To assess the magnitude of Billy Graham’s Australasian campaign, CHRISTIANITY TODAYwent to pastors and church officials who worked within the organization of the meetings and thus were in the best position to determine what really happened. Here are their comments, which represent views from ministers of various denominations and shades of theology:

THE VERY REV. S. BARTON BABBAGE, Anglican Dean of Melbourne: “The crusade has given to the churches a fresh understanding of the place and purpose of evangelism. Evangelism is no longer suspect. It is now seen to be the primary function of the church. And the consequence is a determination to continue the work of evangelism. The churches are again on the job.”

DR. IRVING C. BENSON, minister of Wesley Methodist Church, Melbourne: “The crusade has been a spiritual phenomenon challenging compromise and complacency, pleading for full personal committal to Christian living. Whatever losses there will be, the fruit will abide to the enrichment of churches and the strengthening of the moral character of the community. To me the outstanding lesson of the crusade has been the revelation of the spiritual hunger in the hearts of people whom one would never suspect of it. What emerges from this crusade is that evangelism must be the central and constant purpose of the church.”

THE REV. E. C. BURLEIGH, president of the South Australian Baptist Union and principal of the South Australian Theological College: “Beyond the wonderful response in attendances and decisions during the crusade was the supreme experience of the manifestation of God’s Spirit. Theological students were reminded of the importance of the Scriptures, of the necessity of personal commitment to Christ, and of the minister’s constant task of seeking men for Him. Our faith is stronger through the crusade.”

THE REV. GORDON S. FREEMAN, immediate past president of the Baptist Union of West Australia: “The reality far surpassed the expectations. It had to be seen to be believed. Perth was never like this—West Australians crowding to hear the Gospel. The anticipation, the action, the inspiration was soon over and gone, but the Christian Church in Western Australia carries on the work with deep and abiding gratitude to God for his visitation in this, our time.”

A Place In Perspective

Billy Graham returned home this month to his rustic mountain dwelling at Montreat, North Carolina, hopeful of a summer’s rest. He had been away for six months, during which he experienced possibly the greatest trials but certainly the greatest victories of his already illustrious ministry.

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Clearly the Australasian campaign stirred more religious interest than was ever before generated “down under.” A more precise cataloguing of the crusade in historical perspective must await the outcome of follow-up, but a place among the major religious phenomena of the twentieth century seems assured. Here’s why:

—Grass roots penetration of the Gospel was so extensive that even the most optimistic of Australian churchmen were amazed. With overwhelmingly favorable press, radio, and television coverage, virtually the entire population became keenly aware that an evangelistic message was being proclaimed.

—Scope of cooperation between churches and denominations was on a scale few thought possible in this day. The land saw true ecumenism at work. The unity was a unity of purpose: evangelism.

—Public response was likewise unprecedented for a Graham campaign, as a popular topic of conversation, in enthusiastic crusade participation, and—most important—in number of inquirers.

—Depth of social effect was also in evidence in unusual measure even for the most ideally-planned of evangelistic endeavors. Conspicuous aspects: the reports of reduced crime and increased Bible sales.

Graham’s Australasian crusade reached an aggregate attendance of more than 3,250,000. The number of inquirers topped 142,000. The crusade was comprised of 114 separate meetings, plus 3,000 “land-line relay services.”

Did Graham detect among ministers any increased respect for the authority of the Bible as the Word of God?

“I most certainly did,” said the evangelist. “There are a number of new books on the authority of the Bible which are making a great impact. Ministers working with us in the crusade confirmed this new interest.”

The spiritual triumphs of the crusade take on still more meaning when considered against the adverse circumstances encountered. A month before the scheduled start of the meetings, Graham was stricken with an eye ailment. Doctors prescribed extended rest, and there was doubt whether it was advisable for the patient to begin another strenuous campaign. Fears increased when the eye failed to respond immediately to treatment, but Graham went ahead with only a week’s delay. Slowly his vision improved until, as of early July, the affected eye was about “90 per cent normal.” With winter approaching, weather posed as an obstacle, too. Turnouts were so great that, for the most part, only large outdoor arenas would suffice, and the meetings were at the mercy of the elements. But rain did not prove to be greatly detrimental.

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Then there was the geographic problem—how to effectively cover so vast an area (Perth is 3,350 miles from Auckland, as far as New York is from Algiers). Cooperation from radio and television stations helped to bridge the gaps.

