Religious Meetings

Carolinas For Christ

Billy Graham team members must go back at least two years to recall anything like the Charlotte crusade.

Reinforcing a warm North Carolina welcome is a spirit of expectancy and conviction in the meetings. In his home town, Graham is preaching with unusual freedom and power.

At the very outset, the crusade broke into a cultural and social bracket that was not thoroughly penetrated since Graham’s Oklahoma City meetings of 1956. The country club set not only turned out to hear the evangelist at the big-domed Charlotte Coliseum, but arranged inquiry meetings in homes. As a result, many of the Carolinian elite were coming to grips with spiritual reality.

Graham feels that the crusade went deeper more quickly than any other he can remember. He says many are coming to the meetings with the definite expectation of responding to the invitation. Nation-wide telecasts helped to prepare the way, Graham explains, along with the general feeling that the world is at a dead end and that something radical must be done.

The crusade is the talk of the town. Communications media are giving it the big-story treatment. One newspaper is publishing every sermon in full.

The Coliseum manager said the opening service of the crusade found an overflow crowd of 13,175 in the main auditorium and another 1,200 in an adjoining auditorium, where sound equipment a few days later was augmented with closed circuit television. Even during weekdays, vacant seats were scarce. Nearly 3,000 decisions for Christ were recorded during the first week of the crusade.

The crusade is scheduled to run through Sunday, October 19. Graham was considering a one-week extension. Every Saturday night meeting is being telecast nationally.

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