No matter how society changes, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will never change, and always has the power to save.

Read more about the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and how it has changed through the years.

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