To be aware of what really happened in Australia is to see how contrary to fact are published accounts which assert that the demand for Graham’s message is declining. Such error, one observer noted, is quite possibly wishful thinking of those who refuse to recognize Graham’s successes as the blessing of God, who cannot explain his popularity otherwise, and thus hope that he will soon pass from the religious spotlight.

One of the most heartening aspects of the crusade was the prospect of excellent follow-up in each place where meetings were held. Graham indicated that he was satisfied the system could efficiently assure subsequent spiritual counsel for inquirers. Knowing of the follow-up, he said, the team left with “peace at heart.” The story of Australasian evangelism, 1959, is necessarily well-punctuated with superlatives. Considering that what transpired was the manifestation of an omnipotent God, Graham and his team could only be grateful that it was so.

THE REV. D. M. HIMBURY, principal of the Baptist College of Victoria: “The greatest problem which confronts the ministerial candidate is to resolve the tension between his consciousness of the divine call to active service and the necessity for academic study which the churches rightly lay upon him. The Graham crusade has done much to resolve this tension in the minds of our students. In the counselling classes and the work they did following the meetings they have discovered their own inadequacies and need of training. They have come back to us with a deep longing for a well-integrated theology that will enable them, by God’s grace, to meet the great spiritual hunger of the Australian people which the crusade has brought vividly to our attention. Petty doctrinal differences, so characteristic of a theological college, have been transcended by the new urgency which has been brought to our work.”

THE REV. A. W. R. MILLIGAN, secretary of the Methodist Conference of Victoria and Tasmania: “Thousands have come to know Christ as Lord, but even more important is the fact that Christians in general now have a new concern for others. There is a buoyancy in my church, and within the whole community of Methodism. There is a new sense of expectation and a new hope that was not there before the crusade.”

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THE REV. DAVID LIVINGSTONE, Anglican rector from Kingsford, Sydney: “While there is some evidence that some inquirers have had no genuine spiritual experience, nothing has ever hit the ordinary person so hard as this crusade has done. Congregations, Bible classes, and study groups have greatly increased attendances. In almost every house visited the people themselves now introduce spiritual topics, something very rarely seen before the crusade. Many workmen tell me that there is now more honesty and better work being done in factories and offices.”

THE RIGHT REV. MARCUS LOANE, Bishop Coadjutor, Anglican Diocese of Sydney: “Sydney has never been so widely or deeply stirred as it has been during this crusade. The many thousands who have crowded the meetings at the showground throughout the month and who have responded to the invitation at every meeting have revealed a spiritual hunger which was scarcely suspected. There is perhaps hardly a church in the metropolitan area which is not now rejoicing in those who have declared themselves willing to put their trust in Christ and receive him as their Lord and Saviour. The crusade has unified all the churches in a fellowship which has proved more real and effective than we have ever known.”

THE REV. K. A. MCNAUGHTON, pastor of the Swanston Street Church of Christ, Melbourne: “Ours is what Americans call a downtown city church. We gave all cooperation in the crusade. Now we have counsellors who speak of the wonderful training they received and who are looking for further opportunities of service. We have new members in the church. People testify to the spiritual awakening God has given them. Our work has been uplifted and helped.”

THE REV. GEORGE NASH, minister of Albert Street Methodist Church, Brisbane: “Australia has never experienced a nationwide religious revival such as many older countries have known. There are many signs that under the ministry of Dr. Billy Graham such a nationwide revival of religion has begun amongst us. In Queensland we have seen the largest crowds that have ever gathered for a religious service.”

THE REV. GORDON POWELL, minister of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Sydney: “Sydney is a pleasure-loving city. Its people have been described as amiable pagans. Its church people have always had a struggle and too often been weak and defeated. What a difference there is now! There is a spirit of gaiety and confidence amongst the church people. Morale is at an all-time high and all the city is talking religion and the churches, working joyfully together, feel a new strength. We believe it is the beginning of the first big revival in our history. God has done great things whereof we are glad.”

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Where Now?

Billy Graham’s next engagement is a week-end evangelistic series in Little Rock, Arkansas, scheduled to coincide with the opening of integrated public schools there.

From the Little Rock meetings September 12–13 Graham plans to travel to Wheaton (Ill.) College, his alma mater, where a centenary year observance is to be launched.

Much of the remainder of the evangelist’s fall schedule will be taken up by a month-long crusade in Indianapolis starting October 6.

Other definite plans include a tour of Africa next year and an eight-week crusade in Philadelphia in the summer and fall of 1961.

Graham also hopes to conduct additional campaigns in Europe within the next several years. In addition, he and his aides are studying the possibility of meetings in Chicago and Washington.

