A crowd of 38,708 filed through the turnstiles at Los Angeles Coliseum for the opening service August 15 of Billy Graham’s Southern California crusade. Spokesmen said it was the largest crowd ever to attend a weeknight opening of a Graham campaign. Some 2,000 stepped forward at the invitation to indicate a commitment to Christ.

The service was recorded on video tape and will be one of a series from Los Angeles to be shown over more than 200 television stations across the United States and Canada during September.

Graham preached on Jeremiah and judgment. He called for national repentance if Americans hope to escape the judgment of God.

The evangelist’s appeal noted that Los Angeles is where Khrushchev had made his famous rebuke of American morals. Graham issued a challenge that the United States aptly demonstrate its moral and spiritual strength to the Soviets.

A close associate of Graham reported that the evangelist appeared to be in good physical condition, and Graham himself said he had never felt better at the start of a crusade. Earlier this year he had suffered from a series of maladies that kept him from a scheduled Far Eastern crusade and left him in a weakened state for many weeks.

The Los Angeles meetings got under way after months of intensive preparation. Crusade leaders were deeply gratified at the response of ministers and laymen in the area. There appeared to be a profound commitment among thousands to try and reach the huge metropolitan area with the claims of Christ.

Decision, published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, noted that it “looks to be the most intensely organized evangelistic crusade in human history.”

“Nothing in the annals of Christendom can quite compare with it.”

“When did 20,000 church ...

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