Making a Difference with Youth: Cleveland, 1994

May 6, 2024

In 1994, Billy Graham held a Crusade in Cleveland, Ohio in June. Billy Graham was 75 years old at the time, and while he had always had a heart for youth, he recognized that the majority of teenagers might see him as nothing more than an elderly man and not be super excited about attending a Crusade to hear him preach.

Likewise, the Crusade team for the event recognized a similar need and helped organize a special youth night during the Crusade. The event was billed as “the first concert to benefit its own audience” and featured Christian artists such as Michael W. Smith and DC Talk.

Posters to promote the Youth Night Event at Billy Graham’s Crusade in Cleveland, OH in 1994

Newspapers across the region shared about the great impact the concert had on attendees and indicated more than 65,000 youth filled the stadium. In an article from The Plain Dealer on June 12, 1994, the paper reported:

“The young people loved it. Beach balls bounced in the air and kids with field seats clambered on friends’ shoulders for a better view. They stood, one section after the other, creating a wave that whipped full-circle through the stands before the music started. There was enough energy to rock the Stadium before the amplifiers started humming, and it peaked during the performances.

Article from The Plain Dealer newspaper on June 12, 1994

Yet, when Billy Graham got up to speak, the crowd fell silent as he spoke of God’s love for them. He spoke the same age-old message he preached to people around the world. The Plain Dealer later reported:

“But in a service filled with current cultural styles, Graham did not change what he calls the age-old message that ‘Jesus Christ died to save sinners.’ He preached from what he has said is the Bible verse that contains his theology, John 3:16.”

In a ministry report in August 1994, the Cleveland Crusade was the main feature and reported more than 24,000 people came forward at Billy Graham’s invitation during the Crusade that spanned five days. God was certainly working in the hearts of those who came.

Ministry report following the Billy Graham Crusade in Cleveland, OH in 1994

You can see memorabilia from many of Billy Graham’s Crusades around the world in The Journey of Faith at the Billy Graham Library. Plan your visit today.

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