Crusade City Spotlight: 1955 All Scotland Crusade
Billy Graham’s grandson, Will Graham, was in Peterhead, Scotland, Oct. 5-9, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands at his North East Scotland Celebration of Hope.
One year after Billy Graham’s ice-breaking trip to London, he spent six unforgettable weeks in Scotland, sharing the Gospel in person from metropolitan Glasgow to coastal Aberdeen.
Since 1953, Scottish Christians had been stirring to communicate the Gospel message to their country. “Our All-Scotland Crusade, beginning on March 21, 1955, was to be just a part of the harvesting from the faithful sowing and nurturing of the spiritual seed done by those Christians, as I told the 1,000 clergymen who gathered at Glasgow’s St. Andrew’s Hall to welcome us,” Mr. Graham said in Just As I Am.
The Christian community believed this event would make history, and it ended up being the first of many trips from the Graham family.
The first night of the Crusade, Kelvin Hall was filled to capacity. It had originally held up to 9,000 people, but they had renovated it to hold several thousand more.
“I felt a strong closeness with the audience that I could explain only as the power of the Holy Spirit. But when I gave the Invitation at the end of the sermon, not a soul moved,” said Mr. Graham. “I bowed my head in prayer, and moments later, when I looked up, people were streaming down the aisles, some with tears in their eyes.”
Throughout the span of the Crusade, Mr. Graham noticed something special. Unchurched, or uncommitted, people attended this Crusade more than any previous one, and it was spreading beyond just Scotland. The BBC beamed the sermon Mr. Graham had preached on the cross, and that single program had the largest audience since the coronation of the Queen—who they later discovered had watched the program herself.
“We reached a half-million more people in our six weeks in Glasgow and at single rallies in Aberdeen and Inverness than the 2 million we had touched in twelve weeks in London. And the response to the Gospel by recorded inquirers, which numbered some 38,000 in London, went beyond 52,000 in Scotland,” Mr. Graham said.