This report was prepared by Dr. Sherwood E. Wirt, editor of Decision:

As the Billy Graham Southern California Crusade passed the halfway mark in the Los Angeles Coliseum, signs pointed to an all-time mark in the history of evangelism for the past 1,900 years.

In nine meetings over a third of a million people passed through the turnstiles of the huge bowl where some of America’s most famous football games have been played. As All-American star player Donn Moomaw, now a member of the Graham team for this crusade, expressed it, “Victories are being rung up every night such as no one ever dreamed would take place in this stadium.”

Some came running to the platform. Some stepped gingerly and hesitantly. Some could not wait for the invitation but came and knelt early. Some came with heavy hearts, some with a note akin to gaiety, some with vast relief. Some came in impeccable dress, others in wild southern California attire. They hung their heads and confessed their sins, and waited for God to work.

“A Syrian counselor is needed. A Spanish counselor. Someone who can speak Hebrew. Chinese. Filipino. Dutch. Children eleven and under behind the platform, please.”

Astonishing to many an onlooker was the model behavior of the crowds. Billy Graham had asked for quiet, and he got it. There was no heckling. Even on youth nights, with a stadium half-filled with a highly volatile congregation, there were no whistles, no braying, no ploys designed to gain attention. The respect commanded by the man seemed supernaturally guarded.

“Manasseh was the wickedest man who ever lived, but God forgave him and blessed him.… Samson was a delinquent for twenty years, but he is in heaven today. There’s hope for you! You can repent and turn from your sins, and ...

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.