The year was 1957, the day was June 3. The New York City Crusade Committee met and voted to officially extend the monumental Crusade to July 20, where a closing ceremony would be held at Yankee Stadium. At that point, the Crusade (which began May 15) had already run for two weeks and seen thousands come to Christ.
Billy Graham writes of this decision in his autobiography Just As I Am:
“From my standpoint, the decision to extend wasn’t so easy; by the end of those weeks, I was already physically depleted. I also had run out of sermons and was having to prepare a new one every day. Some night during those later weeks, I sat on the platform and prayed silently, “ O God, You have to do it. I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.” And yet when I stood up, all of a sudden the words would begin to come – God giving strength and spiritual power in a way that could not be explained in human terms.”
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the record-setting 1957 New York City Crusade. Check out this month’s Archive Collection to see some unique items from the events. You can also see several pieces of rare memorabilia and unique stories in the Journey of Faith tour at The Billy Graham Library.