On March 1, 1954, Billy Graham began his Greater London Crusade at Harringay Arena, continuing until May. A year later the All-Scotland Crusade took place in Glasgow, followed by a further week in London at Wembley Stadium. Four years gives sufficient perspective for an interim judgment. This article mainly concerns England, but Great Britain is so closely integrated that some of the comment may be read also for Scotland.
Without doubt there are many thousands of vigorous Christians today who four years ago were not so. An indication of their number is provided by the startling rise in British membership of the Scripture Union system of daily Bible reading, which was openly advocated by the crusade as an important feature of the follow-up. In the two years of 1954 and 1955, membership leaped by no less than 120,000—the figures being approximately 60,000 each year. Undoubtedly among the thousands who recorded decisions during the Crusades were many who knew not what they did; that was to be expected. Others, being linked to unsympathetic churches, lapsed through spiritual starvation. But the evidence is conclusive that a substantial proportion of those who came forward have grown into maturing Christians; where they were grafted to faithful praying churches the number is high indeed.
The population of Great Britain is 50 million. In the light of that, any figures must lead to sober reflection rather than shallow rejoicing. On the other hand, many of the Billy Graham converts have since brought others to Christ. The effect is cumulative. And since 1954 an impressive array of young men and women of all social levels, and older ones too, have dedicated themselves to full time service of the Gospel; 22 out of the 32 men ordained ...1
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