THE REV. LANCE SHILTON, Anglican rector of Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide: “The Christian community in Adelaide was strong, but small, prior to the crusade. Now it has been greatly strengthened so that the message of the Gospel has become an everyday topic. The Bible has again become the supreme authority, and the evangelical has become evangelistic. Church members have become trained personal counsellors. Hundreds are still asking, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ The churches are now equipped to give the answer!”

THE VERY REV. MARTIN SULLIVAN, Anglican Dean of Christchurch: “The clear evidence is available that thousands of people in New Zealand were touched by the Spirit of God in the Billy Graham crusade and responded to the challenge. I write out of direct personal experience of what happened in one city, but we know that the whole country was affected in the same way. In the first place, many men and women made a direct commitment to Jesus Christ. Secondly, there are thousands who have made an act of dedication. Above all, every single person who has made a commitment has been brought into a Christ-led flock.”

THE REV. ALAN WALKER, minister of Central Methodist Mission, Sydney: “We have come … to the end of the greatest series of religious meetings in the history of Australia. Only the Spirit of God, the Christian gospel and a Christian preacher could have produced this miracle … Life for many of us will never be the same again. Lives have been changed, homes reunited, churches quickened. Humbly, gratefully, we acknowledge the goodness of God.”

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DR. E. H. WATSON, director, department of evangelism, Baptist Union of New South Wales: “Church life in Sydney has been revolutionized. Baptists report greatly increased attendances and many added to membership. The city has been jolted into an awareness of God’s power to change lives.”

DR. A. H. WOOD, president-general of the Methodist Church in Australasia: “The Graham crusade has been the most remarkable religious event of this generation in Australia. The numbers attending the meetings night after night have been one amazing evidence of success. The many thousands who have responded in each city have given the churches an opportunity which they have not known before. The Methodist Church has wholeheartedly cooperated and as its official head I pay the heartiest tribute for what we have seen and experienced. To God be the glory!”

Team Thoughts

Here are observations of Billy Graham’s team members who made the trip to Australasia with him:

CLIFF BARROWS, song leader: “The enthusiasm for the music of the crusade was wonderful. Many thousands registered to sing in the choirs and I heard numerous testimonies of tremendous blessing experienced by these volunteers.”

DR. PAUL MADDOX, personal assistant to Graham: “The manner in which ‘Operation Andrew’ was utilized impressed me particularly. Delegations were rounded up each night by interested Christians who had as their goal that 80 per cent of their group be un-churched people. And they met that goal consistently!”

GRADY WILSON, associate evangelist: “We had the greatest church support and the greatest harmony that we have experienced anywhere. There was sincere heart cooperation and you could sense it. The enthusiasm was also tremendous. When we left Australia, for example, some 6,000 people stood in the rain at the airport as we boarded our plane.”

GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA, soloist: “What do I remember about Australia? God’s presence in the services—the Holy Spirit’s convicting power and his guidance. I shall never forget, moreover, the people so friendly and so hungry to know God and learn again of his love and provision for their personal redemption through the gift of his Son, our Lord.”

TEDD SMITH, pianist: “From the first day of our arrival in Australia we were all made aware of the urgency of this Mission. Christian people had prayed for years for a spiritual awakening. Now the time had come and God couldn’t fail.

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“What thrilling meetings these were. They have enriched all of our lives in an unprecedented way and given each of us a new dedication to God and His service.”

Thank You

Back in the United States, Billy Graham expressed his personal thanks to Christians who have been remembering him in prayer during the months of his Australasian campaign.

Graham said he was deeply grateful for the intercession in his behalf when he was ailing and in behalf of the meetings.

Ganis And Losses
Korean Threat

A controversy between two Presbyterian groups in the National Christian Council of Korea last month threatened the existence of the 13-year-old interdenominational organization, according to informed sources in Seoul.

Crux of the situation was that since the Korean War, Presbyterians, who make up half of this country’s Christians and three-fourths of its Protestants, have been split several ways.

Largest of these branches is the Presbyterian Church in Korea which has about 75 per cent of all Presbyterians. It has been locked in a bitter struggle with the second-ranking Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea over the latter’s claim to being the original Korean Presbyterian Church. The ROK body, which represents about 15 per cent of the Presbyterians, is linked with the United Church of Canada.

Key point was the majority General Assembly’s demand that the ROK Church give up its claim and number its General Assembly meetings from 1953, the year of the split. Otherwise, the majority body said, it cannot continue membership in the NCCK alongside “a competitive group which claims to be us.”

