The Archive Collection

The 1949 Los Angeles Crusade

October 1, 2013

September 25-November 20 marks the 64th anniversary of the Los Angeles Crusade held in 1949. The Crusade was scheduled for three weeks, but ran for an unprecedented eight weeks.

In his book, Just As I Am, Billy Graham shares some of his thoughts concerning those meetings. “As the Campaign went into its fifth week, we rearranged the seating to accommodate 3,000 more chairs. When that wasn’t enough, crowds overflowed into the street. We added an extension, doubling the size of the 480-foot-long tent.

Reporters were on hand to cover every meeting, and press accounts were positive. People came to the meetings for all sorts of reasons, not just religious ones. No doubt some were simply curious to see what was going on. Others were skeptical and dropped by just to confirm their prejudices. Many were desperate over some crises in their lives and hoped they might get a last chance to set things right.

Billy went on to say, “Drained as I was, physically, mentally, and emotionally, I experienced God’s unfailing grace in perpetual spiritual renewal. I wanted the Campaign to close, but I was convinced that God wanted it to continue. All my personal reserves were used up; I had to put my entire dependence on the Lord for the messages to preach and the strength to preach them. It seemed that the weaker my body became, the more powerfully God used my simple words.

During the eight weeks of meetings more than 350,000 attended and 3,000 plus made decisions for Christ. Just recently a family visiting the Library shared how those meetings changed their lives. As a result of attending, several family members came to Christ.

A Nevada resident donated the poster in the photo gallery below to the Billy Graham Library to become part of the archives. These were sent to residences in the Los Angeles area in 1949.

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