The first meeting had started. The entire bay area had become aware that the “pitiful minority” representing Protestant Christianity had joined hands in a united witness for Christ.

Church and city officials had brought words of welcome, and a magnificent choir of 1600 voices had stirred the audience as they sang, “How Great Thou Art,” and later, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Through all this, a man in a grey flannel suit had watched from a box seat. He seemed only an incidental spectator. When the vast audience joined in hymns of the Church he did not sing.… But now the sermon—a message of man’s need and of God’s love—was over. There was a short invitation, telling of the vital importance of accepting the Christ of Calvary as Saviour and Lord.… First to walk purposefully forward were a husband and wife, the latter carrying a sleeping child. Then by the tens and even by the hundreds came men and women, boys and girls—people of every social strata and many national and racial backgrounds … a sailor holding his girl by the hand … on and on they came. There was little suggestion of outward emotion, only determination; and, on the faces of some, obvious joy and relief. Just as the more than four hundred were turning into the counselling room, the man in the grey flannel suit, accompanied by a distinguished elderly man, head high and purpose in his eyes, walked forward and took his place with the others.

I attended the early meetings of the Billy Graham San Francisco Bay Cities Crusade, not only because an area stirred for Christ is a spiritual stimulus, but also because this witness holds a significance which has no relation to the statistics, reports and news stories in the daily papers. The great significance of these meetings has nothing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.