NCCK delegates from the larger body have been ordered by their own General Assembly to withdraw from the council if the ROK group refuses to yield its claim and adopt the new numbering.

Outsiders, however, saw little chance that the ROK Assembly would comply, since a number of court cases over disputed property have hinged on the question of which group is the true parent body.

The Holiness Church of Korea, third largest co-operating body in the NCCK, also threatened to withdraw if the main Presbyterian group ended its council membership.

Meanwhile, major American missionary groups in Korea were also involved, because the NCCK constitution grants them council membership only so long as they are associated with a national church which is itself a member. Withdrawal of the Presbyterian Church in Korea would automatically put half the Protestant mission force outside the only overall co-operative body for Protestant organizations in Korea.

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The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea is scheduled to meet in September

Protestant Panorama

• The Department of Defense is joining the Foundation for Religious and Social Action in the Civil Order (FRASCO) in compiling a “bookshelf” on democracy versus communism. The inter-faith foundation, dedicated to mobilizing religious forces more effectively against communism, hopes to select 20 books as a nucleus.

• A $1,750,000 damage suit has named the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago as a defendant. The suit charges the archdiocese with negligence in a parochial school fire which claimed 97 lives last December.

• Eighty holiness movement churches in Egypt, with more than 5,000 members, are uniting with the U. S. Free Methodist Church.

• A series of ads in nationally circulated magazines implying that beer is “good for you” violates federal regulations, Clayton M. Wallace, executive director of the National Temperance League, declared in a protest last month to the Federal Trade Commission.

• The Church of Scotland is closing two of its mission hospitals in Northern Rhodesia because of financial and staff problems. Racial strife is said to have been responsible for the personnel difficulties.

• Mennonites are operating their first mental hospital in South America, located at West Filadelfia, Paraguay.

• North Carolina Methodists will seek to win 100,000 converts in an evangelistic campaign to be launched this fall. “We have been playing with evangelism too long,” said Walter F. Anderson, state Methodist official.

• Hope College in Holland, Michigan, plans a large expansion program, beginning with a new dormitory to accommodate 160 women students.

• Pope John XXIII is studying English and hopes to become fluent in the language within a year, according to Rome Radio. His teacher, it was reported, is Msgr. Thomas Ryan, a Vatican official and a native of Ireland.

• An early summer session of the General Assembly of the Hungarian Lutheran Church marked the group’s first meeting since 1956, when an attempt was made to weed out pro-Communist leaders. The latest assembly was held in Budapest for the announced purpose of “restoring legal status to the church.”

• An estimated 2,055 nuns and priests teaching in U. S. public schools form the backdrop of a 16 mm. sound film being premiered this month in key cities across the country. “Captured,” a semi-documentary, is being released by Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

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• Among latest recipients of Federal Communications Commission FM broadcasting permits: New York’s Riverside Church and the Great Commission Gospel Association of Atlanta. The Selby Avenue Gospel Mission of St. Paul, Minnesota, has submitted an application for a similar permit. Moody Bible Institute hopes to have a new AM station on the air by next January, this one to serve western Illinois and eastern Iowa.

• Work is expected to begin in 1962 on a $2,800,000 university in western Nigeria. U. S. Southern Baptists hope to raise about 90 per cent of the cost.

• CHRISTIANITY TODAY is one of 250 publications on display at this summer’s American exhibition in Moscow.

• Bishop Arthur J. Moore observed the 50th anniversary of his conversion this spring by holding a week-long series of evangelistic meetings in the Waycross, Georgia, Methodist church where he made that commitment.

• South African Prime Minister H. F. Verwoerd, in a speech to the national senate at Capetown, demanded last month “strong action” against Dr. Joost de Blank, Anglican Archbishop of Capetown, for “libelous” attack on the government’s apartheid.

• Oklahoma, which voted repeal in April, now has its first liquor control law which levies a stiff whiskey tax and bans public drinking.

Religious Assemblages
Public Or Private?

Delegates to the Augustana Lutheran Church’s 100th annual convention recorded opposition to establishment of parochial schools for secondary education. They expressed preference for tax-supported public schools in approving a report which called on the church’s 600,000 members to “share as fully as possible in strengthening and improving them.” But the report also stated that the church “recognizes the right to establish in certain areas such privately-financed, high-quality Christian schools as will not destroy the effectiveness of the public schools of any community.”

The convention, held in Hartford, Connecticut, last month, also: adopted a policy of granting complete autonomy to mission churches; authorized a faith healing study; and urged congregations to support laws aimed at alleviating mental health problems.

Delegates heard an address in behalf of the ecumenical movement by Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg, president of the National Council of Churches and pastor of an American Baptist Church in St. Louis.

The Augustana Lutheran Church was founded by Swedish Lutheran immigrants who settled in the Mississippi Valley during the mid-nineteenth century. The church plans to merge with three other Lutheran bodies to form a denomination representing some 3,000,000 communicants.

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Here are reports of other church conventions held last month:

At Plymouth, Massachusetts—“Stepping Stones in the Second Century Crusade” was the theme of the 80th meeting of the Baptist General Conference of America, with the text taken from Joshua 4:6: “What mean ye by these stones?”

More than 1,100 delegates and visitors were welcomed by Carl Holmberg, pastor of the host church (Trinity Baptist of nearby Brockton) who later was elected moderator, succeeding Dr. Virgil Olson. Based on the conference text, themes of sermons included: “Stone of Foundation” (1 Cor. 3:11); “Stone of Testimony” (1 Sam. 7:12); “Stone of Advance” (1 Pet. 2:4,5) and “Stone of Dedication” (Joshua 24:26). The “second century” referred to in the theme takes note of the 100 years of Baptist General Conference fellowship.

Reports of advance and informative programs were presented by boards of Bible school and youth, publication, education, men’s and women’s work, and missions.

Twenty-eight new churches were welcomed, and two new district conferences, Alaska and Rocky Mountain, recognized.

Significant changes were voted into the constitution: The words “of America” are to be deleted from the name of the church in view of its increasing international scope. (Some years ago the word “Swedish” was deleted as the group experienced transition from a strongly Scandinavian influence to a new Americanized church.)

A new office, that of general secretary of the conference, was instituted to replace the office of executive secretary of the board of trustees. The Rev. Lloyd Dahlquist of the Northwest Church of Chicago was named to fill the position.

At Ocean Grove, New Jersey—Some 5,000 delegates were on hand for the annual conference of the Church of the Brethren, which numbers approximately 200,000 communicants. A statement was issued in behalf of the denomination urging Christians to bring the “full power of the Gospel” to bear on national and international situations. The message deplored the “widespread lostness of men in every community and class” and recognized their need for “radical healing.”

Delegates adopted another statement which asserted that there can be no stable peace in Europe as long as “unnatural, illogical and unjust” provisions of World War II treaties prevail. They urged abolition of capital punishment and an end to nuclear weapons testing. They said that clergymen should not be required to reveal confidences in court.

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At Anderson, Indiana—A special observance marking the 50th anniversary of overseas missionary work by the Church of God (with headquarters at Anderson) highlighted its annual General Ministerial Assembly. A special fund was established to aid missionary expansion.

The assembly voted to change the name of Pacific Bible College to Warner Pacific College in honor of Daniel S. Warner, first editor of the Gospel Trumpet, national Church of God weekly founded in 1881.

At Kingston, Ontario—Opposition to the liquor trade and a demand that the Ontario government give “a larger share” of its liquor taxes to the Alcoholism Research Foundation were voiced in a resolution adopted by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. The resolution “wasn’t worth the paper it was written on,” retorted the Rev. Emlyn Davies, who declared that the government should not be asked to legislate what the churches had failed to achieve.

At Rochester, Minnesota—In a resolution which noted that “the cause of orthodox Christianity and democratic government have both flourished in the climate of religious liberty,” delegates to the 28th annual meeting of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches urged church members to resist all efforts “to blur the lines” of church-state separation. Another action put delegates of the 950-congregation association on record as being “unequivocally and unalterably” against U. S. or U. N. recognition of Red China.

At Rockford, Illinois—Retiring President Theodore W. Anderson told nearly 1,500 delegates and visitors to the 74th annual meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church of America that “we should seek better contact and possibly an ultimate merger with churches similar to our own in convictions and activities.” The church has some 58,000 members in 529 congregations.

At Berkeley, California—An informal vote taken at the 70th annual convention of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church showed preference for complete unity in a proposed merger with three other Lutheran bodies, rather than retention of identity as a separate synod.

At Denver, Colorado—The 75th anniversary conference of the Evangelical Free Church of America adopted a resolution supporting Congressional legislation which would ban the serving of liquor on commercial flights. A record number of 760 voting delegates also approved establishment of a junior college in British Columbia and authorized possible relocation of Trinity Seminary and Bible College in Chicago.

At Boston—Some 7,500 delegates, representing all major continents, attended the annual meeting of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist. The Christian Science Board of Directors issued a message citing the need for a deeper understanding of spiritual resources.

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